Houston Designers Ready for Discovery Green's First Ever Fashion Show

The catwalk comes to Discovery Green.
The catwalk comes to Discovery Green. Illustration by Susie Tommaney. Photo of "GUST" by Jeremy Keas; photo of runway by Michael Mandiberg via CC (transformed)
Inspiration can strike at any moment. Fashion designer Chloe Dao set herself apart from the pack in Season Two of Project Runway, transforming her own dress and coat into a stunning '60s-inspired dress with oversized pockets to secure the top spot; then taking that lead and running with it all the way to the finale with the $100,000 grand prize.

And so, when Discovery Green Programming Director Susanne Theis was imagining how the Brown Foundation Promenade would look once Cocolab's "GUST" pinwheels were finally in place, inspiration struck again.

"Judy Nyquist is the chair of our public art committee. We were standing on the promenade, where 'GUST' was going to be installed, and we’d been looking at renderings and pictures. I thought, it’s like a runway, we should do a fashion show. It seemed like a wonderful idea," says Theis.

"I thought, it’s like a runway, we should do a fashion show. It seemed like a wonderful idea." — Susanne Theis

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That dream becomes a reality on January 26 when the Runway Spring Fashion Show, hosted by Discovery Green and Launch, has Houston-based designers showing their latest fashion against the backdrop of thousands of colorful, kinetic pinwheels.

The event is being organized and hosted by Sydney Dao, who handled marketing and public relations for her sister's Dao Chloe Dao boutique (formerly LOT 8). The fashion show is a collaboration between Discovery Green and Launch, a pop-up boutique sponsored by Houston First to showcase local talent in design and fashion.

Theis says they immediately thought of Sydney and Launch, as she's seen so many great designers showing their fashion periodically through Launch. "This is a time of real flourishing for designers in Houston."

Sydney, who works as director of retail for VisitHouston, is still fine-tuning the details but has already announced several Houston-based designers for the show. We'll see fashion from Joshua Washington (Edwidge Pierre Collection), Karisa Lindsay (CEO and lead designer at A Leap of Style), Claire Drennan (founder of Claire Drennan Knits), and Chloe (owner of Dao Chloe Dao).

"It's a brand new event. We've never done anything remotely like it," says Theis. "We’ll have small tents set up at either end of the promenade for models to change and have hair and makeup. We’ll be using the promenade as the walkway. We’ll have chairs on one side and you’ll be looking at the models and 'GUST' will be in the background."

The event includes a pop-up market where local designers will be selling their latest, live music, the fashion show, and an after party.

Runway Spring Fashion Show is scheduled for 5-11:45 p.m. January 26, Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney,, free.
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Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney