Diversity was on display at the Fashion Network Association’s winter runway show, which showcased collections and designs from SF State’s apparel design and merchandising students. Over 30 student designers presented their work at the show “Impressions.”
From dusty gold cocktail dresses to complete menswear outfits, the runway show gave students a stage to share their perspective on fashion and design. Some students contributed individual pieces while others created collections with a unifying theme.
Senior Angela Wolverton was one designer who created and showcased a cohesive collection. Entitled “Blackout,” the line was inspired by 1950s Hawaii. The loose-fitting pantsuits and sundresses took cues from vintage postcards and prints from the island.
The show also had a heavy emphasis on sustainability. FNA faculty adviser Connie Ulasewicz opened “Impressions” with a presentation where she outlined the waste created by clothing.
“Fashion creates waste,” Ulasewicz said.
According to Ulasewicz, an average of 69 pounds of clothing are disposed of annually. She said that there are a few ways that SF State students can help to reduce this waste.
One is by simply donating clothes that are in good condition to clothing drives instead of throwing them away. Denim has a more specific solution. According to Ulasewicz, there are multiple local stores that turn discarded and donated denim in to turn into insulation for homes; 500 pairs of jeans will keep one home warm.
The last way of participating seems to have been a favorite among some designers who showcased at the show. Ulasewicz said that by redesigning and “upcycling” clothing, you can turn unwanted or out of style clothing into the raw material for a completely new piece.
“Think about how you can participate, how you can be part of the change,” Ulasewicz said.
Organizers of the show see showcases like “Impressions” as an important way for students to gain insight into the industry they wish to work in.
“When they’re ready to go out in the world they have some experience,” said FNA secretary Rachel Gellerman.
Gabriela Marmolejo, a junior studying interior design, was one of the many student models for “Impressions.” She agreed that shows like these provide valuable experience, something she said was “extremely important.”
Patternmaking instructor Adrian Leong said he was proud of his students, who he helped create patterns for pieces in the show.
“They did a good job,” Leong said. “There’s diversity, something here for everyone.”