Byline: Rusty Williamson

DALLAS — Paul Blair’s social occasion and bridal collections are inspired by European couture houses, including favorites Christian Lacroix and Gianni Versace.
But don’t envision fanciful attire that’s accessible to only the very thin and very wealthy, because Blair designs for modern women who want functional fashion.
Silhouettes and colors are simple, while fabrics and trims are rich, said Blair, citing, for example, a gold silk crepe column with Austrian crystals gently sprinkled across the bust.
Blair started his business in a small way about a year ago with some custom work and capsule orders for women’s specialty stores across the U.S. His spring collection is at the mart in 3G25, home to the Dallas Design Initiative, or DDI.
The DDI space is devoted to fashion newcomers who realize there’s strength in numbers. Several young designers show there, and members in the group include a wide range of fashion industry folk.
Blair’s wholesale prices stretch from $295 for a simple silk column to $850 for more dramatic styles. Spring selections include dresses, suits and some bridal.
Blair’s foundation in evening attire is apparent in his resume. Before starting his own company, Blair was a design assistant to Victor Costa and the late Michael Ballas.

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