Houston’s Asian American Archive Walks the Catwalk with Ascend AAPI Spring Fashion Show Rice News | News and media relations

Culture is always in style. On May 20th, the Ascend AAPI Spring Fashion Show will transform the Houston Public Library’s historic Julia Idson Building into a beautiful and fun runway show from 2-5pm.

The fashion program is part of “Our Vibrant API Community: Selections from the Houston Asian American Archive” (HAAA), which tells personal stories that reflect the deep and diverse contributions of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities to the fabric of Houston. The exhibit runs through June 3 at the Julia Idson Building Gallery, 550 McKinney St.

A joint project between Rice University’s Chao Center for Asian Studies in the School of Humanities and Fondren Library’s Woodson Research Center, HAAA has grown since its inception in 2010 to include nearly 450 recorded interviews and oral histories from Houston’s AAPI communities, in addition to many more. Other items are now on display at the exhibition, including campaign posters from political candidates, community events and many other artifacts.

“The Asian American and Pacific Islander community is distinguished by a treasure trove of outstanding artists who have graced our world,” said Anne Chao ’09, HAAA program manager and assistant professor in the School of Humanities. Our show shows three. Fashion designers, Chloe Dao, Tina Zulu and Anthony Pabilano, represent some of the creative and innovative talent in Houston.

Dao is an American fashion designer and television personality who lives and works in Houston. She was the winner of the second season of the reality show “Project Runway” for the women’s evening wear collection. For the past 21 years, she has been running Dao Chloe Dao Boutique, also known as Lot 8.

Zulu leads the creative exploration known as Kimono Zulu. Filipino American, Zulu presents a collection of reimagined Japanese kimonos. Kimono Zulu draws on the rich cultural heritage of Japanese clothing, particularly the kimono, and its influence on other cultures throughout Asia and the West.

Houston-based Filipino artist Pabilano currently explores weaving in the Filipino bayong style, a traditional bag made from dried leaves, but with the use of materials and shapes that are not expected today.

Cutloose Hair and Oribe are hair sponsors for the fashion show, and several past contestants of the Miss Chinatown Houston Scholarship Pageant will be featured as models.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Due to limited seating, the show will be streamed live at the Houston Public Library’s Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza and online on the Houston Public Library’s Facebook page.

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