GALLERY: Fashion on an elemental mission

Sac State Student Fashion Association brings the forces of nature to the runway


Cristian Gonzalez

Business marketing major Stacy Sei modeled an earth-inspired outfit at the Forces of Nature fashion show Sunday, April 23, 2023. An overarching theme of the show was sustainability in clothing.

Hailey Valdivia and Sonia Pagán

A crowd of people pours into the University Union Ballroom, all searching to find seats. 

Models begin to take their places, getting ready to walk the runway and the lights start to dim as quiet falls over the crowd. The fashion show is about to begin.

Every year, the Student Fashion Association hosts its annual fashion show; the theme of the spring fashion show this year was Forces of Nature, separating the show into four sections: water, air, earth and fire. With this theme, the designers focused on sustainability and upcycling for their designs. 

“I know that I wanted to sew for the fashion show because I heard about it last year and [designer] applications opened up and I thought maybe I should just take my chance and go beyond what I can do,” said Stanley Fon, a third-year fashion merchandising and management major. 

Fon said he was inspired by “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and sequoia trees for his outfits and, keeping with the theme of nature and sustainability, he incorporated thrifted fabrics into his design.

Designer Dante Bernardo, third-year fashion merchandising and management major, said he’s been passionate about fashion since high school. 

“I think what really got me into it was my aunt, she was a seamstress,” Bernardo said…She kind of inspired me to end up becoming a designer.” 

Bernardo said he wanted to keep his clothes sustainable and upcycle for his design because of the theme and his determination to recycle. He said he hoped the audience took away inspiration and his story.

“[Sustainability] really involves how I’m going to end up living the rest of my life,” Bernardo said. “Pollution and stuff is going to end up impacting me as well as my family and my friends in the future.” 

Freshman and child development major Erin Williamson said she heard about the show from her fashion sustainability professor and it piqued her interest. 

Amanda Vang, a second-year health science major, said she came to the fashion show to support her friend who created the set for the show. 

This is something new to me and I’m actually glad I did come out here to see what they did,” Vang said.

Fon said that he didn’t really know anyone on campus until working on the show. 

“Connecting with them, hanging out with them at rehearsals and just hanging out in the back rooms, I think we’re like a family, a huge community,” Fon said.