Student designers strut their stuff Professional models walk runway wearing seniors’ creations

By Rebekah Cloud


The 35th annual “Cutting Edge Fashion Show” made the Tobin Center the stage April 14 for showcasing the collections of six student designers from the University of the Incarnate Word.

An estimated 700 people attended the official Fiesta event put on by the Fashion Show Production class. Among those present was Miss Fiesta San Antonio — UIW student Alixzandra Paloma Travieso Peña — and King Antonio the 93rd.

The collections featured the works of seniors Nicole Abrego, Nasya Barnette, Madeline Gonzalez, Kimberly Howard, Savannah Longoria and Kossla Veasna. The designers start in the fall with sketches they produce to be judged and cut down to the final pieces that will be in the spring show.

Before the seniors’ collections came down the runway on professional models, UIW fashion management graduate Carrie Harrell displayed her LollieRocks line of couture custom swimwear – including everything from one- to two-piece swimsuits. Harrell also was presented the Golden Needle Award given annually to an individual who supports the fashion management program in the spirit of the university’s Mission.

Another extra display featured knit fashions from Shantex, a knit manufacturer based in China that the Fashion Management Department partners with that uses UIW student designs.

Howard’s collection, “Optical Revolution,” takes classic designs and twists them into different shapes and structures. She had a lot of asymmetrical lines, sheer overlays, iridescent fabrics, and patterns to convey her optical illusion-based collection. Her work won her third place in design.

Abrego’s collection, “N/A,” answered the question: “When color is removed, what remains?” Her monochromic collection emphasized fabrics and textures. Transitioning from light to dark, she used textures, fabrics and silhouettes to create a dramatic collection using length, asymmetrical lines, pleats, and dramatic necklines. She took third place for her collection.

Veasna’s collection, “Nuit De Russe,” was a modern take on the fashions of 19th-century Russia. Combining the feminine hourglass waist with a masculine influence, she created a truly stunning collection, each piece connected to the concept. Simple in detail, each piece had dramatic silhouette that truly accented a woman’s figure. Each piece was equally graceful and elegant with a slight masculine feel in the military-inspired pieces. Veansa’s collection of separates won her first place in construction, design, and the 2015 Kathleen Watson Award for Best of Show. This award is determined by the garment scored highest by a panel of judges and includes a $1,500 scholarship from the Watson Foundation and trophy.

For Gonzalez’s “Dragon Woman” collection, inspired by the Asian dragon, she used black and red with gold accents. This collection was a combination of the pinup era and a modern view of the Chinese Qui-Pao. It was a simple, yet very dramatic collection that truly captured the concept the Asian dragon signifies, which is strength and power, showing the strength within women through style and grace.

“Moon Child,” Longoria’s collection, was an After 5 set inspired by the moon cycle. Each pieces was an all-white outfit, accessorized with simple gold jewelry, it showed less can truly be more in some cases. Every piece had a dreamlike quality with the ways they flowed down the runway. The collection had a simple glimmer that truly helped bring the concept together.

Barnette’s collection, “Post-Apocalyptic Royalty,” was a collection of eveningwear with a post-apocalyptic or futuristic style. The colors were deep, rich reds and purples mixed in with some dusty pinks and a few neutral colors. Each piece had a dramatic feel with asymmetrical lines, pleats, and long trains. Showing the royal and elegant side of the future. Barnette won second place for construction and design.

After the show, designers sold their collections in another room that was full of people

“People underestimate designers,” Veasna said. “They think it’s all glamor, but it’s hard work.”

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