FAST’s Fall 2010 Fashion Show

While a cold rain fell and the beginnings of dead week madness descended upon the campus, fear ruled the runway as Berkeley’s creative and enterprising designers showed off their collections during the Fashion and Student Trends (FAST) fashion show last Sunday.

The show, entitled Conquer: Living in Style, Not Fear, was an excellent illustration of high fashion taste and talent among the school’s vibrant fashion community. The designers were asked to construct collections representing concerns that inspired fear or macabre fascination. Although black pumps and scarlet lipstick may have been unifying accents throughout all of the collections, each young artist produced an individualized and respectable look. Nina Garcia would have been proud.

Three looks by Nikki Dance.

Starting with the streetwear Bezerkeley collection of Miles Mathews (screen-printed and spray-paint stenciled t-shirts that were a savvy love story to the Golden State and all “hella” sayers), the first segment saw everything from wedding night lingerie to a chiffon and tulle garment that capitalized on the imagery of a spider’s web. Nikki Dance’s designs were imaginative, infusing traditional wedding imagery with circus melodrama, and Jenna Kim offered well constructed, high end looks that complimented both her skills and the natural, bare bodies of her models.

Three looks by Jenna Kim.

Grace Colletta, whose work was also featured in the first segment, offered a refreshing array of color in her “Reef Dweller”-themed collection. The collection, inspired by Ernst Haeckel’s biological drawings, was simple yet chic and her third look, an elegant black dress with batik-dyed straps and matching hair accessory, was quite beautiful.

Three looks by Grace Colletta.

“When designing, I just thought about what kind of dress I would want to wear and what I could do to make it special while still incorporating coral reef elements,” Colletta said. “I wanted it to be fantastical, yet still wearable.”

Tina Chen, who modelled looks in all of the segments, found the artistry of the designers remarkable. “The artistic imagination they have and the ability to execute their designs and turn them into real clothing always amazes me,” Chen said.

The second segment was full of character, full of further wonderfully creative and tangible ensembles.

Three looks by Christine Fukushima.

Christine Fukushima used ethereal and psychedelic tie-dye to convey night terrors in a collection that was savory and playful. Indeed, if Ke$ha were to adopt these garments, perhaps she would have the ability to wake up in the morning and walk out the door, looking respectable while still maintaining an eccentric flair. Comparisons between Ms. Fukushima’s designs and Ke$ha’s personal style are made with the utmost respect—the collection was refreshing and a departure from the more somber tones previously shown on the runway.

Three looks by Patrick Xu.

Patrick Xu’s collection was also an example of boisterous creation. Mr. Xu, designer-cum-model, rode his bicycle onto the catwalk, wearing the first look in his collection that emphasized usability and youth derived from RPGs. Stating that “postmodernism, cynicism, and consumption are so passé,” the designer’s overall goal of forward thinking exuberance was furthered with other subversive streetwear accessorized with everything from plank shoes to spray paint holsters.

Three looks by Kacey Anderson.

The baby-doll dresses of Kacey Anderson were also a nice palette-cleanser, solidly made yet original, colorful, and enviable, while Jennifer Kung’s burlap collection could be described as socially conscious couture.

Three looks by Jennifer Kung.

Finishing the second segment was the collection of John Kim, an edgy and elegant offering that told the story of the Onryo Ghost, female victims of abuse and hatred that are resurrected to seek vengeance. The story behind Kim’s work may seem heavy, but each designer had an equally dark and fascinating concept that served as source material.

Five looks by BARE's own John Kim.

The third segment was a real gem—the designers dared to take risks, and their attempts resulted in wonderfully articulated, cohesive high fashion pieces. The entire show featured ingenuity and forte, thus the spectacular final act was the only proper way to end the evening.

Three looks by Tuyen Nguyen.

Tuyen Nguyen and dual-design team Rachel Davis and Stephanie Jue had eloquent collections that played with cuts, volume, and angles to great success while the exaggerated shapes of Kirstyn Hom’s artwork was worthy of topographical study. Victoria Lim incorporated black and white and the gray in between to great avail with fierce looks that liberated her models and impressed the audience.

Three looks by Rachel Jue and Stephanie Davis.

Three looks by Kirstyn Hom.

The final collection of the evening was that of Jaymie Ngov. At six pieces, this collection was the largest of the evening, and undoubtedly the most striking. Drawing from the themes of a damsel in distress and disability, each look was stunning and visionary. Avant garde yet accessible, Ngov’s collection communicated entrapment and darkness in solid pieces that each had their own story and awe-factor. Ngov shows great promise as a designer, and his offering just further represented the magnificent efforts and accomplishment of each artist, novice or otherwise.

Three looks by Jaymie Ngov. All photography by Nican Robinson.

FAST’s Fall 2010 fashion show was impressive and highly pleasurable, affording the community a glimpse of promising talent. Despite the dark theme behind many of the collections, the entire evening was a quite successful ode to the ability of fashion to uplift, express, and inspire.

And while the designers may be small-time in comparison to the massive style houses featured in New York or Paris Fashion Week, the FAST event felt like a comparable fashion show, both in terms of the artists’ ability and energy.

Proceeds of the show went to Neurofibromatosis Inc., California, an organization that works to educate the public about and advocate for individuals sick with Neurofibromatosis, a nervous system disorder that leads to the growth of tumors along the nerves.

Scott Hovdey
BARE Reporter

1 comment: