Fashion X Dallas Hits Town: Highlights Designer Talent, Overcomes Challenges

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After months of speculation, buzz, and hype, Fashion X Dallas finally touched down at Fashion Industry Gallery from November 6-8 amidst much anticipation. The inaugural three day extravaganza was headed up by Austin Fashion Week’s Matt Swinney and attracted the who’s who of Dallas influencers, bloggers, and editors. Originally coined by locals as a “Dallas Fashion Week”, the indie showcase featured an eclectic mix of over 25 emerging, national, and celebrity designers, along with a sprinkling of pop-up shops for perusing. Giving way to a disappointingly rocky start, the stylish affair finished strong and left hope for an even better showcase in the future. For a rundown on the highs and lows of this first-ever fête, read more for our scoop on the Fashion X experience.



Following an energetic introduction by Swinney (pictured below), the crowd anxiously awaited first looks. While awaiting the first designer’s emergence, many runway seats were noticeably empty with a few familiar faces of customary bloggers and editors situated on the front row. Despite the less than full expectancy, local brand and DFW Style Daily favorite, Binzario Couture, opened the show with a tasteful display of handcrafted gowns spanning across both formal and bridalwear realms. What began as such a strong opener however, was soon followed by an alarmingly number of production issues, model mishaps, and a slew of poorly executed designs.



Despite first-day distractions and hiccups, menswear designs were the evening standouts. Los Angeles based label, League of Rebels, smoothly cascaded the runway with its polished collection of finely tailored suits and rugged sophistication. The Euro-chic designs added a complimentary touch of casual cool, as suits were paired with relaxed beanies and Dr. Martens boots.



Ross Bennett, mostly recognized for his stint on NBC’s Fashion Star, showcased his signature style through a colorful assortment of multi-print jackets and tailored blazers, while Mysterious by NPN quickly became the crowd favorite with its “avant-garde meets romantic drama” formalwear collection.



Momentum slowed unfavorably as an unimpressive showing by swimwear label, Curlee Bikini, hit the runway. Ill-fitting swim and outerwear were the themes for this Austin-based brand, along with over-styled looks that left many wondering whether the next few days at Fashion X would be indicative of the same.

Guests apprehensively returned for day two with much skepticism and uncertainty of what would lie ahead. After a disappointing and uneventful opener, many were braced for a repeat. The tone would quickly change however, as a mesmerizing opening collection by Red Paisleys captivated the audience. With intricate beading detail and delicately structured fabrics, the Indian bridal couture collection gave way to a stimulating aesthetic–all the while inspiring hope for a progressive evening.



Well-deserving of day two nods were local designers Abi Ferrin and Ese Azenabor. While Ferrin wowed with a fluid “comfy meets class” collection, Azenabor turned up the heat by showcasing masterfully embellished gowns, dresses, and jumpsuits that created a highly desirable spring/summer line.



Although 13-year-old Isabella Rose Taylor jolted the audience with her fun and flirty collection, the ultimate standout for the day hailed from local favorite Nine Muses, who we have previously highlighted on DFW Style Daily. Fusing artful blends of playful prints with vibrant colors, the tag team designer duo stunned the audience with its elegantly glamorous collection. From custom cut blazers to molded dresses, Nine Muses’ clean and charismatic line invoked the audience into an ovation. Soon thereafter, Nine Muses co-founders Jerry Matthews and Francesca Viamonte, were presented with the first-ever Dallas Fashion Fund Award—an honor that was met with tears and humble appreciation by the young designers.



The final evening of Fashion X Dallas was met with record attendance for a star-studded finale featuring eight designers from Lifetime TV’s hit show, Project Runway All-Stars. With outstanding showcases by Laura Kathleen and Jeffrey Sebelia, Fashion X quickly regained rapport with the Dallas crowd. Without a doubt, greats for the evening included Korto Momolu and animated Project Runway veteran, Daniel Esquivel. While Momolu’s collection played to subdued yet powerful femininity, Esquivel’s designs inspired passion and a unique appreciation for European style through graphic art and structured lines.



Indisputably, Project Runway fan favorite and Atlanta-based designer, Mychael Knight, was the most anticipated designer for the evening. Revealing exclusively to DFW Style Daily that the unveiling of his spring/summer line was a public first, Knight also detailed why he chose Dallas rather than his native Atlanta for the big reveal. “Dallas needed to see [my collection] first and it was divine timing,” Knight explains. “This is a new market for me. I have never been [to Dallas] before…so I’m hoping for a good response.”



While his hopes were high, the youthful and vibrant collection was met with mixed reviews, with some guests noting that the line was “too sheer” and ultra-revealing. Despite the contrary, Knight received more than his fair share of Southern hospitality in Dallas as fans pursued photo ops and Instagram selfies with the star.

All in all, the inaugural Fashion X Dallas was a success. Despite faulty execution in the model and production arenas, the underlying premise of showcasing emerging talent coupled with national designer highlights, was ultimately achieved. With the event proposing an annual presence, we will keep a watchful eye on the growth and potential of this newly minted production. As we anxiously stand in await, we will look forward to even bigger and greater things from the Fashion X Dallas crew for 2015.


All images, credit Cy Davison for Beyond Reach Media.



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