Passion For Fashion: Italiano Style
Fashionistas indulged in their passion for fashion while foodies indulged in Italian cuisine and wine. All this in the heart of Downtown Houston at the George R Brown Convention Center from June 3-5 2011. The Italian Expo took off with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday afternoon with a select number of guests that included the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce of Texas, exhibitors, models, emcee Edward Sanchez and Hasti Taghi, fashion designers and media.
The Italian Fashion Exchange hosted a fashion competition that brought together fashions of Italy and Houston designers. A group of emerging local designers showcased their collections during fashion runway shows and competed for the first place prize of a fashion trip to Milan, Italy for the February 2012 Fashion Week.
The fashion competition took place during this Italian Expo in the form of three fashion shows from Friday to Sunday. The designers were judged by a select panel of judges, which included Chloe Dao, Designer of DAO Chloe DAO; David Peck, Designer of CrOp by David Peck; Jeff Gremillion, Editor of Houston Magazine; and Josephine Gough, Regional Director of Fashion Group International. The Italian Fashion Exchange competition included eight emerging fashion designers that were:
- Abi Ferrin, Abi Ferrin
- Kuteka Hill, TikiGlam
- James Martinez, Barron & J.
- Shawn Kingsley, ODK Couture
- Chioma Ikoku and Uche Osamor, Elani Blu
- Shirin Askari, Shirin Askari Designs LLC
- Danny Nguyen, Danny Nguyen Couture
- Simran Rihal, Elan Couture
Project Runway fame Shirin Askari, 25 will be soon flying to Milan for the 2012 Fashion Week. “I am so excited to have won this competition and it is beyond explanation. I have always wanted to go to Italy, being a fashion designer, and now being able to go for the Fashion Week is like a dream come true,” says the petite Shirin. As a designer Askari describes her style as chic classic look with a modern twist who has love for vintage clothing. “I think women in the 50s and 60s dressed up more and I really like that,” added Shirin.
Another designer, creating style without borders, at the expo was Indian born, Houston based fashion designer Simran Rihal who awed the audience with her chic classy clothing. “This is a great experience to be at the Italian Expo, mix and mingle with clients and models from Italy, and a great way to find out what they wanted,” says Simran. “I am also excited to have sold most of my merchandise,” stated Rihal. Elan Couture can be simple and at the same time has the grandeur look with fabrics such as pure silk, georgettes and cotton with fine embroidery with thread work or sequins. The rust tunic with gold shrug stole the show. Other tunics teamed with short shorts was haute. Her style is unique and fresh and yet undoubtedly ELAN reminds me of the next Tory Burch with very affordable prices.
The three-day Italian Expo hosted over 21,000 attendees and 150 Italian and American exhibitors. In addition to the fashion competition and fashion shows, this showcase of Italian excellence featured food and wine importers, handcrafted goods, Houston’s finest Italian restaurants, luxury car and motorbike displays, travel and tour operators, various artists, and musical and dance performers.
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