When I was invited to cover the California State University Northridge Fashion Show as the representative of Your Coffee Break, I couldn’t hide my excitement. After all, it was only a few years back that I was walking those halls as a student myself! I was also part of the design program and had the opportunity to showcase my own mini collection in front of family, friends and important guests. So, it was no surprise that I was extremely eager to see what the newest generation of my soon to be fellow alumni had up their sleeve..I was sure I was in for a treat.
The show was held on campus, in the beautiful student union center. You would have never guessed it was an amateur show. The set up was professional and even included a step and repeat for the attendees with a smooth checking-in process. I had a VIP ticket and was escorted to the backstage area where I got to snack on hors d’œuvres and chat with my ex professors and faculty. Before I knew it I was sitting front row (yes, VIP indeed!) and waiting for the “cirque de la mode” show to begin. But before all the fashion, we got a taste of another extremely talented group. The CSUN hip hop dance team that was so amazing I think I had to remind myself to close my mouth a few times!
Just as any fashion show, this one was also running a bit late. Thankfully, not Chanel show kind of late, or we would have been there all night! The 16 designers were separated into 3 categories- Contemporary Sportswear, Romantic Sportswear and Special Occasion Dresses. One of the first ones to present was Brittnie Jones, who took inspiration from her Los Angeles hometown. A true California girl, she used simple earth tones and asymmetrical cuts. Her floor length blue dress was the highlight for me and truly belongs in my closet!
Hayley Varner presented active wear and had her models show off their “guns” on the runway by posing confidently as they walked. It was nice to see models that are in shape and of healthy size. Unfortunately, you don’t see this during NY or LA Fashion Weeks.
Karol Lara seemed to be the only one brave enough to design a menswear only collection. She did a fantastic job with tailoring and received many applauses for her choice of fabric and color which resulted in the boys looking sophisticated yet chic. Speaking of thinking outside the box, Ting Lin was by far the most innovative designer of the bunch! She chose materials such as plastic, leather and even metal for her futuristic take on couture stage wear. As if that was not enough, she choreographed her runway walk and had models (which included the designer herself!) dance as they strutted their stuff.
Whether it was Akane Shimizu genius choice of song (her Barbie Girl by AQUA won over the audience with the first beat) or Jeniffer Sanchez’ sweet dedication to her grandmother, each designer had something unique in their presentation. And the creativity paid off, giving Akane first place title for her Tokyo’s fun fashion inspired dresses.
As I sneaked out a bit early to catch another event, I couldn’t help but to smile with pride. What a talented group of designers, what a well executed event! The fashion industry might be a tough one, but if anyone can make it, it’s the CSUN graduates! And no, I am not just saying that because it’s my alma mater. Well, maybe a little bit…