A year ago Erick Tovar was an accountant with a dream of becoming a fashion designer. The Houston Community College fashion design student took a giant step toward his goal by winning the fourth annual Little Black Dress Project.
Judges thought that Tovar's expertly constructed black chiffon dress with leather detailing along the bodice and neck was the perfect mix of tough and tender fashion that is right on trend for fall.
Little Black Dress Project founder Jeff Shell reminded the audience what famed designer Coco Chanel once said: "Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman."
In this video, Tovar said in reinterpeting the iconic LBD he wanted to evoke a timeless era yet remain modern. "I came up with a very feminine (design), but mixed it up with the masculinity, with black and leather," explained Tovar, who entered the contest last year but didn't make the finals.
In introducing the finalists at the House of Blues Tuesday night, Little Black Dress Project founder Jeff Shell reminded the audience what famed designer Coco Chanel once said: "Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman."
Finalists took those words to heart by creating chic looks, incorporating trendy features like lace trim, exposed back and peplum jackets.
"This is my third year judging and I think the designers are really understanding the fashion business. The clothes are becoming made for the customer versus the artist aspect of it. Instead of conceptual, it's really for the consumer now," said ace fashion designer Chloe Dao, who was one of 13 celebrity judges.
Houston Community College student Mfon Ogbonna took second place, followed by Bao Tran, a student at the University of North Texas, Chanel Latouch, a student at Art Institute-Houston, and HCC student Chinaza Moses.
Other finalists were Rasheka Gomes, Jessica Obaseki, Jose Reyes, Martha Mtega and Kathleen Sheldon.
Click here to see the stylish attendees and Shell's late-night surprise.