Alexa DiBiasio Shows Her Collection
at Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week
The Houston Art Institute Graduate Debuts
"Fierce Meets Feminine" Fashions in The Big Apple
By Michelle Leigh Smith
Alexa DiBiasio, 24, has joined the elite rank of fashion designers who’ve officially made it big. Showing one’s collection during New York Fashion Week marks official arrival on the American fashion scene. She debuted her first collection for A. DiBiasio Tuesday, February 17 at Lincoln Center.
“I always felt like I was a creative being, I just didn’t know how to bring it out,” confides the young designer. “Studying at The Art Institute brought it out of me. It helped me come out of my shell. Of course, the professors there are amazing. They brought it out of me, they not only taught me how but they showed me how. I received a lot of opportunities from connections I made at The Art Institute.
“Professors like Jane Hall, who taught me patternmaking and Marina Saba, from whom I learned illustration showed me how to be a creative individual while keeping the technical side of design at the forefront,” she says.
DiBiasio graduated from Klein Collins High and lives in Spring with her four-year-old son, Cameron, who joined her in the Big Apple on the day of the show, February 17. “
Her major muse direction comes from Olivier Rousteing, who was named creative director for Balmain, at age 25. “Olivier is one of my key inspirations. “He is so young,” says DiBiasio. “He has an eye for design and embellishments. It’s so refreshing. Every piece looks so rich and it draws you in.”
“London’s Alexander McQueen is hands down my all-time favorite. His shows are so innovative. It is extremely captivating and that’s what I think fashion design is all about.”
Her rise to the top has been dizzying. “I showed my senior collection at the Audi Momentum BMW on Richmond a year ago,” she says. “It’s crazy. I still haven’t wrapped my head around it. When I was in school I worked for Houston-based Chloe Dao, who won season two of Project Runway. Once I graduated, I worked as designer David Peck USA’s patternmaker.”
Houston designer David Peck worked for Paco Rabanne in Paris and launched his own collection in Houston five years ago. "I'm so happy Alexa has been presented with this opportunity," says Peck. "It's exciting to see Houston talent at New York Fashion Week."
“Now I work for Francesca’s Collection as their fashion stylist for their website," says DiBiaso. " I’ve stayed around fashion and I continue to practice and perfect my skills. I’m still learning customer service and what they are looking for. I feel like I’ve taken the steps to prepare me for NY Fashion Week.
The collection is called "Fierce Meets Feminine" and represents a balance between hard vs. soft. Leather is juxtaposed with chiffon. Wool and sateen form soft silhouettes sharpened with military touches, finding a harmony in something that would normally be self-contradicting.
“It’s an all-black collection, so I had to bring it to life through the textures,” says DiBiasio. “I took the idea of military cording and worked it through the collection. There are jackets made of military cording, jackets with cording as belt or shoulder pieces or vests.”
“I derive my influences from anything that evokes a feeling,” DiBiasio explains. “I take the feeling through the design process and create pieces that show that feeling. That makes it come alive for me."
Where does she see herself in five years? “Hopefully working for a large design house. I would love that. I don’t necessarily want to have my own line; I want to work for a well-established design label.”
Her family and support team in NYC included Susanne Behrens, the new president of The Art Institute, her professors Hall and Saba and many, many friends. In Houston, The Art Institute held a viewing party of the runway show in NYC and served lite bites and “Mocktails”.Fans may follow Alexa DiBiasio at http://instagram.com/A.Dibiasio.
To view live streaming videos and rebroadcasts of all of the runway shows at New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week through February 19 visit: mbfashionweek.com/live.