Vatana Watters, bridal designer and CEO of Watters Bridal and first-time bridal presenting designer at Fashion for a Passion
We are proud to highlight Vatana Watters of Watters Bridalfor this month’s Going Against The Grain feature. For the past three years, Watters has been a generous supporter of ATG and Fashion for a Passion, donating gorgeous dresses for auction to the delight of brides-to-be. In addition to providing new looks for auction, audiences at FFAP will get to see highlights from Watters’ bridal, bridesmaid and even flower girl collections float down the runway for the first time ever in her debut as an FFAP (and our first-ever bridal!) presenting designer.
Check out one of our wonderful FFAP media sponsors DFW Style Daily‘s feature on Watters Bridal, too!
Full Name: Vatana Watters Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand Current City: Dallas, Texas Ethnicity: Thai
What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”
When I started making bridesmaids gowns in the mid ’80’s, I offered an alternative solution to the big puffy sleeves and bows. I decided to ‘go Against The Grain,’ and it paid off in a great way, due to hard work, determination and staying true to my vision.
Over $20,000 Raised for Orphanage, Outreach Programs and Scholarships
DALLAS, TX – Dallas-based nonprofit ATG Against The Grain Productions hosted its the 3rd Annual Fashion for a Passion (FFAP) charity event this past Saturday night at Studios 1019 in the Dallas Design District. The show broke organization records with guest attendance of over 300 supporters who joined to raise over $20,000 net for ATG’s supported orphanages in Asia, year-round outreach programs and the Artistic Scholarship to support Asian American students pursuing a degree in the arts. This also includes a $3,000 commitment donated by a sponsor for an additional leadership scholarship, to be awarded next year. The event included a silent auction, art exhibition, musical performances, and a runway show with live auction.
Top auction bids for the night went for Watters’ “Yardleigh” organza strapless gown for $1,000, as well as Nhã Khanh’s green charmeuse cap sleeve dress and nude cocoon dress, which created a bidding frenzy and fetched a combined total of $1,725. The generous designer, who got her start with FFAP and has participated in all three events, quickly donated a third piece for auction to the losing bidder, much to the guest’s delight.
The 2011 FFAP roster of seven designers included Texas’ Next Top Designer finalist Ann Hoang, Art Institute graduates Cac Lam of CacJudi and Kyle Ramirez of Playful Ambitions, Hanh Dang of Lucy Dang, NYC-based menswear designer Ninh Nguyen of NINH Collection, Houston-based Judy Yang and local fashion icon Khanh Nguyen of Nhã Khanh. The show was emceed by actress/model LeeAnne Locken and Korean American actor/comedian Randall Park. Musical guest performers included Duette, Miles Machon, Xwansongs, Kollaboration Houston competition winner Dette Buentipoand ATG Artistic Scholarship Winner Dorcas Leung, who sang a charming rendition of Kristen Chenowith’s “The Girl in 14-G.” The night included an exhibit of work donated by Asian American artists, including actress Karin Anna Cheung, Van Ditthavong, Julene Harrison, Aristic Scholarship winner Monika Hoang, Jin-Ya Huang, Alex Lim, Justine Olivia Lu and Budi Tjoenawan.
“This year’s FFAP was a huge success,” said ATG President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “We are so thankful to our hard working Board, volunteers, sponsors, designers, musicians and artists who supported this group effort to give ATG a wonderful night to shine and give light to our cause. We can only be grateful for and humbled by this outpouring of good will.”
Designer Hanh Dang said, “We all came together to raise money and support a greater cause than ourselves. That will definitely leave a lasting impression in people’s minds. I was really impressed with all the strategic planning and coordination that went into pulling this event off. It definitely is on par with any fashion show at Mercedes Benz Fashion week in New York.”
Continued musical performer, Xuan Nguyen of Xwansongs, “Fashion for a Passion was an exceptional night where artists from all walks of life came together for one united cause and to inspire others to open their hearts to do the same. We are proud to work with ATG to help make life better for our youth.”
Sponsor Kenny Phaxay of Pinkbery summed up his thoughts. “Against The Grain Productions is a wonderful organization where you can see the passion for charity in each of the volunteers and associates. The Fashion for a Passion event has been one of the most organized and successful events I have seen executed.”
ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian-American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages. Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam has received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. For more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com.