Alexandria von Bromssen’s line, House of AvB, was created in 2008, celebrating an endogenous style of fashion, catering to both men and women. Hailing from Sweden, Alexandria first entered the fashion world modeling throughout Italy, Spain, Greece, and Australia. She later fell in love with designing and holds a Masters of Arts Degree from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Currently based in the San Francisco/Bay Area, she opened her Red Square Boutique in 2010, which also serves double-duty for her Camp Couture, a children’s sewing camp. Aside from all this, she is probably best known for being runner-up on Season 12 of Project Runway. She was definitely one of the most popular and talented contestants the series has ever had. One of her many current projects includes giving back to the community at large and nurturing less privileged youths by exposing them to discovering creative joys through the beauty of fashion and design. It’s clear that the doctrine of creating our own destiny is what has taken her to where she is today.
Alexandria von Bromssen presented her 2017 Winter/Fall Collection at SACFW this past February, where she also included and featured young designers from Camp Couture. Alexandria has traveled the globe three-times over, from the Egyptian pyramids to scaling the peak of Kilimanjaro, finding haven in natural vortexes. All of these organic energies are clearly being channeled through her latest design collection. They are both tortured yet romantic; both organic and otherworldly; both feral and raw, yet exquisite in every divine detail. Earth, water, fire, and air are all represented in a mastery of illusion.
It’s probably no coincidence that she believes in equality for all, and relishes in the diversities of all. The presentation was titled – A Twisted Fairy Tale. Best be described as a mad genius mash-up of American Horror Story, meets Snow White, or even The Adams Family, meets Chronicles of Narnia.
I was very fortunate to be able to take a trip to San Francisco to drape with Emily Payne, a fashion designer who appeared on Project Runway season thirteen, at Britex Fabrics.
Unfortunately, she did not make the cut. Although, she did gain numerous of fans and came across to many acquaintances after the show. As I was sitting there and observing her, I realized she has a unique way to create a look or style without using any proper accessories to take measurements, which is draping. “The reason why I drape it’s because I hate measuring”, said Payne. She says she gets cool ideas by making mistakes while draping, which I personally think that’s a great suggestion for any designers. Many questions were asked by others who went to this event such as, “which designer does she follow if there’s any?” and “what kind of fabric does she love the most?”. She said Thomas Tait within seconds as if she has been admiring his collections for a long time. She also mentioned Rick Owens; Both designers are huge in the fashion industry! Here’s an interesting theory: Emily Payne’s collection, Leather Tongue, looks similar of both Thomas Tait and Rick Owens. When she asked about what kind of fabric that she loves, she said boiled wool. “I don’t know what it is, but I love the way it looks and feel” said Emily Payne.
She was also questioned about her appearance on Project Runway. She mentioned some scenes were edited, some events were happening in real life, but the production crew asked if they could “re-act” again. She also mentioned that Project Runway didn’t allow anyone to have any source of anything that could possibly give them an inspiration to design. Emily Payne might not have won season thirteen of Project Runway, but she won another fan after what she has said about the fashion industry; and I quote, “Every idea has been sewn, drape, re-create, put together already. It’s not always about becoming the first one to create a unique look. Getting people look at your stuff is the hard part.” Tough industry.
To find out more about Emily Payne and her current collection check out her website LeatherTongue.com
It was a whirlwind of light and color at the Annual Hair and Fashion Battle. The Scottish Rite Center pulsated with music as arriving guests posed on the red carpet for descending photographers. Was this still our sleepy city? With the growing arts scene in the Midtown area and ever more creative types setting down roots in the Sacramento area. Talent is booming in the Capital City.
This year’s Hair & Fashion battle was a brilliant display of our local talent. Hill Tribe Fusion, Tyniece Hall, Latiya Gholar, Raul Designs, Shazaam Studios, Zarah’Nized Wear, J’aime Deorosan’s Fashions, Evolution Salon, Beauty Intoxication, Hair Gon Wild, Marinello School of Beauty, Sacramento City College Beauty School, Federico School of Beauty and special guest Daniel Esquivel from Project Runway.
Esquivel opened the event and showcased modern and conceptual looks that wowed and impressed the crowd. He also acting as the show’s lively host, kept things upbeat facilitating a spirit of camaraderie among designers. The room went reverently silent as Esquivel’s first model entered strutting fiercely to the heavy beat in a black-feathered A-line dress. The breathtaking collection with its dark conceptual drama and wearable separates and gowns looked like it would be just as breathtaking in a boardroom or gala as on the catwalk. The Project Runway designer delivered on his sophisticated signature style.
The designs of Tyniece Hall followed. Her collection set the precedent for what would be a fantasy driven show. Opened by a guardian-like forest nymph who stood ceremoniously overseeing the show scepter in hand as models sashayed past, Hall’s designs were urban-ethereal. With looks such as gauzy bell-sleeved gowns, dark hooded street-wear type cloaks and a two-piece maxi dress with fabric like the sky, fairytale met modernity in an effortless way.
Hill Tribe followed suit with the magical vibe this time including mythical creatures. The designs were expertly crafted out of paper boasting ringleted saloon girls and origami unicorns pausing to dance the robot at the end of the runway. Zarah’Nized Wear showed several gold and black looks inspired by flamenco dancers and Brazilian carnival. Latin music piped the soundtrack as two male models carried a goddess in rainbow tulle down the catwalk on a throne.
Moving past fantasy, designers explored other fictionalized realms such as Shazam Studios’ reincarnation of the Wild West. With bronze and silver cowboys and girls flashing faux-firearms to match models strutted to the song of the same name. J’aime Deorosan presented a whimsical line for adults and children modeling looks speckled with harlequin ruffles and racing checkers. The final collection presented was by Latiya Gholar took home the who created a stunning line of otherworldly burkas, some highly modern with 1960’s floral prints and others hearkening back to Shahrazad with alluring gold and black metalwork.
This year’s battle was an inspiring display of elegance and whimsy. Who knew Sacramento’s fashion scene was so fantastically inspired? With creativity to spare and serious design chops, the capital city’s fashion scene will not remain fable for long. Designer Latiya Gholar took best desinger and Hair Gone Wild took best Hair. Hair and Fashion Battle producer Marlett Berry also has a brand new event coming up April 16th with America’s Next Top Model Cycle 17 winner Lisa D’Amato hosting. The event titled “Ultimate Ladies Day Out” will feature not only a Shopping Expo and Fashion Shows but all the pampering and product giveaways just for the ladies.