Tuesday, November 04, 2014

I love the creativity that is fashion design. I wish I was talented enough to delve into it and design some clothes of my own...but alas...that was not meant to I've relegated to enjoying and wearing fabulous fashions created by others! Ha! Life could be worse!  Anyhoo, my favorite faction of fashion designers are the emerging designers! Everyone loves the old guard: DVF, Oscar de la Renta (may he rest in peace), Karl Lagerfeld, but there's just something special about discovering/being introduced to new talent! Emerging designers are eager and present fresh ideas! So when several emerging Fashion Designers from the Art Institute of Houston (AI) invited me to attend their fashion shows during AI Fashion Week, I was thrilled and happily accepted!  No one knows this, but when I first moved to Houston, I set up a meeting at The Art Institute of Houston to see if there was anyway I could go to school for Fashion Design part-time...It didn't work out but I've always been a fan of the quality of talent that the Art Institute shells out into the world ever year! These designers were Senior Fashion Design students presenting their senior collections!

One of the students was Lee Yates! I had never met Lee, but I believe he found out about me through Keesha Craig, another Senior Fashion Design student at AI, who's show I was walking in later that same week! It was super nice of him to invite me to his show, and I felt honored! Lee's show was at Noah's Event Center in Katy.  It was a super nice venue! If I lived closer to Katy, I would host events there all the time. I arrived early to the show, but the event team was ready for us early birds! I signed in and perused Lee's lookbook and then I was ushered into a room with light snacks and a bar! There was even a step and repeat for photos! 

I really enjoyed the collection! One of my favorite colors is red, and there was tons of red! I also loved the zipper detailing on some of the looks.  I've never thought about pairing red with grey before, but now it's all I can think about! I really loved the inspiration behind Lee's first collection for 2 2 8, the Phoenix! I was able to ask him a few questions on his collection, the show and plans post graduation:

What is the meaning behind the name 2 2 8?
2 2 8 symbolizes the date I was born, February 28th and it is the doorway to the creative mind that embodies my brand.

How long did you have to design your Senior Fashion Design Collection?
I had 9 weeks to sew my collection, but there were two classes we had to take before the production class to create our collection.

Did you have to put on a fashion show to graduate? 
We do not have to put on a fashion show to graduate, but I was told by my professors that the school plans to make it mandatory.

If it wasn't mandatory, why did you choose to do a show?
That's the dream every designer has; its just a goal in our lives.

Yes! I would definitely want to put on a show too! But, how did you have time to plan and produce a show, while designing and finishing your collection?
I really didn't set much time aside to plan the show. I just knew my vision and I choreographed the whole show & worked with an event planner to handle aspects of the event.

The show and the overall event was great!! You and your event planner did a great job! Tell us, what was the inspiration behind your collection?
The inspiration comes from the legend of the Phoenix; reawakening herself and rising from the ashes with the aura equivalent to a gem. The three stages displayed in the collection were: Charcoal, Ash, and The Phoenix. Throughout the collection you will see,  the Phoenix breaking free, gaining confidence, and rising above the ashes.

How beautiful! I love it! The legend of the Phoenix is one of my favorites and I really did see all 3 stages in your collection! What a beautiful metaphor! Now your show is done! You're probably relieve but what are your plans post graduation?
I see myself either building the brand or working in a design house!

Well of course I and the world will be waiting anxiously for your brand to grown and flourish, but if there was any designer or label that you would want to work for, who would it be? Cushnie et Ochs.

Great choice! I just discovered them last February during NYFW! Apart of your show featured looks that were design collaborations with other designers. Who were the designers you collaborated with and why? 
Yes, I worked with Paola Contreras, Alexa Dibiasio, & Phuong Le. I chose Paola & Alexa because they had a huge impact on my life as a designer. I chose Phuong because our styles are similar and I wanted to see where our minds would take us.

Which look was your favorite?
I love all my babies, I can't pick one.

After the show, we were able to take photos of and with the models still dressed in Lee's looks! I of course had to zoom in on some of those zipper details!


DISCOVER 228 by Lee Yates

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  1. I love the simple zipper details of his collection! Great shots Shasie!


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