High Design at ELYSIAN’s New York Fashion Week Debut

By Brenna Kehew Sculley

by ELYSIAN Magazine

ELYSIAN raised the stakes at New York Fashion Week with the inaugural CatWalk FurBaby, which saw 10 designers participate in one spectacular show. 


Marc Bouwer’s style is built on a foundation of impeccable fit, innovative proportions, and elevated design details. Simple luxury done well, his aesthetic is rooted in clean lines and draping, exuding a refined sense of femininity and minimalist sophistication. Every detail is carefully considered with the female form in mind. A pioneer in cruelty-free fashion, Bouwer has been awarded with multiple honors, including the PETA Humanitarian Award and the Humane Society’s Compassion in Fashion Award. He and his model Tina sparkled on the CatWalk FurBaby runway on behalf of Danny & Ron’s Rescue, accompanied by Eliza, a Yorkie rescue, and sponsored by Durbin Emerson out of Montana.



 Malan Breton is a Taiwanese-born, fashion designer known for his exquisite designs as well as his work in film, music, and writing. His clothes are featured in editorial spreads and on women of distinction in the public eye. His look for the CatWalk runway was entitled ‘La colombe de nuit’ – or ‘Night Dove’ – inspired by a dove of peace in moonlight, slightly tarnished by the weight of the world. This exemplifies our brave servicemen and women, who endure so much… and the peace they find when paired with a lifelong companion trained by Freedom Dogs, the organization his design represented, as sponsored by Lori Taylor in Ohio.




Karen Caldwell designed for Jameson Humane, based in California, as sponsored by Jan Zakin and represented on the runway by Tanya Ward. Tanya wore a gorgeous ensemble and was accompanied by Chloe, a rescue Chihuahua. Karen Caldwell’s designs are classic, chic, and feminine. The piece that debuted on the CatWalk runway was entitled “Vintage Chic turning up the Heat” and captured the feeling of 1950s Hollywood glam.





Anne Fontaine is a Brazilian-French woman born and raised in Rio de Janeiro who shares her life between Paris, New York City, and Bahia. Her vision was to redefine the historically masculine shirt to create a modern wardrobe staple that would celebrate artistry and femininity. The iconic white shirt would become the center of the brand. For CatWalk FurBaby she created the CHERYL Precious Dress, a true statement piece, featuring a mock neck, a large 3-D hand-embroidered flower front and center, followed by cascading ruffles all the way to the floor in a high low-hem style, available by custom order in silk organza. Her ensemble highlighted Big Dog Ranch Rescue, out of Florida, as sponsored by Barbara Gilbert and Lauree Simmons.



Gloria Lee designed on behalf of Global Strays, based in New York, as sponsored by Ingrid Arneberg. Quinn Copeland represented this charity on the runway accompanied by two furbabies: Fede, a mixed breed from Mexico; and Henry, a Chihuahua from Puerto Rico. Gloria Lee designs collections of elegant, dramatic, and beautiful dresses, tops, skirts that are made with natural fiber and eco-friendly production processes specially designed with sustainability and social responsibility in mind.




The gorgeous Nicole Miller ensemble that crossed the CatWalk runway was dramatic, glamourous, and gilded. Nicole Miller is known for all things luxe, a modern design aesthetic, bold prints and patterns. Her brand is sold in boutiques and department stores across the country, she has dressed celebrities like Beyonce Knowles and Sheryl Crow, and she herself has become a style icon. Her model, Elise, was accompanied by Hugo, a terrier mix. She represented Companion Animal Alliance, out of Louisiana, and was sponsored by Jimmy and Ann Hunt.




Merci Dupre Clothiers, as designed by CatWalk FurBaby’s title sponsor, Dr. Christina Rahm, showcased utopian, edgy, chic designs, and the featured piece was entitled “Rescue for Our Future.” Merci Dupre Clothiers’ vision for a fashion piece that highlights rescuing animals was to create a look that is eye-catching and sends a powerful message. It must involve a human wearing matching clothing to their beloved dog, symbolizing the deep bond between us and our furry friends. The clothes featured logos of companies designed to create a better future for our planet, people, and animals, making it even more meaningful, and encouraging people to support the cause. These designs supported Friends of Williamson County Animal Center, based in Tennessee.


New York-based Strong Island Animal Rescue League was sponsored by the team of Carmel Fauci and Holly Williams, featuring pieces designed by Noize Apparel. Noize offers cruelty-free, sustainable outerwear and apparel for women, men, kids and dogs. Their looks are trendy, functional performance, and all-vegan. The CatWalk FurBaby look, called “Cool Without the Cruel,” brought a sporty outdoors concept to the runway, designed to evoke an outerwear, environmental, skier/snowboarder look. And Rolo the rescue’s puffer jacket would be perfect in a blizzard. Because Strong Island rescues all wildlife, Noize wanted to create a feeling of being out in nature.


The Brooke Wilder label’s expertise is in unique artisan pieces, never to be duplicated in any variation. The designer, Gina Marie Roberts, is a passionate creative who has developed an aesthetic of organic and natural fibers and hand-dyed and non-toxic botanicals. At CatWalk FurBaby, she took the essence of Audrey Hepburn’s Givenchy moment and gave it a Wilder twist, showcasing a more modern look while manifesting the designer’s progressive, ethical, and eco-friendly Southern Style. The Brook Wilder label was partnered with the Animal Advocates of Barnwell County, from South Carolina, sponsored by Vikki Scott, and represented on the runway by Belle Scott and Penny the Pomeranian.


Wearing a fabulous Victor de Souza ensemble, Operation Kindness, located in Texas, featured model Daphne and Daisy, a Great Pyrenees, dressed in romantic, protective, and enchanting looks. The designer created a concept of medieval armor as in a fairy tale located in an icy wintery snow kingdom. This knight-in-shining-armor motif, entitled “Modern Warrior,” reflected the tireless dedication of Operation Kindness coming to the rescue of so many dogs, cats and other animals in need. Victor de Souza, a Buenos Aires-based fashion designer, creates luxury ready-to-wear, demi-couture, beauty, headwear and accessories. 

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