Coco Chanel once famously said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
Fashion is also in room 135 of Everson Hall every Wednesday night, where UC Davis’ Student Fashion Association (SFA) meets to connect with fellow peers who have a passion for fashion and plan the club’s major events.
One of the main benefits SFA provides for its members, according to co-president Justine Bui, a textiles and clothing major, is a means to connect members both with professionals who can help provide internships and jobs as well as students who plan on working in the fashion industry in the future.
“We often have companies who wish to establish a relationship with the Student Fashion Association come speak at our meetings, so our members can gain insight in various fields and practice networking with professionals in the industry,” she said.
According to co-president Rachel Aquino, a communication major, some industries approach the club with internships, as an accessories focus group once did.
According to Aquino, the club, which consists mainly of textile and clothing majors and design majors, is open to any student who is interested in fashion.
The biggest event SFA puts on is its annual fashion show during winter quarter. Their meetings are mainly dedicated to the planning, organizing and execution of the show.
According to Bui, the show is a huge production.
“This show is completely student-run and spotlights local designers and models. It’s a great way for those in the Davis area who are interested in fashion to come together for a fashion-related event and the proceeds go to a charity that the SFA members vote on,” she said.
According to Tracey Chang, the SFA’s publicity director, this year’s show will most likely be the week of March 5 in the Wyatt Pavilion. This year’s theme is “Fashion Utopia.”
To Bui, the theme of this year’s show is an embodiment of how there is a utopia of things that can inspire a fashion designer.
“Our members are very inspired by street fashion from around the world and by looking at different style and fashion blogs. However, our inspiration isn’t limited to just fashion. We are inspired from everything around us – pop culture, film, music, art, language – that enables us to come together to create really original and unique ideas. This year’s fashion show concept pulls from fashion, music and film,” she said.
According to Chang, the show also provides a huge network opportunity for aspiring designers.
“We have vendors that come in for the event. This provides valuable contacts from companies that our members may be interested in developing a relationship with,” she said.
What is essential about the fashion show though, other than the fact that it shows Davis how talented its residing student designers are, is the amount of critical real-life experience it gives to members who are pursuing a career in the fashion industry.
“Our members learn to work in a team, market and advertise our events to the public, network with various companies and work within a budget – all while exercising their creativity,” said Bui.
The annual winter quarter fashion show is not the only thing SFA works on during the year. The club also puts on a “Trashion Show,” an environmentally friendly fashion show that is a favorite of Aquino.
“In the past, we’ve collaborated with EPPC [Environmental Policy and Planning Commission] to put on a fashion show where students can create a garment out of recycled material or trash – newspaper, trash bags, candy wrappers, etc. It’s been held on the MU patio and it’s a fun way for people to see how something discarded can be made into something beautiful,” she said.
In addition to these fashion shows, the club takes its members on field trips, such as trips to Sacramento State’s fashion show, throws fundraisers and partakes in movie nights with such fashion-related films as Valentino: The Last Emperor.
The club also promotes secondhand fashion, organizing rummage sales and throwing the event “Fashion Palooza,” in which members swap unwanted clothes with each other. One gal’s last-season pair of Sevens is another girl’s new DIY-jean jacket treasure.
Bui hopes that this will be the year that SFA truly makes a name for itself on campus.
“I would really like to see the SFA grow and have a bigger presence on campus. I would also like to see us form relationships with other groups on campus because I think there is a possibility to collaborate and create new opportunities for everyone.”
With an upcoming fashion show that members claim is looking to be their best yet, the SFA might be able to accomplish just that – and they’ll look good doing it.
ANNETA KONSTANTINIDES can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.