Portfolios and design boards display use of sustainable materials such as natural dyes and environmentally friendly fabrics for the anual Student Fashion Associations fashion show at the Golden 1 Center next June.
Portfolios and design boards display use of sustainable materials such as natural dyes and environmentally friendly fabrics for the anual Student Fashion Associations fashion show at the Golden 1 Center next June.

Student fashion designers catwalk to Golden 1 Center

Seven student fashion designers were chosen to show their original eco-friendly designs in Student Fashion Association’ annual runway competition that will take place at the Golden 1 Center for the first time ever on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

Last year, SFA hosted the event in the Union Ballroom. After networking with Green Sports Alliance, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable and healthy lifestyles through sports teams, 2017’s show will take part within the organization’s yearly summit in front of more than 300 people at the city’s largest stage.

“This year we started planning right at the beginning of the semester,” said Dong Shen, faculty advisor of SFA. “This will be our biggest fashion show in history.”

The selection process began in October through a rigorous screening process by a committee. Fifteen designers applied and the list was narrowed down to seven.

Each applicant was required submit a portfolio of their previous works and a design board that showed sketches and inspirations.

“I put in a lot of hard work and effort,” said Desiree Vasquez, junior fashion merchandising and design major, who will show her creations at her first ever fashion show. “It took me months to figure out what I wanted to do.”

All designers will produce four to seven pieces in each collection revolving around the theme of sustainability and sports functionality.

Designers’ influences include softball patterns, Rihanna’s athletic chic style, and more.

For Vasquez, she said she found inspiration from natural occurrences on Earth, while another designer, based on the sketch, was inspired by dirty thunderstorms — a phenomenon of lightning that strikes during a volcano eruption from the ashy, mushroom clouds.

“I pulled all the colors from things that make the Earth so great,” said Vasquez of her sketches and inspirations.

A company called Renew Merchandise will donate fabric to the designers, although they are encouraged to use recycled and eco-friendly materials to go with the theme and mission of the show.

“A lot of the designers will be thrifting,” said SFA club president Rachel Vargas while referring to the few who scour through thrift stores to repurpose materials. “It all goes back to sustainability.”

The event will include a panel of judges, made up of professionals in the local fashion scene. In the past, judges consisted of representatives from Sacramento Fashion Week and Richard Hallmarq, a former contestant on season 11 of Project Runway.

“Judges look for creativity, uniqueness, the cohesiveness of the collection,” Shen said. “(They’re also) looking for the sustainability and the sports theme and quality of the collection.”

One student designer showing at Golden 1 Center is graduating senior Theresa Truong, an active member of SFA since 2013. Truong was also the winner of last year’s competition and she said that she can still remember the nerves and excitement from that night.

“I’m a shy person in general, so when I’m in front of people I just get really nervous,” said Truong. “I definitely am a lot more comfortable with it now.”

Many designers plan to utilize the six-week looking winter break to get started on their collections. Deadlines have been set throughout the spring semester for event organizers to check in with the designers for progress.

“The designers are done with all their looks and the sketches are done,” Shen said. “The brainstorming and incorporating inspirations in their looks (are) the most critical part. They took a lot of time on that.”

On top of producing their clothing lines, designers are also responsible for planning hair and makeup, as well as finding models. A model casting will take place during the spring semester.

“One of the designers might be using athletes (as models),” Vargas said. “With the connections we have now, they might be using Kings players.”

This will be Truong’s fifth and last show. Truong said she credits every SFA show for opening doors for her to other shows and make connections with high-profiled players in the local scene.

“The overall end effect is so beyond worth it,” Truong said. “Being proud of yourself and feeling accomplished and having your family cheering you on.”

Prizes for winning designers will include gift cards and illustration sets from local businesses and organizations.

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