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Friday Night Lights: Austin gets high fashion

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Photo by: Pablo Mejia | Staff Photographer
Runway model at the Austin Fashion Week on April 22.

Friday night of Austin Fashion Week was a more formal affair than the previous evening.

The night started with a gallery and finished with the runway. Many gallery designers had also been present Thursday night, but there were some new faces in the ballroom as well.

Make the Rest Up, a “mobile makeup van-ity,” is a makeup truck focusing on empowering women by donating a part of their proceeds to charities working to further female literacy and education.

Co-owners Natasha Russ and Anna Fugate-Downs had the official launch of their company in early April.

“We started Make the Rest Up because we wanted a new approachable way to get to makeup,” Russ said. “I feel like makeup options were either high-end or do-it-yourself, so we wanted to create something in between.”

Through Make the Rest Up, customers can choose from a la carte makeup options or a complete look. These looks are inspired by female celebrities who are also positive role models.

“We wanted to base our looks off of style icons who are also sources for good,” Fugate-Downs said. “We were specific on who we chose because we wanted the women we chose to represent diversity and empowerment.”

The Make the Rest Up truck is located at The Domain in Austin Thursday thru Sunday and takes appointments.

The runway shows at AFW on Friday night featured everyday looks, as well as evening gowns and bridal couture.

The Friday night event honored “style setter” Bobbi Topfer and benefitted the ZACH Theater. Models styling elegant looks from Topfer’s closet made their way down the runway.

One notable designer showcased on the runway was 15-year-old Lauren Nicole. Nicole started designing clothes at age 11. Models walked the runway to popular pop songs such as “Hands to Myself” by Selena Gomez and wore black and white vertical stripes, tulle skirts and metallic colors.

Samantha Huggins, a graphic designer at CW Print Services, came to her first AFW show this year.

“Lauren Nicole is my favorite designer from the first half of the show,” Huggins said. “There was one dress with a tulle tutu sparkly skirt that was amazing.”

Sally Daneshjou’s show opened and closed with live performances by singer Cass Neumann. The designer’s collection alternated between women’s clothes with a very feminine look to very masculine. The collection also featured many evening gowns.

The models in Linda Asaf’s show walked the runway to “Sweet Home Alabama” and other Southern rock songs. Models wore looks with a Southern feel including pieces with a lot of denim, metallic colors and fringe.

The end of the show featured evening gowns and stayed true to the Southern charm theme with a dress with a studded leather belt.

Gail Chovan’s runway show had models walk the runway with mesh bags over their heads. The designs included dark colored and used a lot of heavy material. During the final walk, models held the mesh bags in their hands.

Eunice Jeong, a fashion design major at the Art Institute in Austin, won tickets to Friday night’s show through a competition at her school.

“Gale Chovan is my favorite collection from the first half of the show,” Jeong said. “I like her use of music. Her designs were muted but powerful, and I think it is interesting that she used heavier material for a spring and summer collection.”

The Rare Trends runway show opened with a video and models carried props such as bikes, umbrellas and baskets with them as they walked. The collection featured designs with fringe, gladiator sandals and black leather accents.

Fans of Project Runway will recognize Gunnar Deatherage from seasons nine and 10 as well as Project Runway All Stars, season four. Deatherage’s collection was edgy, unique and had clothes with mesh accents.

Huggins came to AFW because she is obsessed with Project Runway.

“When I heard Gunnar was coming, I had to come see the show,” Huggins said. “Coming was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Ivy Hjornevik, a model for Neal Hamil Agency, walked Friday in her first AFW runway show. Hjornevik is moving to New York soon to pursue her modeling career full time.

“My boyfriend first inspired me to start modeling,” Hjornevik said. “I have walked the Austin Fashion Week brunch before, but haven’t walked in the show. I really liked walking in Gunnar’s show. His style is edgy, which is close to my personal style.”