Between the flurry of voluminous brocade gowns, classic summer staples and bold graphic prints, it was easy to forget that designer Chloe Dao’s latest runway show was actually a charity event.
“It’s not about me tonight, it’s all about BPSOS,” Dao told the crowd at The Hess Club, moments before her spring/summer 2013 collection hit the runway. It benefited Boat People SOS, a grass-roots organization that equips Vietnamese Americans with basic necessities and professional development.
It might have been about BPSOS, but with Dao it’s also all about her clientele. Maintaining the flattering, body-conscious silhouettes for which she’s famous, Dao has created a collection that looks as stunning on her and her petite friends who walked the catwalk in a few looks as it does on the statuesque models.
Dao is still as focused on making women feel confident now as she was as a contestant — and the winner — on season two of Project Runway.
The gowns and cocktail looks were less ethereal than we’ve seen in the past, leaning more towards the architectural and structured — except for a few chiffon tops that featured an asymmetric tail hem, showcasing her signature romantic flair.
As for daytime looks, Dao's famous Talia dress and Megan halter tops sported azalea-hued floral prints and bold stripes in a vibrant summer palette. The busier patterns and tops were anchored by her simple white Jordan shorts. Lastly, her zigzag (think garnet chevron), ever-popular Peyton dress was on display in orange and royal blue.
As for the woman behind the eponymous line, Dao is still as focused on making women feel confident now as she was as a contestant — and the winner — on season two of Project Runway.
When approached by an attendee and complimented on the top she was wearing, Dao quickly said, “I’ll make you one,” before lifting it up to demonstrate how to wear it, aware of but indifferent to the fact that she was flashing her Spanx in front of a room of photographers.
It’s precisely that intense dedication to pleasing her clientele that gave Dao staying power on the reality show and that will likely continue bringing her success in Houston and abroad.