Friday, February 24, 2012

A Plethora of Nashville Fashion Week Designers Announced


Lexus Nashville Fashion Week Announces Participation
by 11 Local and Emerging Designers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 24, 2012) — The organizers of Lexus Nashville Fashion Week continue an ongoing commitment to showcasing local and regional talent by announcing a group of 10 local and emerging designers who will participate this year.

An emerging designer installation on Thursday, March 22 at Marathon Music Works will showcase six local designers as well as the inaugural recipient of the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund. Thursday’s installation includes:

Amy Breen – Amy Breen’s first original design (when she was nine) was a neon-striped bathing suit. She grew up in Philadelphia where she was influenced by street style and graduated from Moore College of Art and Design with a BFA in Fashion Design and Textiles. She spent a semester at Parsons Paris, spent time working in New York for Nanette Lepore, and traveled to Australia for designer Aurelio Costarella. Amy moved to Nashville and launched amy.b. design as a harmonious mix of comfort and style.

Black by Maria Silver – After touring the world with garage rock bank, the Ettes, designer Maria Silver set out to create a chic and travel friendly collection for women. Silver is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and has worked for the prestigious costume design house, Carelli Costumes. She has also worked on Broadway shows including Mama Mia42nd StreetGypsyJesus Christ Superstar and Flower Drum Song.

Brittany Blair – Nashvillian Brittany Blair is an apparel design graduate from the University of Alabama. She interned in New York with designer Catherine Malandrino, showed her first full collection for the Fall 2010 fashion show at the University of Alabama, and participated in the first annual Birmingham Fashion Week. Blair now lives in Nashville and is opening a combined upscale restaurant/boutique called Kocktails & Kouture in the Gulch, slated to open later this year.

Julianna Bass – Julianna Bass is the recipient of the inaugural Nashville Fashion Forward Fund award, made possible with the proceeds from Lexus Nashvillle Fashion Week. Bass was born in Pulaski, Tenn. and attended Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro where she studied apparel design and costume design. She launched her eponymous collection in 2008 after design studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Last spring, she presented her Autumn/Winter 2011 collection at Nashville Fashion Week and photographed her Spring/Summer look book in her hometown of Pulaski. Bass currently lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Pink Elephants – Nashville native Truly Alvarenga’s collection concentrates on edgy designs with intricate layers of detail, and her designs range from radical rock and roll to youthful Harajuku. She recently interned with Anna Sui and currently divides her time between her studio and workshop in Hanover, N.H. and her design base in Nashville.

The Trunk – Abigail Franklin and Kyah Hillis have joined forces to launch Trunk, an alternative retail space. Trunk is the first mobile fashion and accessories boutique in the Southeast and one of the first in the country. Franklin owns the men’s fashion collection State, and Hillis owns Sleeveless, a premium accessory brand that specializes in leather goods for women.

Tuft – Jessica Jones attended O'More College of Design and received the Distinguished Designer awards for both her junior and senior collections at O'More's annual fashion show. She created her brandTuft with a focus on pairing laid back sensibility with classic silhouettes in bright hues and bold patterns.

At other runway shows throughout Nashville Fashion Week, four other local emerging designers will present collections: Valentine Valentine, White Rabbit, Jamie and the Jones, and Leona. Each of these designers showed a collection during Nashville Fashion Week 2011.

Valentine Valentine by Amanda Valentine – Amanda Valentine was born and raised in Nebraska, the youngest of five children. Her work includes remnants of her Midwest upbringing—clean shapes and color blocking—layered with darkness, humor, and nods to the richness of culture and history. She creates a hybrid of references, marrying international culture with pop culture. She earned her degree in clothing, textiles and design—and began in professional career in Los Angeles as a wardrobe designer for her brother’s first music video, “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5. The scope of Valentine’s work since her move to Nashville includes television, major commercials and a growing list of musicians. The Valentine Valentine collection will be shown Tuesday, March 20 at Marathon Music Works.

Leona – Lauren Leonard is the creative mind behind Leona. Leona redefines the term Southern belle from Manhattan to Tokyo, balancing whimsical detailing and sophisticated silhouette. Leonard creates from her studio in Nashville. Her clothes have been worn by Taylor Swift and Giuliana Rancic, and seen on the television shows “Gossip Girl” and “90210.” Leonard was recently recognized as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year from the University of Alabama and as one of Apex Society's Atlanta's Top 30 Under 30 for accomplishment in business. The Leona collection will be shown on Wednesday, March 21 at Marathon Music Works.

White Rabbit by Shea Steele – Shea Steele is a Nashville based designer with a keen eye for bold elements. White Rabbit garments and accessories reflect a background in fine art and employ striking combinations of volume, proportion, color and shape to achieve maximum impact through minimal means. Steele also owns Local Honey, a Nashville boutique known for its support of local designers. Her White Rabbit collection will be shown on Friday, March 23 at Nashville’s Parthenon in Centennial Park.

Jamie and the Jones. – Jamie and the Jones is the brainchild of Nashville designers Jamie Frazier and Hannah Jones. The duo discovered their mutual appreciation for slow process design as sophomores at O’More College of Design. Their collective skill at creating clothes that combine clean silhouettes with painstaking handwork (knitting, crochet, embroidery, beading, and hand painting are all hallmarks) brought them high honors from O’More during both their junior and senior years, when they were awarded the Critic’s Choice and Distinguished Designer awards, respectively. Jamie and Hannah have continued to produce their line from their studio inside Local Honey, Nashville's premiere source for local design. Their collection will be shown Saturday, March 24 at the Pinnacle at Symphony Place.

Nashville Fashion Week, March 20 – 24, 2012, is presented by Lexus and sponsored by The Mall at Green Hills and the Hutton Hotel. Event sponsors for the week include Big Events, Grand Avenue Chauffeured Transportation, Jive Digital Printing, Music City Tents & Events, Nashville Event Lighting, UAL, O'More College of Design, Wondergraphics, Fashion Bytes, Sassy Bitch Wines and Lipman Brothers, OFE, Taylor Christian Jones Photography, Marathon Music Works, MACS|AMAX and SnapShot Interactive. Media sponsors are SouthComm (Nashville SceneNFocusHer NashvilleThe City Paper), Graffiti,, and Yelp. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is a community partner.

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