Fashionistas flocked to Conroe this month to see Danny Nguyen's Spring/Summer 2019 collection, fresh off the Paris Fashion Week runway. Nguyen also showed the latest collections from his bridal line, L'Atelier Wedding, and Negris LeBrum at The Carriage House, an award-winning venue.
Nguyen told Houstonia he chose the venue based on recommendations from new Outer Loop clients. The Carriage House chapel, a separate space on the property, featured floral gowns from Nguyen's SS18 collection. Metallic and sequined pieces from the FW18 collection lined the aisles all the way to the altar, which held suits and wedding gowns from L'Atelier Wedding.
"It was a walk down the aisle into a new venture, my wedding line," Nguyen said.
While Nguyen has the name recognition to carry his own show, he still invites other local designers to participate in his events. "You can't isolate yourself from other designers," he said. "It's not healthy."
In that vein, the evening began with the Negris LeBrum's SS19 collection titled "Pinkish" in honor of Ruth Finley, founder and publisher of the CFDA's iconic pink-sheet Fashion Calendar for more than seven decades, who died in August.
"Each season I create something that is dedicated to Mrs. Ruth, and she just happened to pass this year," said Travis Hamilton, designer and owner of Negris LeBrum. "The collection features pink, and pink was one of her die-hard colors."
The brand—known for its retro-classic silhouettes—featured pantsuits; turtleneck jumpers; and sleeveless, turtleneck A-line silhouettes paired with Hamilton's block bags, a top trend in accessories this season.
"Retro classic, for me, is endless," said Hamilton. "The only thing changing is the fabric. The cuts don't change."
For this collection, that meant silk, sheer, and quilt-like embossed fabrics.
"I love the slip dress," Hamilton added. "It's super simple, but it looks so good."
Nguyen's recent venture into custom couture bridal came next. The L'Atelier Wedding SS19 collection featured soft, romantic gowns with dramatic trains. Models walked arm-in-arm with stand-in grooms or flower girls and carried floral bouquets "inspired by Crazy Rich Asians," Nguyen said.
The final look wasn't a classic white gown, but rather one with hints of pink. Nguyen wanted to show that brides can stray from tradition and look beautiful on their big day while thinking outside the box. He carried the theme through with nontraditional flower girl gowns and ring bearer suits, avoiding anything "too simple" in favor of more elaborate, couture looks for the smallest members of the wedding party.
"It went with the theme of the carriage," Nguyen said. "I wanted it to be like a royal wedding."
The final installment of the evening was Nguyen's SS19 couture line, which featured 12 looks.
"Next year will be my 10th year as a designer, and I wanted to go back to my Asian roots," he said. "There was red for life and black for death; yin and yang, a balance. The floral represents the cherry blossoms which is new life in the Asian culture."
Guests also saw lion dances, an ancient tradition in Chinese culture often performed on Chinese New Year and at weddings to conjure fortune and good luck in the future.
Nguyen's stunning finale look—red, the hue of luck and happiness—was layered with about 120 yards of tulle.
"It's like a phoenix rising from the ashes," Nguyen said.