Pride Houston and STRUT cohosted this year’s Rock the Runway last Wednesday, June 20 at Audi Central. The annual fashion show is one of many events that precedes the Houston Pride Parade.
The event grows every year, and it’s not just the LGBTQ community who shows up. Friends, family, partners, and supporters from all walks of life come to celebrate #loveislove.
“That’s what everyone talks about, the love. All night I have gotten so much love, and I love it,” said Pride Houston president and CEO Lo Roberts.
Intent on putting on a couture show, Pride Houston joined forces with STRUT, a local fashion organization with experience hosting runway events in the Bayou City. For Rock the Runway, “We wanted to do something a little bigger for our 40th anniversary, honoring our past and embracing our future,” Roberts said.
Together, the committee chose to feature three designers who specialize in couture and ready-to-wear: Lombana by Jessica Lombana, Chasity Sereal, and Danny Nguyen Couture. “The [designers] were diverse enough to represent everybody that was here, and I think the crowd really appreciated that, because it wasn’t just a reflection of people who felt like they could never be,” said STRUT co-founder Omar Lisandro.
Lombana by Jessica Lombana opened the evening with a collection designed exclusively for Rock the Runway. This was the designer’s third consecutive year showing at the annual Pride event.
“It’s a huge honor because the LGBT community have been my biggest supporters since I started,” said the designer, who originated her brand at the Art Institute of Houston and launched in 2015 with a showcase at RA Sushi. “The collection was inspired by Pride, it was inspired by club wear, by being very sexy and very revealing. I wanted to show people that you can definitely dare to wear things that are outside the box.”
Models walked the runway in revealing bodysuits paired with tights and fur vests, swimsuits, and leather skirts.
“Colombian women are sexy, and we are very revealing by nature," Lombana added. "It’s part of who I am ... it is part of my roots. Being Colombian is the foundation of my brand.”
Chasity Sereal’s Lady Godiva Spring/Summer 2018 collection–previously seen at last fall's Runway Houston–was inspired by the relationship between Mother Nature and woman. Sereal experimented with materials typically used for edgier clothing and altered them into “something soft and delicate to the eye,” she said. Rich hues of purple and green blossomed on the runway and exuded a Christian Dior ballerina vibe with fitted bodices and extravagant tulle skirts.
“I believe the fusion of the woman and the flower emits the purest essence of blood, God’s gift, life itself,” Sereal explained. “The woman, fragrant and delicate, but far from fragile, is the creator of storms and strength of the earth. The allure of her presence is unparalleled, and her soul is rooted in an ethereal eternity.”
Growing up, Sereal was called Lady Godiva by her father; the nickname stuck and remained close to her heart throughout her future creative endeavors.
“I thought about what God’s gift is, not just to me, but to everyone. God’s gift to earth is nature, and God’s gift to man is a woman," Sereal said. "If you think about women and nature, they go hand-in-hand. Make us mad, there’s a storm. Be good to us, we’re going to blossom.”
Finally, Danny Nguyen Couture closed the evening with his Fall/Winter Ready-to-Wear 2018 collection. He was inspired by rock and roll, freedom, and self-expression, using sequins, lace, tulle, and pleather in his designs.