Texas Next Top Designer Named A Winner, and We Approve

Every last photo is by Bianca Montes

It was a rather beautiful scene on Friday night, despite the chaos. There's just something meditatively calming about watching lovely clothes stroll around pool. We got that, repeatedly, at the Texas Next Top Designer Awards Gala. Topping off the evening was the big announcement that our local seamstress superhero, Lucy Dang, snatch up the statewide title -- a well-deserved victory.

But we also got something unexpected on Friday: Confused.

Lack of clear billing has become too common at Dallas runway shows, and we should correct it if we want our designer's names and lines to flourish. It's imperative to know who made what.

There were certainly technical issues that might have been to blame for the miscommunication; nobody in the media section could understand a word coming from that microphone across the pool -- everyone who spoke into it sounded like adults in Charlie Brown cartoons. It's possible that one of the voices offered a verbal strategy to the order of presentation, but we sat flummoxed, whispering to one another for guidance and coming up dry.

The pacing of the show was quick, and with only three looks a piece and models entering and exiting from different sides of the swimming pool, collections blended together -- especially when the next designer was using a similar color scheme.

There was an inkblotted '50s raw silk cocktail dress that I would buy today if I knew where to find it. A safari jumpsuit that I'd write paragraphs about if I knew who to credit. And a reverse-kicking hemlined skirt paired with a cashmere-like transformative wrap sweater that stopped my heart. But who made it? I may never know.

Even Lucy Dang, who won the award -- golf claps all around for Ms. Dang, we're quite proud of her -- gave three looks that felt uncharacteristic of her previous collections. They seemed to lean more on texture than silhouette. I would not have guessed that they belonged to her, and I've monitored her clothing at three other fashion shows in the last year.

The mission of Texas Next Top Designer is an important one, and putting together an event of this size is extremely difficult. I'd even go further to say that we might not have the well of talent that was offered on Friday night if groups like Texas Next Top Designer weren't here. They built a launching platform for local talent, and that's positively wonderful. But next time -- and yes, I'm also looking at you Dallas Fashion Week -- let's give clear billing and credit during the show, after is too late. Without these talented men and women, we'd just be watching glamorous giraffes walking naked around a swimming pool.

Now, here's clothes:

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