Nashville Designers Joining the International Chic at Fashion Week



The brand-new extravaganza called Lexus Nashville Fashion Week has now announced all the designers that will participate in the city's first official week of runway shows, couture, cocktail parties, knowledge-sharing and networking. The event also celebrates Nashville by setting its glamorous events in diverse sites around town, from the Pinnacle to the Arcade, from an East Nashville church to the grand old War Memorial Auditorium downtown.

The kickoff is less than two weeks away — The five-day event runs Tuesday, March 29, to Saturday, April 2 — and organizers have crafted an impressive tapestry of fashion talent, both local and international players.

The full lineup was revealed earlier this week:

Final group of designers for Nashville Fashion Week announced, including six local Nashville designers and headliner Christian Siriano

Lexus Nashville Fashion Week announces the final group of designers who will show collections in runway shows, March 29—April 2, 2011. Throughout the week, shows will feature a total of 25 different designers (five each night), including Christian Siriano, winner of Project Runway’s fourth season, who has shown six collections at New York Fashion Week.

The newly announced group includes six Nashville-based designers, as well as T. Raines (formerly of Heatherette) and Aman Stovall. Nashville-based designers include Coquette, Jamie and the Jones, Melissa Tabor, Olia Zavozina, Valentine Valentine and White Rabbit.

This group rounds out the full list of Lexus Nashville Fashion Week designers:

Aman Stovall — Southern natives Brent Johnson and Mary Catherine Moody’s luxury brand, Aman Stovall, is defined by Italian fabrications, couture sewing techniques and modern influences. Johnson’s skills in modern tailoring mixed with Moody’s embellishment techniques began the partnership of Aman Stovall.

Coquette by Brooke Shipley — Coquette swimwear is a combination of vintage elegance and modern design that come together to create one of a kind garments, reflecting the uniqueness of the women who wear them.

Jamie and the Jones — Jamie and the Jones is a collaboration of classic forms and raw artistic beauty. Wearable colors and shapes, infused with intricate hand embroidery, knit, crochet and fabric painting, create an understated elegance that is uniquely Jamie and the Jones.

Melissa Tabor — Melissa Tabor is a Nashville-based women’s wear designer. She studied clothing design/marketing at AIU in Atlanta. She started her line in 2006 in Atlanta and debuted her first Nashville line this past fall.

Olia Zavozina — Olia Zavozina is a designer and manufacturer of high-fashion bridal gowns and bespoke menswear. Zavozina has been designing custom bridal gowns for the last five years and is now launching the Royal Elegance collection for retailers.

Valentine Valentine by Amanda Valentine — Raised on thrifting and quilting in Nebraska, Amanda Valentine's mother taught her to sew at age 8. After a degree in design and a stint in Los Angeles, Valentine landed in Nashville, where she is a wardrobe stylist and designer.

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.

T. Rains — Traver Rains (formerly of Heatherette), who recently took some time off to work on his photography, is debuting his new line, T. Rains. His cool collection of silk-screened tees, tanks and hoodies is in keeping with his cowboy style, and the collection has a retro-Western feel, employing '60s pop art and images from Rains’ own photography.

In addition, Christian Siriano will headline Lexus Nashville Fashion Week’s Thursday runway shows at the Crystal Fountain Church in historic East Nashville.

Just 25-years-old, Siriano is quickly building both a luxury brand and a name for himself in the fashion community. He has shown six collections at New York Fashion Week, and his work has been worn by everyone from Rihanna to Christina Hendricks. He is Payless’ top-selling collaboration, and his collection is sold at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue and internationally from Russia to Dubai. Siriano was the youngest winner of the hit series, Project Runway, in its fourth season.

Previously announced designers include: Akiko, Ben Sherman, Betsey Johnson, Cooper by Courtney Warren, Gado Gado, Gustavo Cadile, Julianna Bass, Katharine Kidd, Kevork Kiledjian, Leona Collection, Loretta Jane, Norma Clare, Robert Graham, Steven OO, Sylvia Heisel and Unioin of Angels.

Nashville Fashion Week’s five nights of runway shows will take place in some of the city’s most historic, landmark and unique venues. In selecting locations, organizers sought places that would showcase the city’s diverse and distinctive venues and provide Nashville Fashion Week guests with opportunities to see these places in creative, new ways.

On opening night, Tuesday, March 29, the venue will be in the private event space on the 22nd floor of the Pinnacle at Symphony Place with 360-degree views of the city. On Wednesday, March 30, the runway shows will take place in Nashville’s historic downtown Arcade, built in 1902 as the city’s first shopping center.

On Thursday night, March 31, the event moves across the river to East Nashville where runway shows will be staged in the Crystal Fountain Church, 1003 Russell Street. The neoclassical 1925 War Memorial auditorium is the venue for Friday, April 1. On Saturday, April 2, Nashville Fashion Week returns to the Pinnacle with a different look, setup and staging, but with the same spectacular views of the city. At each venue, Nashville Fashion Week sponsor, Big Events, is overseeing all production design.

Proceeds from the week also will promote up-and-coming local fashion folk via the new Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, "awarded annually to advance the career of select local talent with demonstrated experience in a fashion-related field."

Tickets for all runway shows and other events, plus the current schedule, are available online at Lexus Nashville Fashion Week’s website.

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