Recycled stuff turns to styles

By Blanca Morales


Marching to the techno beat of Crystal Castles’ “Crimewave,” a slew of sky-high models paraded down a runway, displaying creations by fashion design students at this year’s GOing Green Gala.

Hosted by The Fashion Group International, Inc., a global non-profit organization composed of more than 5,000 fashion industry professionals, the second annual GOing Green Gala marked the pinnacle of Fashion Week San Antonio 2010, held Nov. 1-6 citywide.

Assembled at Sunset Station on the evening of Friday, Nov. 5, the Gala was presented by the current host of “San Antonio Living,” Shelly Miles, and FGI of San Antonio’s    regional director, Sheila Masterson, with hair and makeup courtesy of Aveda Institute San Antonio. A competition amongst local budding designers, more than 70 participants designed and created a garment out of recycled materials.

The evening began with a mini-fashion show of featured local designer (and owner of lauded local vintage shop Jive Refried), Agosto Cuellar. The retrospective featured selected looks from his 2005-2010 Spring/Summer Ready-to-Wear collections.

As Cuellar’s looks ran the runway — the real stars of the night — students from Warren and Jefferson high schools, the International Academy of Design and Technology, and six students from the University of the Incarnate Word’s School of Interactive Media and Design waited patiently for their own show to begin.

UIW fashion design major Gwynne Harris, a sophomore, talked about the inspiration for her garment – the first of her creations ever presented on a runway.

“Initially, when I thought about it, I thought about a 1920s flapper dress. I made [the dress] out of black trash bags up on top and black-and-red party napkins on the bottom.”

Harris’ classmate, Shattoria Whitener, also a sophomore in UIW’s Fashion Design program, spoke about her garment as well. “I like Humphrey Bogart,” Whitener said. “So I like tuxedos a lot. And I love Funyuns chips. So I just thought I’d put the two together. I made a Funyun tux [from recycled chip bags].”

Other participating UIW design students included Chasity Marie Taylor, Ada Garza (who walked the runway as a model, including modeling her own garment), Alexandra Pena and Liana Hinojosa. 2009 UIW alum Grace Sonia Manley showed two garments as well.

Whitener’s garment, a three-piece tuxedo made from repurposed Funyuns bags, placed  third in non-traditional fabric.

Missy Ambriz, a junior at IADT, was enthusiastic about seeing her hard work finally showcased before some of the city’s most fashionable.

“There’s a lot of talent in this city when it comes to fashion design and it was exciting to see so many awesome garments displayed tonight,” Ambriz said. “I would definitely design for GOing Green again next year.”

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