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Local and International Designers Debut Their Fashion-Forward Looks

Written By: Jordan Ligons and Gabrielle Abenoja Orange County Fashion Week 2016
Photographed By: Mark Hill

Orange County Fashion Week stunned this weekend, with showcases from designers we love, and designers we wish we started loving sooner. From Indian-inspired attire, to fashion fueled by one heroic little girl’s story, we covered it all.

Orange County Fashion Week 2016 Orange County Fashion Week 2016

Bling, Bling!

Orange County dressed to impress at the annual Runway Show for OC Fashion Week at the Laguna Design Center on Sept. 10. For the 15 designers, all of their hard work amounted to this moment and for the models, well, they strutted their stuff looking fabulous with their makeup and hair styled by TONI&GUY Academy. The audience, while sipping on their cocktails, lined the pathway-catwalk snapping, Instagramming and Facebook Live-ing the designs that decorated the runway. Orange County Fashion Week 2016

The designers all had a similar objective: to sparkle, shine, and shimmer. Throughout the show sequence twinkled in the spotlight and metallics were an accent that couldn’t be missed. Fashion by Rohini started the show with detailed Indian-inspired saris accessorized beautifully with elaborate nose rings and colorful headpieces. But, designer Marva Aylouche crafted a gold sequin skinny pantsuit that was just to die for. She paired it casually with a graphic T-shirt, which was very Rock & Roll, like The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” booming in the background.

The Australian brand URBAN PRIMA’s first look, designed by Carly Vidal, was a long sleeve teal sequin mini-dress that was a showstopper. The teal sequin kept throughout her line with pencil skirts, long gowns and even sparkly athletic leggings that are a closet must-have. Orange County Fashion Week 2016

Other designer standouts were Ionica’s classy black and white creations that were very Coco Chanel-esque—and had the pearls to match. Plus, Gladys Torres’ minimalistic and modern chic line had the audience making heart eyes, especially at her floor length linen jacket design. Finally Jonathan Jimenez finished the show with his stunning frill trimmed halter dress and textured gowns with high-splits; His ready-to-wear line had a glamorous 70s moment with a white cape wide-leg jumpsuit. It practically had the crowd screaming, “Yasss!”

Patterns, Prints, and Ballerinas – Oh My!

Day three of Orange County Fashion Week meets us with a delicious amount of sun, and the beautifully curated Laguna Design Center. As a warm breeze rustles through the trees, we are greeted by quite the show: the debut of one of Orange County’s newest children’s wear boutique, Occasion Kids; an adorable, heart-stealing performance by local ballet school, Tutu’s Ballet; and the stunning, Nigerian-inspired work of 11-year old international designer, Egypt “Ify” Ufele. Orange County Fashion Week 2016

The Occasion Kids collection gives us a sneak peek into the upcoming season as intended by the big names themselves – Versace: Young, Jean Paul Gaultier, Stella McCartney – classic, timeless, and back-to-school ready. The famed designers are but a few of the brands that the kiddie boutique carries and the newest season has got us wishing we were children 10 years old or under. Orange County Fashion Week 2016

With an effortless, and easy-going vibe, the young models strutted their celeb-inspired wear down the catwalk. Trends spotted ranged from classic and casual jeans + t-shirt combos, to fun, fancy jewel toned and floral patterned dresses and cardigans. Curated with a wide designer range, Occasion Kids is definitely a staple for the budding Orange County fashion-guru.

Next came intermission, or what we are going to call, “the epitome of adorable.” Simply dressed in pale pink tutu’s and Tutu’s Ballet tops, the three young dancers stole the hearts of the audience with their twirls, plies, points, and curtseys.

Hailed as an Ambassador of Peace, Egypt’s armor of choice against bullies, haters, and naysayers is fashion.

“My daddy comes from Nigeria and I love taking the patterns, fabrics, and styles from there and giving them an urban twist, ” said Egypt.

Bullied by her peers, Egypt found solace in the vivid colors and fabrics of her family’s Nigerian-roots. Equipped with her grandmother’s sewing machine, and a passion for fashion, young Egypt artfully began to craft clothing that spoke to the urban streets of New York. At the age of 10, she took New York Fashion Week by storm not only with her heroic story, but by making the statement of clothing for all shapes and sizes – Egypt Ufele became known as the first youth to bring models of a curvaceous nature to the runway. Toting the simple truth of, “No kid should ever feel bad about how they look.” Egypt allows her wearers to join her as anti-bullying activists and promote peace through her clothing.

At this year’s Orange County Fashion Week, Egypt’s models were vivacious and strong. With Cyndi Lauper preaching, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” Owning the catwalk was not a problem. With a confidence that can only be gained from bold, playful prints set against rich, deep, tones and accented with metallic details Egypt’s models glowed with pride at their cultural-meets-urban threads. Trends that stood out were brightly lined organic, easy-to-wear, free-flowing dresses, detailed tops, comfy bottoms, capelets, and cape cardigans.

In it’s entirety, the collection is not only bright and youthful, but powerful and strong. In the inspiring words of Egypt, “Always do your best. It’s important to always try, and give it your all.”

The upcoming season is made to instill confidence, fun, and the can-do attitude of a true Ambassador of Peace who wants to spread love, versus hate. Never has the phrase “You do you” been better exemplified. I look forward to future designs by the young powerhouse. Orange County Fashion Week 2016

Now, excuse us, as our new priority is to find ourselves our own Egypt Ufele Cape-Cardi.


Can’t get enough of OC Fashion Week? Sunday’s 3rd Annual MasterStylist competition made sure to turn heads. The Stepford Wives-themed event was held at Monarch Beach Resort, where spectators witnessed contestants transform before their eyes. It was a battle between local makeup artists, hair stylists, and overall glam squads to see who did the best impression. Plus, the participating models strutted down the catwalk with wardrobe provided by OnQue Style.

But, it gets better—you can vote for your favorite look here until Sept. 21. You can also make a donation to OC Fashion Council’s children charity spotlight: JDRF with a portion of proceeds going to TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy’s students to help fund their travels to elite training in Texas. May the most stylish win!

Laguna Design Center  Orange County Fashion Week 2016
23811 Aliso Creek Rd #105  Orange County Fashion Week 2016
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677  Orange County Fashion Week 2016
Your OC Fashion Week Stylin’ Runway Recap