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Fashion Week New Orleans Honors Industry Pioneers at Awards Gala

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As a part of their continuing efforts to recognize, build and bring awareness to the Gulf Coast fashion industry, Fashion Week New Orleans recently held its inaugural Fashion Awards Gala. The gala took place at The Joy Theatre and was the finale’ event to FWNOLA’s week-long fete of southern and emerging designer runway fashion shows. Divided into nine categories, the gala honored and shined the spotlight on individuals that have made a significant mark in the southern fashion industry and have help shape the local fashion community. It also recognized up-and-coming individuals that continue to carry the torch in building the Gulf Coast fashion industry.

In addition to the awards ceremony, guest enjoyed a fashion presentation sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue, vocalist Antonia DeShannon performed, a silent auction to benefit NO AIDS Task Force, tasty bits by Jacques-Imos and specialty cocktails by JFB Sorel.

Fashion Week New Orleans begin March 2011 and have showcased over 200 runway fashion shows, presentations and networking events in it's dedication to building and recognizing the Southern fashion industry. The annual event celebrates all things fashionable in a week long affair, giving designers, retailers, hair and makeup artist a platform to display their talent in a series of runway shows, fashion events and exhibitions and awards gala. Fashion has quickly becoming an important contributor to the New Orleans culture and is celebrated in conjunction with the city’s legendary cuisine, music, art, and film industry.

View the photo list to read about each honoree.

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Award Honorees
Award Honorees Ron Carr

Award Honorees

Photo from left to right: Ellen Balkin for Ogden Museum, Bonnie Broel, Harold Clarke and Robert Hudson.

Bonnie Broel – Fashion Design Award
Bonnie Broel founder of House of Broel started her business in New Orleans over 35 years ago by making dresses to order for her clients.   She specialized in creating custom design gowns for brides, debutants and Mardi Gras queens.  Over the span of her career, Broel is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the first to be awarded the International “ROSE” Award (Retailer of Style and Excellence) and Fashion Group International Lifetime Achievement Award.

Harold Clarke, Harold Clarke Couturier Atelier –
Lifetime Achievement Award, Presented by St. Charles Avenue Magazine
Harold Clarke, a student of F.I.T., has been in the fashion industry for over 30 years. He is an award winning couture designer who applies advanced technique and resources to create a collection that displays the New Orleans’ experience through fashion. This year Clarke celebrates 20 years in New Orleans. Many celebrities such as Patti LaBelle to Delta Burke   Training and mentoring the next generation of fashion designers is a high priority of Clarke, who continues to lecture and assist students studying fashion.

Robert Hudson – Makeup Artist Award
Robert Hudson interest in makeup artistry started in 1975 when he was working as an extra on a feature film. He was intrigued with the transformation of the actors and after taking task of applying makeup to the other extras on the film set he realized he had a natural skill for “painting faces”. This was the beginning of a career that included working with Vogue Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, and Milan, New York, Miami fashion weeks, as well as many celebrity clients. Hudson has received national recognition for his makeup artistry, as well as over 25 FGI’s Alpha Awards and was selected as one of Gambit Weekly’s “Seven Men We Love,”

Dr. Lisa McRoberts
Dr. Lisa McRoberts Ron Carr

Dr. Lisa McRoberts

LSU Professor, Dr. Lisa McRoberts receives her Trailblazer award from Tracee Dundas, FWNOLA's Founder and Creative Director with Chriss Knight, event emcee.

Trailblazer Award
Trailblazer Award Ron Carr

Trailblazer Award

Dr. Lisa McRoberts – Trailblazer Award
Department Head at LSU School of Fashion Design, completed a couture specialization in Paris and established her custom couture business. Now she is creating jobs in several industries while connecting the Louisiana swamp with the fashion industry by using one of the state’s most interesting resources – the alligator.

Hairstylist Award
Hairstylist Award Ron Carr

Hairstylist Award

Albert Brown – Hairstylist Award
Albert Brown has handled an A-list of clienteles since he opened his salon in 1962. He has been the go-to stylist of many local and national celebrities and has been instrumental in bringing a taste of Hollywood to New Orleans many years ago. Brown prides himself on always being a family-driven business and staying on the cutting edge of style.

Accessory Design Award
Accessory Design Award Courtesy of Mignon Faget

Accessory Design Award

Mignon Faget – Accessory Design Award
A fifth generation New Orleanian, Mignon Faget has flourished in the culture and traditions of her birthplace.  Her design career began in 1969 with the launch of her first ready-to-wear clothing collection. However, shortly thereafter, because of her interest in natural and architectural forms and her studies in sculpture at Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University, her focus and talent shift to designing jewelry and accessories. Since then, jewelry has become her all-consuming interest in the field of design. She has been recognized throughout her career for her philanthropic efforts and have created exclusive designs for fundraising purposes to aid various organizations such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, New Orleans Museum of Art, and NOCCA.

Ogden Museum
Ogden Museum Diana Mirfiq

Ogden Museum

Ogden Museum – Institutional Leadership Award
A gift of art from Roger Houston Ogden and his father to his mother nearly 40 years ago marked the beginning of a collection that today forms the heart of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.  The museum is home to the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art in the world. Its mission is to broaden the knowledge, understanding, interpretation, and appreciation of the visual arts and culture of the American South through its events, permanent collections, changing exhibitions, educational programs, publications, and research. The museum recognizes artistry by presenting fifteen educational programs yearly, one of which is the Fashion Camp which gives middle and high school students a creative outlet to learn about fashion design. The Ogden Museum also host biennially “Haute and Handmade – a biennial fashion show of Southern culture.

Sandyha Garg
Sandyha Garg Ron Carr

Sandyha Garg

Emerging designer Sandyha Garg receive Top Design Award from Tracee Dundas. Garg competed against eight other emerging designers from the southern region in FWNOLA's Top Design Competition 

Sandyha Garg, Top Design Winner
Sandyha Garg, Top Design Winner Ron Carr

Sandyha Garg, Top Design Winner

Sandyha Garg – Fashion Week New Orleans Top Designer Award
Sandhya Garg, was one of eight emerging designers via for the title of Fashion Week New Orleans Top Designer.  Garg, a resident of Birmingham, AL;  is a graduate from the London College of Fashion, specializing in women’s wear and .polished her skills at International Design Studios training at Alexander McQueen, learning various pattern cutting techniques; to hand embroidery craft, and vintage knitting-lace making at the Gucci factory in Italy.  The Top Design Competition shines the spotlight on a new generation of emerging designers in a fashion competition with a highly coveted prize package.

Alex Corporan
Alex Corporan Diana Mirfiq

Alex Corporan

Alex Corporan – Model Walk-Off Award Presented by JRP New Orleans
Alex Corporan, from Pensacola, FL was named winner of FWNOLA’s Model Walk-Off. He was selected by talent scout Craig Magleby during Fashion Week runway shows in which over 60 models from around the Gulf Coast participated.  Corporan was awarded a scouting trip to Los Angeles, CA sponsored by JRP New Orleans.

Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue Diana Mirfiq

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue fashions showcased cocktail and evening dresses with accessories from New Orleans jewelry designer Jess Leigh in a fashion presentation at the first Fashion Awards Gala held at Joy Theatre.