The Wilshire Auditorium hosted this year’s spring fashion show, Carousel of Fashion on Tuesday, April 28.
Featured were a total of 28 student designers and 47 models who showed off the semester and year’s worth of works of art on the runway. The models ranged from friends and family of the designers to even a few of the designers themselves.
Models sashayed across the stage for about an hour. Their struts and fashions were accompanied by the voices of Maxine Kimberlin and Melissa Rodriguez, students from the fashion promotional class who served as the evening’s hostesses.
“Tonight we’re here to honor designers and creative minds and everything they do,” Kimberlin said as she welcomed the audience.
It takes all semester long to prepare for this annual event spectacular. The work that went into production was made possible with the contributions of many different departments including cosmetology, theater and of course many of the fashion department classes.
The coordinators of the event are actually students from the Fashion Promotional class. These students led meetings at the beginning of class, got into groups and devised plans to execute all of the promotions and public relations that were necessary for the Carousel of Fashion.
“Students are in the design class and the work will be worn by student models, friends and family,” said Renee Young, Fashion Department Coordinator and Professor. “Hair and makeup was done by the Fullerton College Level 4 cosmetology students.”
The fashion department provides training and history in all aspects of the fashion industry. Within the program, once can explore careers in design journalism, image consulting. The department offers Associates Degrees and certificates.
Opening the show was a video showcasing students in the variety of classes that are offered by the Fashion Department. Students in the video are shown in their classroom elements taking their work from thought to actual product through sketching their designs to the final construction and fittings.
The stage, designed by fashion student Edgar Paul Valencia, featured a tent in the middle of the stage outfitted in orange and white striped decor. It was both eye catching and theme fitting. Valencia also designed a few of the clothing items featured on the catwalk, one of which was a unique dress he was extremely proud of.
Valencia designed a dress made completely from the empty metallic pouches of Capri Sun fruit drinks. Nathan, his 7-year-old son, drank over 200 Capri Sun drinks in order to help his father create the dress.
“I saw online that (they) make purses and backpacks, so why not a dress?” Valencia said.
A highlight towards the closing of the event was the orange hooded coat, which imitated a lion’s head, designed by Jessi Lowerre, a fashion student featured.
“A friend of a friend saw it designed for a child on a website and I wanted to design something for an adult,” Lowerre said. “It’s more mature than the original and something fun for an adult to wear.”
The hood, which is the head and mane of the lion is easily detachable if one does not feel like showing their fun and wild side. Lowerre sewed the coat lining and made the buttons to match the rest of the coat.
Five guest judges helped decide the winners of the night; Nikolas Ambrose of Hybrid Apparel, Henry Cherner and Cheryl Lipton of AIMS360, Mary Lombard of Obey and Stephanie Sherwood of BCBG Max Azria Group.
There were many winners of the night but the biggest honor went to Tanya Lopez, student designer. Lopez won two scholarships, including the Betty McAllen Home Economics Scholarship, which is awarded to one or more students who are full time students that are freshmen or sophomores who have completed at least 30 units in total with eight units in a fashion major field with a GPA of 3.0 or better. This student must continue their fashion education in order to qualify at either a vocational school or a professional potential.
Lopez also received the Mary and Jack Chapman Foundation Memorial scholarship, which is sponsored by two former professors of Fullerton College: Mary Chapman, formerly a Business Professor, and her husband Jack, an English and Fashion instructor.
Other awards were given to students in the form of goodie bags. Some of the night’s winners were: Valencia for his recycled Capri Sun dress, Gus Aquilar for his use of black and white fabric, Joanne Powers for her unique construction design of her black jacket and Lowerre won for her lion head coat in the special occasion category. Best Day Dress went to Rebecca Serna for her green plaid dress. The Best of Show Award went to Jenny Porrett for her fuchsia and navy mermaid dress while Carmen Vlassoff received a certificate for her cream halter top with a lavender skirt.
Young spoke on stage about how proud she was of how smoothly the fashion show ran and emphasized how this event was completely executed by the students. She was also excited that they were able to raise $94 in raffle tickets sells, which she said could go a long way in helping the fashion department.
She also quoted an inspirational message by fashion designing icon Coco Chanel, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”
Young seemed most excited about the announcement of exciting news that will change the fashion department next year.
“We get new technology that I write grants for, we’re getting a 3D scanner which scans the body and makes patterns,” Young said. “I love fashion, love my students and seeing their finished products. I see it from the beginning, from their sketches to the finished product.”