Though this was the first year BCRC formally reached out to the Austin School of Fashion Design for art bra submissions, not all students of ASFD are new to the theatrical event. In fact, Irela and Tahiri’s first experience with Art Bra® Austin was backstage helping our Art Bra Models get stitched into their art bras and costumes before the show. They were a HUGE help to us, and in the process were able to get up-close and personal with some of our clients and witness the inner-workings of the event. It’s safe to say these two artists were immediately hooked! The feeling is certainly mutual – we at BCRC could not be more delighted to receive these beautiful submissions from Irela Casanova and Tahiri Carrasco!
“The Brave Princess”
Irela Casanova, a native of Mexico, has been interested in apparel design for as long as she can remember. Her interest led her to enroll at the Austin School of Fashion Design (ASFD), and the rest is history! A well-rounded artist (she dances, paints, writes and does photography in addition to apparel design), Irela’s first Art Bra Austin experience was last year as a volunteer. She says, “When I volunteered, I can’t lie, I cried a little bit. I was inspired by how strong the women were — their stories made me smile from the inside. All of these woman are brave not only for surviving, because that is only one part of life, but for doing it with such love and happiness, and smiling no matter what.”
Irela’s fashion style runs the gamut from bold to subtle — for example, one of her favorite fashion icons is Audrey Hepburn, but she also appreciates those who have a rebellious side to them. “I love the classics, and I love anyone who defies expectations, too.”
Irela Casanova worked with very particular colors to put together this piece which in her opinion represents the bravery and grace of breast cancer survivors – red for boldness and white for pure beauty. The neck and sleeves evoke the princess theme of this bra, while the golden, diamond-shaped armor and red cape indicate the theme of bravery. This bra, as Irela points out, also reflects how inward bravery illuminates outward beauty. “The idea behind the piece is that these woman are all real princesses — and they deserve to be. They are all brave. It’s not about external beauty; it’s about internal beauty. They are all beautiful and brave, hence the name.” We could not agree more, Irela. When worn, “The Brave Princess” demands elegance and grace – its design is beautiful and we can’t wait to show off Irela’s design center-stage on the runway!
“Matadora en Vogue”
Tahiri Carrasco is another student of the ASFD who also volunteered at Art Bra Austin last year. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in biology and business foundations, Tahiri decided to immerse herself in the fashion community. Since then, she’s established clientele in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and throughout Texas. As a volunteer alterations seamstress at Art Bra Austin, Tahiri was part of the team that made sure each model’s bra fit perfectly on the big day. Tahiri’s involvement in the event, coupled with the fact that she’s had several family members diagnosed with cancer — including her boyfriend’s grandmother, who is a breast cancer survivor — led her to submit a bra this year. “After seeing how much fun the models had and how fun and creative the designs were, I decided to participate as an artist this year,” she explains. Of her fashion sensibility Tahiri said, “Many times I draw my inspiration from my Hispanic roots. I take pride in my Latin culture and will often incorporate this influence in my pieces.”
With this piece, Tahiri Carrasco drew on her Hispanic roots to immerse herself in the romanticism of Spanish culture. Designed to resemble the intricate uniforms worn by the valiant and fearless matadors in Spain as they face menacingly powerful bulls, the bra comprises black sateen cotton fabric, gold trim, gold rope and thick interfacing for the shoulder pads. Created in honor of Shirley Goff, “Matadora en Vogue” also pays tribute to Tahiri’s fashion inspirations: Chanel, Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera. The art bra will take center-stage during the Runway Show, joined by several other beautiful creations inspired by the flair and drama of Latin culture!
ART BRA AUSTIN
All art bras will be auctioned off at BCRC’s signature charity event to raise funds to support local women affected by breast cancer. To learn more about Art Bra Austin, visit www.artbraaustin.org
Art Bra photography generously provided by Flashbax23.