Houston fashion designer Alexa DiBiasio, left, makes a curtain call after her presentation at New York Fashion Week.

Sleep hasn't really been an option for up-and-coming designer Alexa DiBiasio since last October. 

That's when the Art Institute of Houston alum first heard about the opportunity to show her collection during New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center as part of the fourth The Art Institutes fashion show. In two weeks, she whipped up a dozen sketches and two completed garments for her application, finding time in between her dual roles as the senior stylist for Houston-based fashion and accessories brand Francesca's and as mom to her four-year-old son, Cameron.

DiBiasio estimates that over 100 Art Institute fashion students and graduates applied for the 12 spots to show at fashion week, so she was thrilled when she nabbed a spot. Cue four more months of late-night designing.

"I really wanted everything fresh and new, so I started from scratch," said DiBiasio, who hand-stitched embellishments on a palette of nothing but black. "I did base it on my senior collection, which was about the balance between hard and soft. I took that and pushed it one step further and added a military vibe to it, something a little more edgy. I love the contrast between leather and chiffon."

With all the fashion week details—model fittings, makeup, hair, music—taken care of by the organizers, DiBiasio spent her time in New York celebrating with family and friends—she even tattoed the date of the show on the back of her arm. When it was time for the presentation, DiBiasio had a front-row seat alongside her son.

"I've never actually had a chance to see my own fashion show before, so that was really neat," said DiBiasio.

Like Chloe Dao and David Peck, two designers that DiBiasio interned for while earning her degree, she's looking forward to being part of Houston's burgeoning design scene.

"Houston is growing and it's trying really hard to be a fashion city, and I would love to be a part of that up-and-coming group that really pushes it forward," says DiBiasio. 

What else is on her agenda? First she's going to catch up on her sleep. After that we'll have to wait and see.

 

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