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The Next Big Things: Up-and-coming fashion designers celebrated in an arty Texas Southern University night

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259 Melanie Lawson, from left, Toni Whitaker, Alvia Wardlaw and Elizabeth Anyaa at For the Sake of Art June 2014
Melanie Lawson, from left, Toni Whitaker, Alvia Wardlaw and Elizabeth Anyaa. Photo by © Jay Marroquin
237 model E'Lexus Thomson, left, and designer Linda Morgan Sodders at For the Sake of Art June 2014
Model E'Lexus Thomson, left, and designer Linda Morgan Sodders. Photo by © Jay Marroquin
255 Drucie Chase, from left, Peter Thornton, Hazel Biggers and Cheryl Elliott Thornton at For the Sake of Art June 2014
Drucie Chase, from left, Peter Thornton, Hazel Biggers and Cheryl Elliott Thornton. Photo by © Jay Marroquin
229 model Essence Berry, left, and designer Gabrielle Sauls at For the Sake of Art June 2014
Model Essence Berry, left, and designer Gabrielle Sauls. Photo by © Jay Marroquin
78 Cesar Galindo, from left, Lora Clemmons and Elizabeth Anyaa at For the Sake of Art June 2014
Cesar Galindo, from left, Lora Clemmons and Elizabeth Anyaa. Photo by © Jay Marroquin
212 model LeKeisha McCullough at For the Sake of Art June 2014
Model LeKeisha McCullough. Photo by © Jay Marroquin
90 model Shevell Currie at For the Sake of Art June 2014
Model Shevell Currie. Photo by © Jay Marroquin
71 Wilbert Taylor, left, and Alvin Wardlaw at For the Sake of Art June 2014
Wilbert Taylor, left, and Alvin Wardlaw. Photo by © Jay Marroquin
50 Karen Franklin, left, and Faith Stone at For the Sake of Art June 2014
Karen Franklin, left, and Faith Stone. Photo by © Jay Marroquin
49 Andrea Bonner at For the Sake of Art June 2014
Andrea Bonner. Photo by © Jay Marroquin
259 Melanie Lawson, from left, Toni Whitaker, Alvia Wardlaw and Elizabeth Anyaa at For the Sake of Art June 2014
237 model E'Lexus Thomson, left, and designer Linda Morgan Sodders at For the Sake of Art June 2014
255 Drucie Chase, from left, Peter Thornton, Hazel Biggers and Cheryl Elliott Thornton at For the Sake of Art June 2014
229 model Essence Berry, left, and designer Gabrielle Sauls at For the Sake of Art June 2014
78 Cesar Galindo, from left, Lora Clemmons and Elizabeth Anyaa at For the Sake of Art June 2014
212 model LeKeisha McCullough at For the Sake of Art June 2014
90 model Shevell Currie at For the Sake of Art June 2014
71 Wilbert Taylor, left, and Alvin Wardlaw at For the Sake of Art June 2014
50 Karen Franklin, left, and Faith Stone at For the Sake of Art June 2014
49 Andrea Bonner at For the Sake of Art June 2014

What: For The Sake of Art 2014.

Where: The University Museum at Texas Southern University.

The 411: More than 200 art and fashion patrons gathered for the biannual fundraiser highlighting 14 up-and-coming fashion designers who were asked to create imaginative and dramatic wearable art inspired by the TSU museum collection. Following a runway show, in which Houston Chronicle fashion writer Joy Sewing and Dallas curator Phillip Collins commented on the designs, judges Cesar Galindo, Elizabeth Anyaa and Lora Clemmons narrowed the list to six finalists and selected the winners.

For the first time in the competition’s history, one designer, Linda Morgan-Sodders, won First Prize, Most Creative, and the People’s Choice Award. Her hand-painted avant-garde design was a tribute to jazz with an asymmetrical composition created with grommets rather than traditional seams. Second place went to designer Krystle Holnes for her hand-woven rope skirt and paper jacket and third place was awarded to John Sweeney for his dramatic red, black, and white ensemble with hand-painted rust cape.

During a cocktail hour, guests enjoyed music by The Evidence Jazz Quartet, bid on a silent auction on works by Houston contemporary artists Robert Pruitt, Regina Agu and Jamal Cyrus, and viewed the exhibition Playing by Dragon Rules: The Art of Abidemi Olowonira and Gregory Michael Carter.

Who: The fashionable crowd included gala chairs Cheryl Elliott Thornton and Peter Byron Thornton, honorary chairs Drucie Chase and Hazel Biggers, TSU president John Rudley and Docia Rudley, Cheryl and Percy Creuzot, Paige Cawthon, Alison Leland, Merele Yarborough, Dina Alsowayel and Anthony Chase,  Melanie Lawson, Annette and Arthur Bracey, competition coordinator Andrea Bonner, fashion designer Toni Whitaker, Selven O’Keef Jarmon, Michael Perenteau, and Sarah and Willie Trotty.                              

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