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Fashion / Style File

Fashion Newcomer Paola Contreras Wows with Fall Collection

BY FRANCINE BALLARD WITH NOTES FROM HANNAH SWIGGARD // 04.13.15

What drew fashion and society A-listers Jana Arnoldy, Katie Brass, Carolyn Farb, Shannon Hall, and even Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s press secretary, Darian Ward, to an Upper Kirby District garage last week?The draw was an inspiring presentation from break-out Houston designer Paola Contreras. More than 200 guests gathered for a cocktail reception that featured bites by chef Manuel Pucha from Table Restaurant and an upstairs runway show featuring 26 looks from the local designer’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection for Inclán Studio.

Metallic separates and layered asymmetrical looks came down the runway, raising eyebrows in the front row and giving life to the notion that Houston may have hatched a new superstar. Contreras, a recent graduate from The Art Institute of Houston, named the collection after her grandmother, who she calls a strong role model. Before launching her own collection, Contreras got her start as a runner-up in Jeff Shell’s Little Black Dress competition. Her show — produced by Aurora Perez Smith of Occasio Productions — sets a high bar for the young designer for seasons to come. The collection will be available via pop-up boutiques at various Houston retailers, starting mid-August.

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