Fiesta fashion show highlights students’ designs, personalities

By Sherry Kermani


Eight hundred guests packed the 34thannual “Cutting Edge” Fiesta fashion show at Marriott Rivercenter Hotel on Wednesday, April 16.

The show was dedicated to Kathleen Martin Watson, a former member of the Incarnate Word community. Watson’s goal was to transform a small, student fashion show into today’s successful annual showcase.

There are many aspects that come with producing and designing the show. Four different committees that help prepare it. The designer committee coordinates with the designers to discuss sketches, hair and makeup, music selections, and the photoshoot. The stage and technical committee help organize the sound, lights and photography for the show. The entire event showcases the student talent and their creative side while raising funds for UIW fashion student scholarships.

There were seven student designers who each had a year’s worth of planning to do. Every designer had a theme and had to create eight gowns based on it. While balancing school and work, the fashion students took a lot of hard time and dedication to prepare for the show.

With only eight weeks to actually sew eight different garments, the students didn’t do what any normal college student would do.

“It was a challenge but it was fun,” said senior Tessa Moss. “When it comes down to the process we were all there to support each other.”

The students started with about 50 sketches and had to narrow it down to what they could actually sew each week prior to the final show.

A panel of industry professionals judged their final designs with the top prize including a $1,500 scholarship from the Watson Foundation.

Lorren Cruz, who took home the top prize this year, said her vision was to create “something people can wear. I saw a strong woman walking down the street, and behind her was a building with graffiti.” Then she based her designs on something a woman would wear. Her collection was called “Regeneration Neon.” The dresses each had bright splashes of color that could be worn as a day or evening dress.

Most of the designers based their garments with architectural inspiration. Allison Speakmon, for example, named her theme “Bridges.”

“I’ve traveled a lot, so each bridge was inspired from places I’ve actually been too, like one dress was inspired by a bridge I saw in Hong Kong,” Speakmon said.

The whole planning process took a long time but the students learned how to manage it. Vanessa Lopez, who took second place in design, was also inspired by architecture, with one of her pieces in her “Geometric Spark” collection resembling a Ferris wheel.

“When I studied in London they told me look at an object and see how you can convert it into an outfit,” Lopez said. “ I love math, and it took a lot of geometry to make the garments.”

Each design presented by the students was unique and reflected their personalities. It was a challenge but also and accomplishment for each designer.

Now that the show was over most of them took this as a push to what they wanted to do next. Most hope to have their own line and live on either the West or East Coast to fulfill that dream.


“My dream job is to move to New York and work for a designer and then open up my own store,” said Carla Gonzalez.

Photos by: Charlie Young

Leave a Reply