Austin Fashion Week Wrap-Up: Long Live The Boudoir Queen

AUSTIN--Saturday evening, the Long Center for the Performing Arts played host to the conclusion of Austin Fashion Week with a series of runway shows including Boudoir Queen, Chloe Dao and Betsey Johnson, live music by SPEAK! and Zayra, and finally, an award ceremony honoring the voter's favorites. The evenings most impressive looks came from none other than Dawn Younger-Smith of Boudoir Queen. Known for her intricate 1920s vintage inspired frocks, Dawn has created custom items for rock star celebrities such as The Donnas, Imogen Heap, Karen Elson, and Courtney Love.
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AUSTIN--Saturday evening, the Long Center for the Performing Arts played host to the conclusion of Austin Fashion Week with a series of runway shows including Boudoir Queen, Chloe Dao and Betsey Johnson, live music by SPEAK! and Zayra, and finally, an award ceremony honoring the voter's favorites. The evenings most impressive looks came from none other than Dawn Younger-Smith of Boudoir Queen. Known for her intricate 1920s vintage inspired frocks, Dawn has created custom items for rock star celebrities such as The Donnas, Imogen Heap, Karen Elson, and Courtney Love.
Photo by David Weaver, courtesy of Austin 360.

Photo by David Weaver, courtesy of Austin 360.

AUSTIN--Saturday evening, the Long Center for the Performing Arts played host to the conclusion of Austin Fashion Week with a series of runway shows including Boudoir Queen, Chloe Dao and Betsey Johnson, live music by SPEAK! and Zayra, and finally, an award ceremony honoring the voter's favorites. The evenings most impressive looks came from none other than Dawn Younger-Smith of Boudoir Queen. Known for her intricate 1920s vintage inspired frocks, Dawn has created custom items for rock star celebrities such as The Donnas, Imogen Heap, Karen Elson, and Courtney Love.

Dawn began her intense love affair with the industry as a model, muse, make up artist and stylist to none other than the immortal Steven Arnold. With her hand in so many roles, it only seemed natural that Dawn eventually evolved into not only a detail oriented designer, but a copious creative director. Today, Boudoir Queen is a cohesive collection of one of a kind pieces inspired from years of cultivating and curating her amassment of vintage trims, interesting textiles and antique dolls. This influence was indisputable when viewing the Queens' latest crop of ethereal gowns. The six dresses sent down the runway this season were much more calculated and sophisticated than anything Boudoir Queen has put out prior, and as a collection really illustrates her range as a designer.

The author wearing a Boudoir Queen dress and a hat of her own design. Photo by David Weaver, courtesy of Austin 360.

The author wearing a Boudoir Queen dress and a hat of her own design. Photo by David Weaver, courtesy of Austin 360.

Her first look, and the opening look of the award show, was a breathtaking highly structured corset dress of vintage gold lame complete with a detachable constructed collar. This was followed by a series of gossamer fairy tale vestments of filmy, free flowing chiffon and beaded embellishments. A mauve, multi-tiered, feather embellished gown brought Boudoir Queens' show to a close and the crowd to their knees. It was a beautiful transformation of color and beauty, giving elements of the past a repurposed future. Each of the six looks were accessorized with a pair of Christian Louboutins, hand made Boudoir Queen jewelry and a custom I Love Factory head piece. [Ed. note: the hats were designed by the author, who also walked in the show!]

As creative director, Dawn's relationship to her assistant Shannon Gotshall is critical and their connection is unique. Shannon began working for Boudoir Queen as an intern through the University of Texas Textile and Apparel department. After only two months, she was made a permanent fixture at the little Austin atelier and plans to remain on board for the exciting things to come their way. They share a love of vintage treasures and have an almost telepathic understanding of the direction of the brand. When asked what Dawn would NEVER be caught wearing Shannon responded, "Dawn would never be caught dead wearing the same outfit as someone else. With her style she's pretty good at that. She definitely pairs unlikely items and pulls it off really well. She has a fantastic eye for fashion." Judging from her ever evolving collections, that's a fear Dawn will never see materialized.

You can shop the current collection as well as other custom pieces by visiting Shoptheboudoirqueen.com .

Laurel St. Romain is a milliner and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. You can see her hats on Ilovefactorybk.com and read about her life on Alltomorrowscostumes.com.