Austin Fashion Week at the Driskill- Day 1
I relocated to the Capital of Texas- Austin, just in time for their annual Austin Fashion Week. It was held at the historic (and haunted) Driskill Hotel. Determined to include Austin as a legitimate fashion city, founder Matt Swinney launched AFW in July of 2009, but didn’t add the Driskill events until 2011. This year’s fashion extravaganza promised to bring out fresh local talent, as well as designers from around the world. The first evening of AFW, we were introduced to five designers: Isabella Rose, Bobby K., Ashley Zaba, Tess Designs and Lisa Kaminski. There were two intermissions and during those intermissions, guests were able to browse the ‘marketplace,’ which included: Valentina Shoes, Over the Moon, Jahanna Martinez and booths which featured an interactive survey and little goodies from Google +/Zagat and Fiat USA.
I’d like to introduce you to Austin-based designer Isabella Rose, who was the first designer of the evening. The cute resort collection was chic and simple…though with two cool attributes: one, it’s for tweens (girls) and the designer is only ELEVEN! Young Isabella as always been an artist at heart, which began with painting at age three. That love of art, as well as color and texture, eventually progressed into fashion when she started experimenting with sewing. She launched her label Isabella Rose (named after her of course) just two years ago and from then on, has been designing, manufacturing and fabric sourcing so she could learn as much as she can. Her collection in the show was inspired by her art. She had just completed “Color Stories” that was a series of paintings where she tried to capture the spirit and personality of each portrait through color. That color palette was the inspiration behind her resort collection and she wanted girls her age to be able to mix ‘n match the colors to express themselves. The Fall collection was inspired by Isabella’s experimentation with figurative drawing using charcoal. Trying to emphasize how form can be contained within harder boundaries, she had a mix of flowy blouson tops with edgy faux leather pieces. We saw what we thought was a plain white shrug paired with a black dress with lacy neckline, but when the model turned, we saw a self-portrait of the designer on the back of the shrug. The original painting was done when Isabella was ten and stands around five feet tall. ” I wanted to incorporate my art into my fashion in a more direct way other than just inspiration,” Isabella explained. She also had one of her paintings printed on the silk chiffon scarves that the models were wearing on the runway. Isabella herself even proudly walked the runway, clad in a faux leather shift dress and statement necklace. She looked amazing and for an eleven year old, she has incredible talent. You can expect to see more a ready-to-wear and dress collection in the future. As Isabella adds, “I feel like my friends and I always have trouble finding dresses we like – they are either too grown up or too childish.” She will be participating in Dallas Fashions Night Out and having an installation of her current line and some artwork at Kristy Stubbs Gallery. She will also be having trunk shows in select cities throughout the rest of this year. For more information, check out isabellarosefashion.com.