Seven Designers to Feature Exclusive Creations
Saturday, November 1, 2014
DALLAS, TX – Against The Grain Productions has selected seven emerging and established Asian American designers to join their elite roster of Presenting Designers at their upcoming Fashion for a Passion charity event, one of Dallas’ hottest must-have fashion tickets and charity events of the fall season. Now in its sixth year, the evening showcases the talent of Asian American artists and springboard for careers, while serving as a place to bring together the entire community to celebrate up and coming talent and raise money for a worthy cause. Designers have launched careers with the event, including Khanh Nguyen of Nha Khanh, who started as a UNT graduate and within a few short years has since gone on to be featured in Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Hanh Dang of Lucy Dang, went on to win the title of Texas’ Next Top Designer and is now carried in Belk. The event benefits ATG’s supported orphanages, scholarships for student artists and leaders and community outreach programs to inspire, educate and entertain the community.
Fashion for a Passion will take place on Saturday, November 1st at the Three Three Three First Avenue, located at 333 First Avenue near Dallas Fair Park. From Vietnamese, to Thai, to Filipino to Chinese, this year’s diverse slate will showcase some veteran FFAP designers, as well as introduce new faces, including two firsts – a bridalwear and a jewelry designer. Said Tammy Nguyen Lee, ATG President/Founder, “It’s hard to top ourselves each year, but we always manage to add a unique twist that keeps things interesting for our audience. This year is no different, and you won’t want to miss what we have in store. We’re in a cool, new venue, and we’ve got another terrific line-up with some designs our audience has never seen before. Our team is hard at work to share some truly amazing talent and raise money for our many causes.”
Introducing the 2014 FFAP Presenting Designers:
Becky Hollands’ inspiration comes from her love of art, architecture, and her own bi-cultural upbringing. Growing up in a family with both Chinese and British parents, she learned the balance of expressing her ideas liberally yet in the most exquisite manner. You will find in her designs innovative selections of textiles, expressive clash of lines, and forms and textures which come together in a harmonious state of elegance and agility.
Becky’s work is often described as modern and timeless with a note of “effortlessness.” The Becky Hollands label is a celebration of the individualistic woman who is confident, artistic, and the ultimate “modern sophisticate.”
Becky is 29 years-old and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Apparel Design and Manufacturing and minors in Art, Portuguese and Mandarin from Texas Tech University. The Becky Hollands debuted its first collection in October 2013. The Becky Hollands label offers seasonal ready-to-wear collections. Becky Hollands Atelier launched in January 2014 specializing in custom couture designs.
Design inspiration: Her inspiration comes from her family, different cultures, architecture and her surroundings. Her designs represent elegance and effortlessness in a contemporary and versatile way. Utilization of form and movement are prevalent in her work.
Honors/Awards: She was greatly involved as Representative in Dean’s Leadership Council, Fashion Group International competitions and received the Glenna Goodacre Scholarship for Creativity.
What does it mean to go Against The Grain: “To ‘Go Against The Grain’ is not losing sight of your goal and not giving up on your dream. It takes not only an indomitable spirit but perseverance to not lose vision of the path you have chosen. To ‘Go Against The Grain’ is having the will to make it work, despite what the obstacles you may encounter.”
“For me, being involved with Fashion for a Passion is having the opportunity to have a voice. Not only will I be sharing my vision through my designs as a fashion designer… so much of who I am and my inspirations come from my bi-cultural upbringing and this is an opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate Asian American culture, artistry and identity.
I am so honored ATG has extended the opportunity for me to present at Fashion for a Passion. I hope to represent my community, inspire others through my work, and support the arts and raise awareness while representing ATG.”
JERRY MATTHEWS | NINE MUSES
Jerry Matthews is the 23 year-old Filipino/Polish creative director/ designer of a Dallas-based women’s luxury label Nine Muses. The luxury women’s label was founded in 2012 by Matthews and his partner, Francesca Viamonte. Both designers attended and met at the Art Institute of Dallas in 2008.
Design inspiration: Simplistic, modern clothing for an edgy, fashion-forward who aspires to be chic and timeless. Each season, the collection is inspired by nine muses.
Honors/Awards: First Place in the 2008 Art Institute of Dallas’ “National Fashion Design Scholarship Competition” and “Outstanding Graduate in Fashion Design” in March of 2012
What does it mean to go Against The Grain: “Doing what you believe in regardless of what is expected of you. Going above and beyond.”
“Fashion for a Passion is such a great cause and event that holds such sentimental value to me. Years ago as a student, I remember wanting to be a presenting designer and now it’s my third year showing and my fourth year participating. It feels awesome to do what I love while giving back to a great cause and working with such passionate/ talented people.
I want to help raise awareness and help in any way I can. This particular event gets bigger and better every season and it’s an honor to be apart of.”
BRANDY PHAM | BRANDY PHAM JEWELS
When it comes to jewelry, it’s personal. Whether it’s costume or fine jewelry, every piece has a meaning behind it. For Kansas-born, Hawaii-raised and New York City-based 30 year-old Vietnamese designer Brandy Pham, each design in her collection reflects her personality and her personal journey. Every little detail in each piece has been inspired by her loved ones, childhood memories, by her affinity for detail and everyday surroundings. Her creative vision can spark from the simplest details such as freshly cut ribbons, curves of scallops and beautiful intricate lace. Her love for creating clothes inspired her recent needle collection and a trip to Paris led the cylinder collection to be sculpted after beautiful door handles. She studied at Art Institute of Dallas, then received a BFA at IADT Tampa and trained in New York City.
“Made in New York” epitomizes the Brandy Pham brand. After quitting her day job as an assistant designer in fashion, Brandy started designing jewelry in her 400-square-foot apartment turned studio. Brandy’s jewelry is produced in the heart of New York City — the awe-inspiring Garment and Diamond District. Each piece is designed, handmade, and hand polished with care and love.
Brandy designs for the young lady she is and for the woman she wants to become. The Brandy Pham woman sees beauty in everything. She is positive, strong, and feminine. She is ladylike with a modern edge. She is elegant but cool. She is timeless. Brandy’s jewelry has been featured in major publications such as Lucky, Teen Vogue and Nylon; and has been worn by beautiful and talented women such as Selena Gomez. Her collection is sold in stores such as Anthropologie (US and London) and DKNY stores in NYC and London.
Design inspiration: Chic minimalist, a little uptown femininity with downtown cool, inspired by New York City and the women
Honors/Awards: Gates Millennium Scholarship by Bill & Melinda Gates
What does it mean to go Against The Grain: “I came from a very traditional Vietnamese family and I was the first family member to pursue an education and career in the arts. My parents didn’t understand or supported me in the beginning so it was very hard. I had to build the courage to put my feet down and strive for what I really wanted to do in life. My family is full of doctors, so I really had to go against the grain to fight for what I wanted and prove to my family and to myself that I was capable to succeed in fashion.”
“I think it’s a great organization as I am Vietnamese and love to support the community as much as I can; I received a full ride scholarship for college so that meant the world to me since my parents were unable to help us with finances.
[I hope to] lend a helping hand in the community and support education and the arts.”
Mai Pham is 25 years-old and was born in Oklahoma City. Shortly after, her parents moved them to Texas. Ever since, she has been a native Texan brought up in a traditional Vietnamese family. Mai recently earned her B.F.A. in Fashion Design from The University of North Texas. The skills acquired during her studies at UNT has developed her into the person she is today. She has much more to learn and is eager to do more with herself. Her philosophy in life is to “dream big, the sky is the limit.”
Design inspiration: My style and aesthetic is feminine elegance with a modern twist. My inspiration comes from anything architectural designs to music and mood. I enjoy playing with texture as well. I have always loved art as far as I can remember. I enjoy solving problems. I enjoy creating things. I combined everything that I enjoy doing and that was how that happened for me.
Honors/Awards: UNT Art Wear 2nd place Best Collection Award, Little Black Dress Designer 1st place Award, CVAD Wool design scholarship
What does it mean to go Against The Grain: “Stay true to who you are, despite all the looks and whispers. There’s always going to be obstacles that you must surpass. Fight for what you believe in. Fight for your passions.”
“I feel very honored to be a part of Fashion for a Passion. To be able to present my work alongside talented designers will be amazing! To be able to help raise money to help orphans is beyond amazing! I feel so blessed to be a part of this good cause. To be a part of something so passionate is already an accomplishment.
I want to help others that are less fortunate. If I can do that while doing what I love… there’s nothing more that I could ask for.”
HUE TRAN | LIZZI LONDON
Hue Tran is a 29 year-old emerging women’s wear fashion designer born in Vietnam, but raised in London, England. She is the fifth of eight children. She graduated from the University of the Fine Arts in London College of Fashion, where she obtained a Higher National Diploma in Pattern cutting degree in 2005 at the age of 20. She rapidly established a fashion portfolio thereafter in 2003 and eventually secured a highly coveted slot in the 2005 London Fashion week assisting Designer Customer’s Own Property. She takes inspiration from surrealist artists Salvador Dali and fashion designer John Galliano, who have led her desire to observe visual, manipulated materials and mold on bodies as an alternative to blank canvases and flat drawings. Building a reputation for her intriguing gift, she credits her first big break in Houston, TX, where she established her clothing line, Lizzi London.
Hue quickly became a part of Texas’ thriving creative scene and started developing a distinct visual voice locally. The common thread that runs through her work is a no-holds-barred attitude and a penchant for bold experimentation. Crafting the whimsical, Hue became an overnight sensation to the various fashion showcased at local charity events, gala and productions. She has been featured in over 70 productions across the nation in cities such as New Orleans, Biloxi, Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, Virginia, D.C, Providence and New York. In addition, she has experience in styling Vietnamese celebrities from “Paris by Night” and Van Son Entertainment, editorial photoshoots, music videos, coordinating runway shows, hair and makeup styling. She has appeared on ABC/KTRK TV Channel 13, HI Saigon Radio 900AM, MFC Media TV and Cognac Corner TV, Black Tie Magazine (New York), Viet BeautyMagazine, Yellow Magazine (Houston), LA Mode (Dallas) and many more.
Design inspiration: Femininity, romantic, sophisticated, direct, confident, aspiring, underestimated, timeless, Audrey Hepburn inspired
What does it mean to go Against The Grain:
“I believe that being a fashion designer is a beautiful gift that I can contribute. But it means so much more when you are able to give back – to be able to teach and inspire. Against The Grain Productions has a purpose, it communicate in volumes and generates that spark to know with the smallest kindness and the collaboration of others, we can create moments and changes in people’s lives. By standing up and having a voice leading to action, we are ‘Going Against The Grain.’”
VATANA WATTERS | WATTERS
Vatana Watters is an established name in the bridal world, designer of Thai descent who offers innovative and luxurious styles for brides, bridesmaids, junior bridesmaids, mother of the wedding and flower girls around the world. It all started 29 years ago in Dallas, Texas, with a few dresses handmade for friends and family. Turns out, there was a niche for well designed special occasions dresses, and it caught on in a big way. By the late ’80s, her company, Watters, was a treasured name in the bridal wear industry.
Always looking forward, the company continues to evolve and currently offers designer bridal gowns, affordable bridal gowns, bridesmaids, junior bridesmaids, mother of the wedding, and flower girl under the brand names of Watters, Wtoo, Collection 20, Seahorse. In 2012 the Encore collection was launched – stylish dresses designed to go from cocktail parties to rehearsal dinners to post wedding events.
In 2013 Vatana Watters introduced Watters Veils by Toni Federici and Watters Accessories by Thomas Knoell collections to help brides to exquisitely finish their look.
Vatana Watters continues to be at the heart of the company and is passionately involved in setting the design tone. Her inspirations emanate from her heritage, experience on both coasts and the desire to reflect the spirit of the times. Vatana recognizes that design is where it starts, but not where it ends. And that’s why Watters continues to be appreciated for being a cut above for quality and responsiveness.
Design inspiration: Vatana’s inspiration emanate from her heritage, experience on both coasts and the desire to reflect the spirit of the times. She recognizes that design is where it starts, but not where it ends. And that’s why Watters continues to be appreciated for being a cut above for quality and responsiveness.
Honors/Awards: Over the years, Watters has been fortunate to receive design awards for innovation, rave, reviews in the press and to be chosen for quite a few celebrity appearances and weddings.
What does it mean to go Against The Grain: “When I started making bridesmaids gowns in the mid ’80’s, I offered an alternative solution to the big puffy sleeves and bows. I decided to ‘go Against The Grain,’ and it paid off in a great way, due to hard work, determination and staying true to my vision.”
“I’m honored to be part of Fashion for a Passion to show that determination and hard work can shape your dreams into a successful career.”
DORA YIM | d.p.c.
Design inspiration: Images and colors I experience in nature and the urban jungle.
Honors/Awards: Emerging Designer featured at WWD Magic, Emerging Designer featured at the Phoenix Fashion Week
What does it mean to go Against The Grain:
“I’m proud to be an Asian Fashion Designer and honored to be part of the show. Not only can I support the organization but also through the show, it will give me a great channel to reach a bigger audience and let people recognize my brand.”
This year’s show will again be emceed by two of Dallas’ most talented and beautiful public figures — LeeAnne Locken, an actress/spokesperson and regular fashionista on the social scene, along with Elizabeth Dinh, a morning news reporter for KTVT CBS 11, who is also a former Miss Asian American Texas and Ambassador for Against The Grain Productions.
Event tickets range from $50 for General Admission, $75-$100 for VIP/Reserved and will go on sale in mid September. Visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com/events for more information. Sponsorship opportunities are available by emailing Fundraising@AgainstTheGrainProductions.com.
Watch the 2013 Fashion for a Passion Highlight video:
ABOUT ATG AGAINST THE GRAIN PRODUCTIONS
ATG Against The Grain Productions is a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to producing films, media, programs and events that promote awareness and unity of Asian American culture, artistry and identity. A little out of the ordinary in its methods, ATG is an innovative resource that gives voice to significant, relevant and untold stories in our community. ATG creates educational, cultural and artistic opportunities fox Asians an Asian Americans, while continually reaching out and helping those in need. ATG is made up 100% of volunteers – no one is paid, except in smiles. Administration and marketing costs are kept to an absolute minimum so nearly 100% of donations can be given away.