This year was my first time attending Austin Fashion Week, and as media. I wasn’t sure what to expect. New York Fashion Week seems so glamorous with its front row celebs and high class designers. In Austin Fashion Week however, as I was sitting on my bare knees in front of a tiny square riser of crowded photographers, feeling totally out of place and out of my league I wondered if attending would even be worth it. But by the end of the night, safe to say the show was entirely worth it thanks to the many designers who exceeded my expectations and even gave me chills. Here are my favorite designers of the “Discover” runway, designers from across the US on the cusp of making it to the big time.
Fringe, subtle shades, and soft silhouettes were the the theme of Darlene Araiza’s line, who managed to deliver the in-demand 70’s hippie vibe with a normcore twist making the items easily wearable.
Smith II’s show started off with a bang with a sound recording of Kanye West talking about racism and classism, which made the clothes speak volumes louder through its symbolic meaning. The monochrome color palette became bolder as the clothes progressed from strongly structured, to sparks of color and leather/lace cutouts representing a feminine, urban rebel.
I quite liked Caycee Black’s line for its’ effortless feel. The clothes seem to have the act of both caring, yet very nonchalant and laid back. I was impressed by the clothes’ duality and how each outfit seemed to fit in every possible setting. Also, the use of fading and ink blots made the line very cohesive, allowing each look to melt into the next.
Abi Ferrin’s line was overflowing with tropical colors that was a joy to see, especially in comparison to the muted colors many of the other designers used. Ferrin’s clothes are perfect for walking beach side with her billowy shapes synthesizing the waves of an ocean, and make a great addition to any summer wardrobe.
Mysterious by NPN
They definitely saved the best for last with Mysterious by NPN. Nicholas Phat Nguyen’s couture line stunned absolutely everyone in the audience, from a photographer stating, “Now that’s fashion” to ongoing applause by first rowers in the audience. The amount of detail and construction that went into each gown was incredible. His baroque style gowns were most definitely my favorite and the biggest crowd pleaser of the Discover night. Safe to say you’ll be seeing much more of NPN very soon.
Those were my top five favorite designers of Austin Fashion Week Day 1. Stay tuned for a recap of Day 2 this weekend. Also, let me know in the comments who was your favorite up-and-coming designer of the Discover runway at Austin Fashion Week!