Photo courtesy Jonathan Reyes of Lustre Maravilloso (LM Photography)
The bridal dress of Best Collection winner Jaine Kang
The Horn's Audrea Diaz gives you a detailed recap of UT's recent student fashion show, Contour. Check out the story to see what the designs were like and who won awards!
“What we see on the runways is a peak experience for the Apparel Design majors and a springboard into their New York internships, and their future careers in the industry,” began faculty member and program director Eve Nicols at the UT “Contour” Fashion Show.
After preparations spanning throughout the year, the Frank Erwin Center was transformed into a centralized fashion mecca, where the early stages of Austin’s young talent flourished, on Thursday evening (April 19).
Director of the School of Human Ecology, Dr. Sheldon Ekland-Olson, commenced the anticipated runway to a spotlight of models illustrating dresses from the “After Hours” division of Knitted Fabric Project. These innovative designs and those that followed, [“So Clean, So Fresh”, “Midnight Elegance”, and “State of the Art”] served as an introduction to the cohesive formula of three main segments, with four portions, throughout the showcase.
A high energy soundtrack continued to fill the room, as visions of 23 seniors came to life in their own unique expression--three pieces encompassed their Individual Designer Collections respectively.
The women of “Carnival” (Sofia Maldonado, Marisa Chapman, Sara Essoufi, Ashley Trevino, and Chandler Hamilton) displayed effervescent looks for the warmer climates.
Both Maldonado’s “Mercado” (Spanish for “market”) and Chapman’s “Blooming Business” utilized white tones to balance pops of color, while Essoufi’s “Modern Femme” illuminated the popular trend of color blocking within her pencil and high-slit Maxi Skirts. Trevino’s “Casablanca” exemplified resort wear, as models were both accessorized and dressed in casual pieces. Trevino was followed by Hamilton’s “Empowerment Line” that displayed two effortlessly flowing gowns, and a sleek knee-length dress.
Proceeding, those of “Style Tribes” (Jonathan Shakarisaz, Daniela Vasquez, Lauren Tullos, Lauren Stewart, Andrea Salazar, and Loan Trinh) chose to showcase looks seemingly reminiscent of their personal tastes.
Shakarisaz’s “Bloody Tailoring” featured an all-male collection, demonstrating the designer’s proficiency with one model’s play on Edward Scissorhands. Vasquez highlighted her artistic nature with shades of pink in the fanciful “Spinnerette”, while Tullos served as the runway’s representation of sportswear, with her collection of the same name. Stewart showed versatility with “Jet Set”, illustrating a dress, Capri pant and short set. And with “Three Faces West”, Salazar implemented neutral tones and fringe detailing to create high impact; as Trinh focused on origami-inspired outerwear paired with form-fitting dresses in “Fantasy Flare”.
The designs of “Pastel Power” (Rebekah Hoffer, Wendy Sandoval, Andrea Conti, Vivienne Hoang, Mai Tran, and Katrina Raz) encompassed spring’s trending colors, while illuminating sheer elements.
Hoffer’s “Psychedelic Mushrooms” emphasized bright hues of greens and purples offset by neutral black; while Sandoval’s “Charisma” added a cohesive element, using the same striped print (for two different dresses and a sleeveless blouse) paired with light blue slacks, a color the designer incorporated throughout all three looks. With “Renascentia” (Latin for “rebirth”) Conti chose to design sleek evening gowns adorned with statement bows. In contrast to Conti’s darker color choices, Hoang’s “The Cold Queen” offered softer icy shades in graceful dress and short forms.
Transitioning, the fresh colors of Tran’s “Carousel of Dreams” painted the runway with playful tones of pale yellow, blue, and purple; adding a spirited touch, each dress came equipped with a detachable belt at the waist. Subsequent to Hoang, Raz debuted, “Stay Calm and Carry On”, exemplifying her flexible skill-set with a pant, short, and skirt collection in vivid tones of lime green, pink and blue – all looks were balanced by a neutral counterpart.
Those of “Striking Severity” (Kaidon Ho, Janie Kang, Albert Zhou, Stefant Phonthephasone, Samantha Kidd, and Harrison Koiwai) developed their craftsmanship to create intricate pieces.
With “Rêves”, Ho utilized the sophistication of an all-black collection that was both structured and versatile, with see-through elements. In direct distinction, Kang followed with the vibrant colors of “Let There Be Light” -- illuminating both male and female designs, using digital print to create the unique patterns apparent throughout her showcase, in dress, pant, and tuxedo jacket forms.
For “Under the Crosshairs”, Zhou created a refined, feminine one-shoulder dress, paired with two structured menswear looks. Walking for Zhou was University Fashion Group’s own Director of Public Relations/fashion writer and columnist for Spark magazine, Tyler Neal.
“I [realized] that my possibilities were endless,” said the freelance model, elaborating on his overall experience and Zhou’s eye for detail, to which Neal describes, included a dress-shirt with the tie sewn in and a double collar.
“It went by so fast [and] incredibly smooth,” continued Neal, commenting on the show’s reputation for professionalism.
Zhou’s collection was followed by Phonthephasone. The student designer and University Fashion Group President chose to present his name brand, SP, with two minimalist dresses and a fresh take on skirted menswear. By continuing with the darker tones, Kidd employed modern cuts with splashes of metallic and copper in “Sūtra”. Thus, closing the Individual Designer Collections, Koiwai presented “Jane”, a complex mix of pieces with strategic cuts and Kimono-inspired volume.
Honing their design esthetics, the students showcased Evening & Bridal Gowns according to preference. Correspondingly, the atmosphere turned from electric to serene, with presentations entitled “Turn on the Dark”, “The Bold & The Beautiful”, “Belle of the Ball”, and “Dream Works”.
“In keeping with the theme of the show tonight…I really felt like some incredible careers in fashion were shaping up right here at the University of Texas,” said Guest of Honor, Carla McDonald, YNN Television host/founder and CEO of the National Public Relations firm Dynabrand.
McDonald presented artist awards in these following categories:
Knitted Fabric Garment Design: Albert Zhou, Rebekah Hoffer, Harisson Koiwai, and Katrina Raz
Evening Gown, Honorable Mention: Stefant Phonthephasone
Evening Gown: Harisson Koiwai
Bridal Gown, Honorable Mention: Janie Kang
Bridal Gown: Katrina Raz
Technical Design, Honorable Mention: Jaine Kang
Technical Design: Jonathan Shakarisaz
Most Marketable Collection, Honorable Mention: Chandler Hamilton
Most Marketable Collection: Samantha Kidd
Most Innovative Collection: Katrina Raz and Albert Zhou
Best Collection, Honorable Mention: Chandler Hamilton
Best Collection: Jaine Kang, “Let There Be Light”
Reports state that the runway held over 120 looks, viewed by an estimated audience of 5,000. According to Nicols’ introduction, those watching (via webcast) spanned from New York, LA, London, Canada and across the US, with famed celebrity stylist Brad Goreski of Bravo’s “It’s a Brad Brad World” in supportive attendance and serving as a special Guest of Honor.
The 13th annual UT Fashion show is sponsored by the University Co-op and produced by the University Fashion Group. To view a live webcasting of the event, brought to you by Cheryl Bemis, please visit this provided link at Fashionably Austin.
For more information on each senior and their inspirations, Bemis offers individualized designer profiles in a segment of Fashionably Austin entitled “Meet the 2012 University of Texas Fashion Designers”.