The 5th Annual Austin Fashion Awards wrapped up a very exciting Austin Fashion Week in May this year (not during the heat of the summer in August, thank you!). The Saturday night awards held adventures for all comers, where we watched four of our favorite Austin designers debut new collections on the dual runways that framed the main stage. Down these runways paraded fantastic garments that tickled the imagination. (And by the way, what a wonderful stage set up this year….we loved the dual runway!)
Deborah Main Designs was well represented at the event by myself, intern Brandi Moore, and the new award-winning young designer, Qin Latimer (who just happens to be my amazing daughter!). We were joined by many friends dressed to the nines for a night of fashion frenzy!
A rendezvous at Austin Fashion Awards from left to right: Deborah Main, Brandi Moore, Anslee Connell of Savanah Red, Qin Latimer, Black & Tan winner Amanda Yilmez, handbag designer Anne Marie Beard
Part I: With pulsing music, the evening started with a festive runway presentation of all the mash up teams, a feat in itself, as there were so many wonderful teams this year. Mixing designers with make up artists, hair stylists and photographers and more, this has been one of the fun features of Austin Fashion Week that many look forward to. Eon won Critics Choice: Best Mash up Team with their striking red dress and hair photographed by Gerry Hanan out in white sands. And the award for People’s Choice: Best Team Mash-Up went to Vintage Deity, the heavenly Britany Walker photographed by Gregg Cestaro. Congratulations to both teams for stellar creative work! We are so proud that our very own photographer, Gregg Cestaro, won again for his amazing artistry.!!
- Vintage Deity. Winner People’s Choice: Best Mash up Team. Photo by Gregg Cestaro
- Photographer: Gregg Cestaro
- Hair Stylist: Joseph Theis
- Makeup Artist: Mandy Hernandez
- Designer: Sarah McLaughlin Reed – Sarah Eileen
- Model: Britany Walker
- Jewelry: Krissi Lindsey – Ball + Chain
- Wardrobe Stylist: Sandra Antoun
Eon. Winner Critics Choice: Best Mash up Team. Photo by Gerry Hanan.
- Photographer: Gerry Hanan
- Hair Stylist: Ivy Kim
- Makeup Artist: Atelier Benson
- Designer: Atelier Benson
- Model: Stella Sebit
Award-winning photographer, Gregg Cestaro (and team), accepting award for "Best Mash-Up Team" People's Choice for Vintage Deity
And let us not forget the main stage itself which was illuminated by a beautiful crystal chandelier under the canopy of a pair of striking white arches which helped make the show so beautiful to watch. Emcee, Sandy McIlree, from Mix 94.7’s JB and Sandy show, hosted the awards for the second year running. Here are all the winners that accepted the famous “Golden Boot”. We know you’ve worked hard and we at Deborah Main Designs want to wish each of you the best and congratulations!! (Keep reading below and see all the fabulous designs coming out of Austin, Texas!)
The Austin Fashion Awards "Golden Boot"; photo by Cory Ryan
The award recipients:
Best Mash Up Team (Critic’s Choice): EON
Best Mash Up Team (People’s Choice): Vintage Deity
Best Hair & Makeup Team (People’s Choice): The Innovators
The Trailblazer awards: Cheryl Bemis, Lance Avery Morgan, Stephen MacMillian Moser,
Rochelle Rae, and Kendra Scott.
Rising Star recipients: Priscilla Barroso, Isabella Rose Taylor, Jennifer Martinson, Sandra Antoun, and Daniel Esquivel.
Trailblazer award winner and founder of The Society Chronicles, Lance Avery Morgan on right, with partner Rob Giardinelli.
Here with many friends and boot winners, from left to right: Laura Del Villagio of Milli Starr, Deborah Main, Gregg Cestaro, Chery Bemis of Fashionably Austin, Jane Rush, jewelry designer Cynthia Bloom and fashion designer, Qin Latimer.
Part II: Now onto the four main fashion designers. We loved how Austin Fashion Week staged the event with two designers, then boot winners, then two more designers. Plus the twin stages and timing were fantastic. But what we really swooned over were the clothes and jewelry!! Just between four local designers, it is astounding the breadth of range in color, style, fabric selection, and other materials these amazing designers utilized. You know how we love fabric!! Amidst poetic and fire swallowing openings, each designer told a story with their clothing and jewelry and AMAZING headpieces! Wow, we’ve never seen such gorgeous headpieces!! There were so many details that we loved – from embroidered appliques and incredible texture to feather and horn adornments – it was a feast to behold!!
What you may not know about Deborah Main Designs, is that FASHION is our #1 source of inspiration!! And each of these designers inspired us to no end. However, there is one special one that we have an affinity for. It might be because he chooses colors that we love. Perhaps it is because he incorporates feathers and fur. We don’t know exactly why we love Stephen Macmillan Moser so much, except that at his show last year he said “I let the fabrics speak to me”, and we relate to that. So take a peek at all these fabulous Austin, Texas designers (all whose work is in high demand internationally!!) and see what inspires you. Please read all the way to the end, because it was the finale of Austin Fashion Awards that summed up this most fantastic 5th awards evening with the final Trailblazer Award, given by Gail Chovan, to Stephen MacMillan Moser.
(Photos below courtesy of Fashionably Austin)
Everything vintage was well represented in the Boudoir Queen collection, by Dawn Younger-Smith. Every piece was a wonder, full of embellishments, layers upon layers, all created with her well-known eye for detail. We particularly loved the rich colors and beautiful embroidery on many of her pieces.
Jewels were highly celebrated in all forms and fashion upon Kendra Scott’s models – from bangles up and down the arms to long strands of colorful jewels down past the waist. We particularly liked the armored shoulders below with feathers shooting toward the stars which captured the brilliance of coloring throughout Kendra’s designs.
We had a wonderful surprise from Gail Chovan who incorporated light into the darkness of the black designs for which she is well known. Gail is a master at layering and draping…..and this detail shined throughout her collection! The sophistication of her unique designs is contrasted with the simplicity of her barefoot models – a no-fuss look that speaks truly to the core of her style.
Stephen MacMillan Moser
Last, but certainly not least, Stephen Macmillan Moser wowed us with the finale: a dramatic enactment of a Pagan Wedding. His show was an incredibly moving vision, dedicated to the love and loss of friend and photographer, Seabrook Jones. Spectacular headpieces by Jennifer Ayers were worn by every model which, to me, elevated the models and their spectacular gowns to the status of Celtic goddesses. With men, equally adorned with Stephen’s signature use of cut velvet fabrics and fur, we could not help but watch in awe. From color and texture to over-the-top extravagance, and the entire story line….well, Stephen’s finale just took our breath away. You could have heard a pin drop in the audience. We were mesmerized, entranced…it was magical and evocative. Stephen did a show last year, but this year he truly gave all of Austin his masterpiece!!! Thank you Stephen!
This Russian-inpsired design was our absolute FAVE!!
Designer Gail Chovan presenting the Trailblazer award to fashion columnist and designer, Stephen MacMillan Moser.
What a phenomenal show the Austin Fashion Awards were….we absolutely loved it!! The finale was topped with a most poignant finish with Gail Chovan awarding Stephen Moser the Trailblazer award. For me, her speech finished the intriguing story of their love affair and sheer respect for each other as human beings (with differing opinions!) and brilliant fashion designers. It was charming, funny, and loving all at the same time….a magical evening that I will never forget!
Fashion Week may be over, but school just got out and it’s summer here in Austin, Texas. So enjoy all the sunshine, and spruce up your style with some Austin fashion. We at Deborah Main Designs wish you the most wonderful summer ever! XO PG