Runway Sneak Peek
Designing trio — Aries Milan, Toni Whitaker, Lauren Craft — readies Kate KillsPretty for Fashion Houston
The Coquette Boutique owner’s collaboration with legendary local designer Toni Whitaker and jewelry ingénue Lauren Craft sum up her fashion leanings perfectly. The result is a collection that meshes her avant garde affections with fresh takes on African and Hawaiian prints and shapes.
Milan’s Westheimer boutique is humming with energy as she, Whitaker and Craft work out the last minute details for the Kate Kills Pretty collection. It’s also a bit of a love fest. This is Milan and Whitaker’s second venture together and they are both honest about what makes their pairing work so well.
Milan’s Westheimer boutique is humming with energy as she, Whitaker and Craft work out the last minute details for the Kate Kills Pretty collection. It’s also a bit of a love fest.
“She’s so talented and has the technical skills I don’t have,” Milan says of Whitaker.
And Milan, Whitaker admits, pushes her in new directions, right down to fabric choices. “We finish each other’s sentences,” Whitaker says.
The duo’s designs are a departure from the playful cocktail wear debuted last year. Dip-dyed jumpsuits, stretch georgette dresses, shorts, leggings are standout items in the 27-piece collection that ranges from $1,000 to $1,500.
Houston artist Kelley Devine is also including her Dangerous Game T-shirts in the show.“It’s a bright colorful line, a fun and entertaining collection,” Milan says. “We want people to have fun at the show. Fashion isn’t stuffy. People in Houston want to watch a production.”
Adding to the oomph factor are the bold organic pieces by Craft. She works with Kukui nuts, shells, coral and sea urchin injecting a tribal feel. The chunky necklaces and oversized bracelets combined with the Kate Kills Pretty designs reflect much of what was sent down the spring/summer 2012 runways.
It’s a collection Milan hopes will push Houston style setters to step out of their comfort zones and runs parallel to how she shops for her store. She exclusively carries Sass & Bide and looks for the unexpected when buying for Coquette.
The same is true for the collection's seemingly in-your-face name. An ardent follower of Kate Moss, Milan chose the name Kate Kills Pretty as a homage to her and other famous Kates. She explained to CultureMap that Moss' edgy gorgeous style always "kills" it, giving the name of collection a double meaning.
“I have developed a good clientele and want people to try different things with fashion,” Milan says. “Houston is starting to break out of its shell.”
Aries Milan shows her Kate Kills Pretty collection next Tuesday (Oct. 11) at Fashion Houston at the Wortham Center. For details click here.