#FASHIONHOUSTON: Aussie Designer, Johanna Johnson Feels Right at Home in HoustonTuesday, November 19, 2013
If there was ever a collection that had my jaw dropping it was Johanna Johnson's S/S 2014 Red Carpet collection. It was like every look was in competition with the one before it. They just kept getting better and better until I think I let out an explicitive with the very last gown. My favorite, pictured above on the right. I loved that silver number with the slit up the middle. Honestly my photos don't do it justice. In addition to sending amazing gowns down the runway, each model was adorned with fabulous headdresses.......y'all know how I am about headwear! In talking to Johanna, I found out she makes them all and by hand! They are so fabulous! Who needs a gown, I'd just wear the head-dresses just because! After her presentation at Fashion Houston, I had the chance to sit down with the designer in all the way from Australia and ask her a couple questions.
What is your approach to designing red carpet gowns?
Our bread and butter, for lack of a better term, is bridal. It's what we do in Australia, our New York studio and really worldwide. My approach to bridal is that it's a red-carpet and the same goes for our red carpet line. I want our pieces to be timeless, elegant and celebrate the art of dressing on ceremony...nobody really dresses on ceremony anymore. But if you do wear something to an event, you want it to be an investment piece in your wardrobe. I want ladies to look back on it in years to come, and go I loved that look and it isn't dated.
Let's talk about your color palette & fabric choices for the gowns?
Well, I'm fairly monochrome in my dressing, obviously (we pause and stare at her all black ensemble and laugh). I'm one of those designers that always wears black. I just love black and having 2 children and a busy lifestyle blacks are easy for me. I'm typically drawn to the little black dress, monochromes and the idea that less is more, but this collection was more about color. We used a lot of soft leathers, cashmeres, and 100% silks for our gowns and we never use polyester or anything like that in our collections. It was about injecting more of the color into the leathers and the silks, and just giving the gowns more of a pop. We're known in Australia and in LA, for our hand-beaded embellishments on the gowns, so this was giving it a different approach.
The headpieces were AMAZING. I couldn't decide what was more extravagant, the headdresses or the gowns?
Yes, we make them all by hand.
Amazing, is this your first time in Texas?
Yes it is!
How do you like it?
Love it! It's like we're just interstate in Australia. It doesn't feel like we're outside the state. It doesn't feel like Europe or even New York, it just feels like home. It's strange..it's lovely.
Yes a lot of Southern Hospitality here!
Yes, it's the same in Australia and New Zealand. It's all about hospitality there too!
How do you feel about showing at Fashion Houston?
When Neal asked me to do it, I was just like really? That's so lovely! He's such an amazing supporter of the brand, and I'm so touched by what he said here tonight. We were really stoked about doing this because we just finished showing our New York Bridal runway about three weeks ago, and decided to hold off on releasing our Red Carpet collection to LA for award season until we did Fashion Houston. We decided to launch it in Houston and then send it to L.A.!
Wow! We, and when I say we I really mean I, I feel really special that you saved your collection for us here in Houston!
It's nice to share something that people haven't seen already on social media. It's something new! Social media is so huge right now that it has to be new! It's gotta be different!