Yasmina Johnston Pushes Boundaries, Perceptions & Herself


  There's something special about Yasmina Johnston, designer and creative director of Inner. Orbit. Systems. Utterly unafraid to experiment, she's already made a name for herself here in Dallas. Personally, I remember seeing her showcase at The Pin Show 2012, and being floored by the combination of creativity and uneasy wearability in each piece. With her newest collection, Yasmina has grown quite a bit, and this year she plans to move forward with her designs full-throttle. It all kicks off with her upcoming show, Lunar Polarity, on January 19th. From there, as she explains, Insha'Allah, or God's will, can only become a stronger force. With her show fast approaching, I invited Yasmina into my home to shoot an exclusive preview of her new designs and to learn how she plans to get exactly what she's dreamed for this year.  

  Heather Lettieri: How does this collection differ from your previous work? Do you feel you've created something more cohesive and substantial than before? Yasmina Johnston: "My original designs were solely experimental. I was trying to figure out who I was as a designer and how I wanted to represent myself. I feel that the new collection is more refined for ready-to-wear, but still carries the same energy as the original designs."  

  You take a lot of inspiration from traditional Islamic attire. Do you hope to update and inspire the Islamic youth of Dallas? If so, how? "Yes, the energy and movement of the traditional fabrics have always intrigued me. I wouldn't say I want to ‘update’ the Islamic youth, but I do hope to inspire them to think more forwardly. They are in a movement to push fashion, yet still wear it modestly. I think this is great! I also think they will be a great contribution to the Dallas fashion industry. I hope I can help bring these 'Islamic fashionistas' into the Dallas fashion world where I know they will inspire others."  


  What is the significance of your signature piece, the Abaya? "The Abaya (seen below) is a garment commonly worn in the Middle East to preserve modesty for religious purposes. The Abaya to me is visually very beautiful and has a deep, powerful, and emotional representation. Traditionally black, it's a very dramatic and eye-catching piece. The Abayas that I design remain classic, while at the same time, fashion forward."  


  What can we expect to see from you in 2013? "I hope for Inner. Orbit. Systems. to become more established here in Dallas in 2013. I plan to participate in the annual DIFFA fashion show, as well as in other local charity shows. I am working on developing a website, and am in the process of having some of my items carried in local stores."  


  Do you have a New Year's resolution? "Ha! Why, yes! I call it a New Year's Revolution. I think this year is going to be my ‘career’ year. I'm going full-force on this path, and not letting go of what I want for my future. And with my eyes looking forward, Insha'Allah, I can make this dream of mine a reality."  

    Photos herein produced for DFW Style Daily, showcasing the designs of Yasmina Johnston. Photography by Cameron Lee Phan, styling and makeup by Heather Lettieri. Featuring model Loren Kavo, The Campbell Agency.    

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