Behind the scenes of a popular tradition
While part of the world can anticipate the fashion shows of Fashion Week around the world, Picnic Day visitors can anticipate the annual fashion show hosted by UC Davis’ Fashion and Design Society. It showcases the work of students in the Fashion and Design Society and those in the class Design 179, a capstone class in the design major.
“There is a design capstone class offered winter quarter in which you come up with and create your garment, design concept and your design statement that concisely conveys the idea behind your collection,” said Hannah Torromeo, a design major alumna with a fashion emphasis and Italian minor, who was a designer for the 2018 show.
The class is a lot of work beyond the garments. The students are expected to craft the mood of their show through media and models.
“Once that class ends, there is a lot left to do in the first three weeks of spring quarter that lead up to the show: creating music for our models to walk the runway to, tailoring the garments to make sure they fit just right (as well as any other final touches), rehearsing walking, testing out makeup techniques, choosing accessories, etc,” Torromeo said.
There are different collections featured in the 90 minute show, presented by the students in FADS.
“We have different collections showed in the Fashion Show. One of the collections focuses on women’s health. Another section is called ‘single garment’. Every student who wants to submit their own garment in the competition can get a reward for it. It’s open to every student who wants to apply for the competition,” said Agnes Lam, a third-year design major with a minor in both theatre and art and the current president of FADS.
Lam noted that this year, everything will be new and everything is changing.
“This year, our theme is called ‘Seams Unreal,’” Lam said. “Each year, we have students in 179 and FADS officers choose themes, probably between four or five or more options. We tell [the students] at the beginning of 179. The signature collection class always happens in winter quarter, so students have time to complete their garments on time so they can showcase in the fashion show in the spring.”
This year, the show will showcase the fashion collections of 10 designers, which Lam said is a lot less than the past years.
“This means we only have 10 collections, and each collection has around four garments to show,” Lam said. “Some students can have extra [garments] (maybe up to five). [The collection focusing on women’s health] has about 15 or 14 dresses to showcase because it is a 10-year celebration for this collection.”
Not many students applied to the single garment portion of the show this year, but Lam is hopeful that students will gain more interest in the future.
“For the single garment part of the show, we are probably changing it to single garment presentation because not a lot of people applied for it this year compared to previous years,” Lam said. “Maybe in the following years, we’ll have more students interested in fashion design.”
The students in this class put in a lot of work and effort into the preparation and production of the show.
“To prepare for the fashion show, I have spent about 20 hours a week on garments for my collection,” said Chi Adanna Ilori, a design and managerial economics major and a designer for the show this year. “I have been designing for the [show] since winter break of 2018 when I sketched 22 ideas for my collection. From there, it was narrowed to 12, then five.”
To designers, the actual event brings many emotions. Designers can feel stressed if there is a wardrobe malfunction or if anything goes wrong. The show can also feel very rewarding as designers watch their designs being brought to life.
“The day of the event was pretty stressful and emotional,” Torromeo said. “You want everything to be perfect so there’s a lot of running around and double/triple checking everything to make sure all goes well. It was almost like being in a dream watching the whole thing come together before my eyes. All my months of hard work had paid off.”
Torromeo described her feelings of immense pride in getting to share her art with others.
“There was also a sense of relief that came with realizing that it was all over, but also an extreme sense of pride in the work I was able to present to my family, my friends and my peers,” Torromeo said.
There are two showings for this year’s show: one in the morning at 11 a.m. and one in the afternoon at 1:30 p.m.. The second showing will be livestreamed on YouTube. Both showings will be in the ARC Ballroom. Tickets can be purchased online before the show or at the door.
Written by: LINH NGUYEN –– firstname.lastname@example.org