This year has been one crazy one, and I cannot believe 2013 is coming to an end! Today, I want to recap the Dallas Opera’s Inaugural FIRST SIGHT fashion show that was on Thursday, Ocotber 24th in the Margo and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, presented by J.P. Morgan. FIRST SIGHT fashion show was a spin off from last year’s FIRST NIGHT. I was honored when the Dallas Opera asked me to produce the fashion show, which featured the work of five Dallas based designers and their outstanding interpretations of the operas. The event also included n ESCADA fashion show with a “Carmen” inspired background. It was a day full of art, couture, fashion, and luxury. The five designers wowed the audience with their showstopping pieces. The 5 gowns went up for auction with their original sketches by Heritage Auctions.
The event was followed by a luncheon catered by Wolfgang Puck, and all of the guests were surprised by their waiters. The Chair and the Opera Team decided to conduct a flash mob style of singers from the SMU Meadows disguised as waiters. The flash mob was the idea and executed by Jeffrey Horn and Larry Leathers along with creative minds from the Dallas Opera’s Tracy Mott and chair Lynn Mock! Be sure to check out my Instagram for the full surprise!
Here is some background on the FIRST SIGHT designers*:
Nicolas Villalba, Couturier and Fashion Designer: The international award-winning owner and principal designer of Nicolas Villalba – COUTURE. Originally an evening wear designer, Nicolas now specializes in all things custom, including bridal, menswear, costumes, and linens. After graduating with a BFA in Fashion Design, Nicolas was chosen to represent the U.S. in the European design competition, “Etoilles de la Mode” where he became the first American to win the “Prix du Public.” He was also honored with the Fashion Group International “Rising Star Award,” the “Excellence in Design” award and the DIFFA “Legend of Style” award. He was a two-time winner in the 2011 Dallas Voice Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Designer – a first for the magazine. .Villalba does private label work for Stanley Korshak, Neiman-Marcus, TODD Events, and other high-end retailers. He can be reached at his design studio for new client consultations.
Abi Ferrin, Fashion Designer: An award-winning designer who strives to empower women to look and feel their best, Abi Ferrin’s brand is being launched nationally by better boutiques and retailers like Nordstrom. Elements of her collection are made by Cambodian women rescued from the sex trade. Through the philanthropic arm of her company, The Freedom Project, they are provided with counseling, training, shelter and alternatives to abusive employment. Abi includes a hand-crafted Freedom Project element on every Made-in-the-USA garment, bringing her motto, Fashion+Freedom+Purpose, full circle.
Khanh Nguyen, Fashion Designer: She is the award-winning Creative Director and Designer of her own label, Nha Khanh, consisting of designs that focus on modern glamour, inspired by art, architecture and most importantly, nature. The designs are ethereal; meticulously constructed, and host an ease about them that allows for an effortless sensibility. The company offers seasonal “advanced contemporary” ready-to-wear; a custom Atelier collection, which hosts one-of-a-kind and custom pieces; as well as a bridal line. The Nha Khanh mission is to empower a woman with inner-strength through her clothing with a focus on “elegance with a modern edge”.
Elizabeth Anyaa, Fashion and Textile Designer: Born in Sierra Leone in West Africa, Elizabeth Anyaa began sewing her own clothes by the age of seven. The winner of scholarships and grants to study textile design in Finland, after earning her B.A. in Fine Arts, she became the head textile designer for a prestigious Scandinavian architectural firm before emigrating to the U.S. in 1996. Ms. Anyaa pursued graduate studies in fine art, marketing and fashion design in Maryland and Texas, winning the “Best of Show” Career Day fashion competition organized by Fashion Group International and a scholarship which enabled her to continue her studies in London. Today, she is a resident artist at South Side at Lamar in Dallas. Her fashions have been showcased on singer Erykah Badu and in publications including Women’s Wear Daily and The Dallas Morning News.
Michael Faircloth, Fashion Designer: Michael Faircloth opened his first couture salon in Dallas thirty years ago and today enjoys an international clientele that heralds his sense of cut, and discriminating eye for graceful detail. Former First Lady Laura Bush, a long-established client, thrust him into the national media spotlight when she asked Michael to design her first inaugural wardrobe. His elegant designs are geared toward women who recognize the beauty of a refined aesthetic: “mix the classic with the dramatic and come out with something really feminine.
Here are some images from the memorable event:
Escada Store: Highland Park Village