Even though the temperature was pushing 100, it was full-on fall last week at the Junior League of Houston's annual opening style show, which saw models—both professionals and League volunteers—strut their stuff down the Tea Room runway in fashionable fits curated by Tootsies creative director Fady Armanious.
The "beloved League tradition," as president Jayne Johnston called it, drew 300 guests to the 2019 program, which this year returned Tootsies to the mix and nixed the usual additional afternoon show in favor of one high-energy evening.
An interactive "VIP lounge" also preceded the main event, where a smaller group of attendees mixed, mingled, and sipped specialty cocktails—the tres chic French 75—while enjoying mini manis from Cherry Nails, hair touchups by Fringe Salon and Color Bar, and clean beauty tips from Switch2Pure.
The show, called "Fashion Unlocked" this year, showcased high-shine, high-volume looks lewks in keeping with the season's hottest trends, which Armanious outlined for guests before his models hit the catwalk. First, "anything that catches a light," he said. "That means glitter, sequins, lamé, crystals, velvet—it's all back, big time."
Next was "spots, stripes, and snakes"—i.e. all-over animal print, from leopard to python, in everything from bags to boots. "It's a trend that's staying for a while," Armanious said. "We love it and we embrace it."
He also emphasized the "dark romance" of autumnal florals—think the chicer, vampier cousin to springtime blooms in deep hues like blue and gold.
In terms of texture, slip-like satin is having a major moment, as are laces and pleats—the latter even sometimes mixed together.
The '80s revival continues this season, too, "in all its glory," he added, noting anything that "pumps up the volume" and adds a dose of drama—like shoulder pads, puffy sleeves, statement necklaces, chunky shoes, and exaggerated silhouettes (especially in capes, coats, and gowns)—is trending. "And yes, that means big hair also," Armanious said. "We are in Texas."
Guests oohed, aahed, and Instagrammed each fabulous ensemble, featuring high-end pieces from Alice and Olivia, Marchesa, Veronica Beard, Caroline Herrera, and more.
In true Junior League fashion, the crowd enjoyed a three-course meal after the show when the Tea Room served up salad, braised beef short rib, and the League's signature pecan ball for dessert—plus a full bar. Guests left in high spirits with swag bags and a heavy dose of fall fashion inspiration. Now, if only the weather would cooperate.