A Night of Fashion

SF State's Apparel Design and Merchendising students present thier work at the Runway Ignite fashion show on Thursday, May 2, 2013.
SF State’s Apparel Design and Merchendising students present thier work at the Runway Ignite fashion show on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Photo by Samantha Benedict / Xpress

By Melissa Landeros
Photos by Samantha Benedict and Kenny Redublo

More than 20 designers, over 120 models, a production team of about 80, 1 runway and 1 night that brought all types of people together to support SF State’s Apparel Design and Merchandising (ADM) students at the San Francisco Design Center May 2nd.

After months of preparation SF State’s Fashion Network Association (FNA) was able to produce the 19th annual fashion show, Runway 2013: Ignite at the San Francisco Design Center, in collaboration with the students from the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department (BECA) and the ADM students.

Every spring semester the graduating seniors from the ADM department create their own line or individual looks to showcase to fellow onlookers, as a stepping stone into their future of making it big in the fashion industry.

While the senior ADM merchandising students help backstage during the production. Working backstage includes numerous tasks from constant model changes, checking the line up, and making sure each individual look is put together as the designer wants it to be.

As guests were checking in and getting a grasp of the venue committee leaders were hard at work behind the scenes getting models ready to strut down the runway. Backstage manager Brittany Poon expressed how she and her team had pre-show jitters but once the show began everything ran smoothly. Poon, said, “Anytime you have a large event, there are bound to be a few hiccups, but my team was well prepared and on top of it.”

SF State’s Apparel Design and Merchendising students present thier work at the Runway Ignite fashion show on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Photo by Samantha Benedict / Xpress

The Fashion Network Association is a student run organization open to anyone interested in promoting/producing fashion events and publications. The FNA is the bridge that connects students and alumni in order to gain industry knowledge and opportunities to network.

The student run association is broken up into committees that have their individual duties when it comes to producing the spring fashion show. The public relations committee reached out to vendors, bloggers, and designers for donations for the raffle, which took place during the show. Raffle prizes consisted of gift cards from JewelMint, Weston Wear, Freda Salvador, and a grand prize of a dress form donated by Menswear Designer Justin Jamison.

Public Relations officer Faviola Vega, said, “I think the FNA team enjoyed the process of seeing the show come together.” Vega said while at times the process was difficult because not everyone was available when needed she was very pleased with the FNA and their contribution to the show.

The FNA model committee recruited models for those designers who did not already have their own, created spreadsheets pairing the two, hosted model fittings, and runway walking workshops. Model committee was also in charge of recruiting a hair and makeup team, which consisted of Fremont Beauty College students and freelance makeup artists who volunteered their services.

Runway model coach Charleston Pierce offered his expertise in helping the student models perfect their walk up until the day of the show. Pierce said, “I saw lots of potential in the models and would love to work with the FNA in the future.” He also said the show was great, there was a lot of excitement and he saw the energy in everyone’s faces.

FNA member Peyton Howell director for the model committee also served as a model to many designers during the show. Howell said, “I was given the chance to work with and wear clothing from multiple talented artists and it was just an exhilarating experience.”

All FNA members promoted the show by posting flyers throughout the SF State campus and promoting through social media outlets like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The students from the BECA department also created video advertisements for Runway 2013: Ignite, via YouTube and Vimeo.

The BECA students also created short videos about the student designers, which were broadcasted before their looks went down the runway. The production team also recorded the show live but due to technical difficulties the video did not stream on the projector overhead as the show was in motion. Although, the audience was able to relive the show and its highlights once the production concluded.

The ADM student designers showcased a variety of individual looks from exaggerated pieces to upcycled looks from garments donated by Goodwill. Some lines were simple yet very detailed like Genevieve Sixbey-Spring’s scarf collection entitled ISRE. While Allison Brackeen’s Lady V. Lingerie collection was intricate and feminine. Along with individual looks there were 19 collections ranging from 5 to 7 looks each.

SF State design student Kiana Loo created three individual looks one, being an exaggerated piece, another inspired by nature, and an upcycled look. Loo also featured her collection entitled Lotus of short skirts and dresses. Loo was inspired by silk periwinkle colored fabrics that she utilized in her collection. She said, “I wanted my line to be fresh, fun, and flirty, and I also believe it to be very wearable.” Loo future goals include moving to Los Angeles and opening up her own store.

Student designer Van Tran created an individual look and a collection that embodied lots of hard wear in the form of chains and beading. While it took some designers up to 4 months to create their lines, Tran said her line was complete after 1 month. Her collection is called A Royal Battle, and with that Tran said, “I want to move to New York and hope to move up in the design world.”

SF State's Apparel Design and Merchendising students present thier work at the Runway Ignite fashion show on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Photo by Samantha Benedict / Xpress
SF State’s Apparel Design and Merchendising students present thier work at the Runway Ignite fashion show on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Photo by Samantha Benedict / Xpress

Vice President of the FNA Jessie Couberly who was also the front stage manager during the show thought the show was a success. Couberly said, “All the talented people at the show were amazing and they would not be who they are without the support of those around them.” With it being Couberly last semester as the FNA Vice President she hopes that someone will continue to carry on the amazing organization for many years to come.

The entire show lasted about 3 hours and the runway was about half the time. The moment ADM design students are in the program they know what is to expect their last semester at SF State. The designers put in many hours, weeks, even months into creating their garments. The time mounting up until they showcase their line is long awaited but the time all their hard work is shown on the runway only lasts but a few moments.

SF State Student Annmarie Bustamante will be showcasing her line at next year’s annual fashion show. Bustamante already knowing that her work will only be featured for a few moments said it is still worth the strenuous effort. She said, “Seeing your looks in motion with the fast paced strut of the models excites and entertains the crowd and that is more powerful than a still photograph.”

Designer Elena Corona’s line Kawaii Yakuza was inspired by Harajuku street wear, which is a casual look consisting of bright and pastel colors. Corona said, “I wanted my line to be a reflection of my personal style and interests.” Her designs are simple but added touches like studs on collars and intricate headbands make her looks stand out.

Lee Hi, a Korean pop singer who wears toy like “crowns,” inspires Corona’s elaborate headbands. Corona’s headbands each had a theme; one was made of roses while another was made of candy wrappers.

As the looks came down the runway the audience was captivated and one could hear how some ooed and awed at the designs. Attendee Heather Marcy said, “I was literally standing next to my friend pointing out pieces I loved and wanted to wear myself.” She thought the show was a good production overall and had a fun experience.

FNA president Kayla Odwald stressed how the entire show production would not have been possible without the help of several people. Runway 2013: Ignite was established due to the hard work of the ADM department, the FNA, the BECA department, the production/media committees and the generosity of those who donated items to the show.

While this spring show is a wrap there will be a whole new set of designs, designers, and production team next year. Also stay tuned for the upcoming fall semester in which the FNA will produce another fashion show leading up to the spring show.