Fashion show showcases diverse array of designers

The+cosmetology+department%27s+interpretation+of+the+Ice+Queen+for+their+fantasy+themed+hair+style+collection++in+the+Mini+Hair+Show.+that+took+place+during+the+annual+fashion+show%2C+themed+%E2%80%98Runway+to+Wonderland%E2%80%99%2C+on+Monday%2C+June+3.+Photo+credit%3A+Mari+Inagaki
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Fashion show showcases diverse array of designers

The cosmetology department's interpretation of the Ice Queen for their fantasy themed hair style collection  in the Mini Hair Show. that took place during the annual fashion show, themed ‘Runway to Wonderland’, on Monday, June 3. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

The cosmetology department's interpretation of the Ice Queen for their fantasy themed hair style collection in the Mini Hair Show. that took place during the annual fashion show, themed ‘Runway to Wonderland’, on Monday, June 3. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

The cosmetology department's interpretation of the Ice Queen for their fantasy themed hair style collection in the Mini Hair Show. that took place during the annual fashion show, themed ‘Runway to Wonderland’, on Monday, June 3. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

The cosmetology department's interpretation of the Ice Queen for their fantasy themed hair style collection in the Mini Hair Show. that took place during the annual fashion show, themed ‘Runway to Wonderland’, on Monday, June 3. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

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Music boomed and an applause roared from an electrified crowd as models from the El Camino community wore designs from EC students and strutted down the runway on Monday, June 3 in the East Dining Room.

The Annual Fashion Show, this year themed “Runway to Wonderland,” was produced and hosted by students in Fashion 44: Fashion Show Productions and Promotions and the Tailor Made Fashion Club and included participation from the Cosmetology department and several high schools.

The event opened with a reception where attendees could buy various necklaces prepared by the hosts or raffle tickets for an opportunity to win one of various prizes donated to the show by companies including Chanel, Santa Cruz, and Chili’s.

‘I’m very excited but a little nervous but I’m sure I’m going to do good,” said Ejon Johnson, nursing major and model for various of the designers. “I’m in shock because everyone looks so professional, everyone looks so amazing, it looks really really good.”

Some of the attendees, like Jonathan Camacho, were fellow fashion design majors who couldn’t participate due to busy schedules but wanted to show their support.

“I think it’s pretty sick,” Camacho said, “I saw the process they went through and now you get to see the final product.”

The first half of the show opened with a display of designs from, and worn by, students from the participating high schools

Linda Solaris, tenth grader from Leuzinger High School, drew inspiration from her design from her classes, composing her design entirely of origami folded shapes.

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Young model, Eleri Irons, 6th grade, Notre Dame High School walks the catwalk at the Spring fashion runway, ‘Runway of Wonderland’, Monday, June 3. Photo credit: Elena Perez

“I’m thankful for my favorite teacher Mrs. Bennett for teaching us origami,” Solaris said. “[I chose] origamis because its folded and hand-made and it being hand-made just gives it great definition.”

Others, like twelfth grader Keren Arenas from Hawthorne High School, used their design to send an earth-friendly message by using old unused weaved baskets for the bust of their dress adorning the front with the recycling symbol.

“The main theme, I guess, was more trees,” Arenas said. “On the front we have stuff made from trees, pencils, rulers, toilet paper, and on the back we have nature, what we would have if we took care of the earth.”

Following the high school students, the students from cosmetology department presented three of their six themes, bridal, futuristic, and fiesta, for their “mini hair show.”

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Estitisians, Arianna Nicasio, 27, and Alysia Sankey, craft their makeup skills on models Ana Jaimes, 21, architecture and Sabrina Harris, 20, real estate backstage the Runway of Wonderland, Monday, June 3. Photo credit: Elena Perez

First year students from the cosmetology department helped the fashion models with their hair and make-up, but the mini hair show was the senior cosmetology department students’ time to shine.

“I felt nervous but I was expecting good results and energy,” said Tatum Patterson, cosmetology major and bridal hairstyle model, said.

Despite the crowds, and maybe wishing for more practice, many of the hair models like Anahita Zedran, cosmetology major and fiesta hair model, would enjoy the experience again.

“I was so nervous at first, but once I was on stage I felt so confident,” said Zedran.

The fashion show officially began after the first half of the hair show, commencing its presentation with the “Themed,” “Unconventional,” and “dressy,” categories and a collection by designer Cheryl Brewer.

“I didn’t get to model like I wanted to this year,” Brewer said. “But I was glad to let the other models shine in my pieces.”

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Cheryl Brewer(left) walking the runway with model Erika Leyva (right) after winning the Best of Show award during the annual fashion runway, themed ‘Runway to Wonderland’, Monday, June 3. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

Like everyone before them, the models felt a mixed charge of excitement and nervousness getting on stage, despite many weeks of practice.

Karlie Williams, a model who only modeled one garment, a large flowing dress covered in red paper flowers designed by Johnny Lee, fashion design major, for the Unconventional category, was glowing after her walk.

“I feel exuberated, that rush of excitement,” Williams said. “It would have been fun to model more, walk out the nervousness first and be more confident after.”

Once the final garment from Brewer’s collection was exhibited, a 15 minute intermission was held to give the models time to change into their next looks and give the audience time to absorb what they saw.

“The audience is really enjoying it,” said Erin LaVoie, fashion design major and starter for the fashion show. “It’s heartwarming to see all the hard work pay off.”

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Mingqian "Claire" Cui modeling a red, 22 layer tulle dress from designer Kate Chang's collection, "Tales of Romance," during the annual fashion show, themed ‘Runway to Wonderland’, on Monday, June 3. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

Being initially in-charge of coordinating with the designers about their garments, LaVoie was at the center of the chaotic pre-show trying to make sure the show flowed as efficiently as possible.

“I had my doubts at first, but it’s going perfectly so far,” LaVoie said.

After the intermission, the cosmetology started the show again, presenting their final three categories: “braids,” which was themed around braided hair from across the globe, “timeline,” which was themed around different eras of hair fashion like the 80s, and “fantasy,” which revolved around fairy tales like the Ice Queen and Rapunzel.

“I loved the cosmetology department’s participation,” Priscilla Ratcliffe, designer, professor of design and host for the show, said. “I loved the way they incorporated their skits into the show.”

The rest of the fashion show followed soon after, concluding the exhibition with a display of collections from several designers that each chose a unique theme like “Wild Child,” which revolved around swimwear, and “Tales of Romance,” which was based on bridal gowns.

“I really enjoyed the last collection [Tales of Romance],” Ratcliffe said. “Especially the red dress with the 22 layers of tulle, satin bustier top, and white petticoat underneath was just fabulous.”

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Wilma Freeman. leads the models wearing her collection titled "Flirty Girl" for the annual fashion show, titled ‘Runway of Wonderland’, Monday, June 3. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

Once the last of the garments were presented, all the participants that walked the runway made an encore walk before the judges announcement awards for designers.

Leuzinger High School’s Linda Solaris was presented the 50 dollar Scholarship for High School Designers by Dr. Vera Bruce Ashley, professor of fashion design and the faculty member overseeing production of the show.

Ashley Mendoza, Fashion Design and Production major, was presented with Best Themed garment for her shimmering silver dress and imposing pointed crown representing the White Queen by David Akhamzadeh, CEO and founder of Goldstar tools.

Alicia Nay, owner of Return Engagement, a consignment clothing store, presented Johnny Lee with the Best of Unconventional award for the dress worn by Williams and the Best of Dressy to Vanessa Chavez for her submission of a glimmering pink cocktail dress.

“It feels surreal [winning the award], it was a last minute decision to participate,” Lee said. “I have negative thoughts and thought it wouldn’t look good, so its surreal so many people liked it.”

Stormyweather Banks, fashion educator and designer and CEO of Stormy Weather Boutique presented Kate Chang with the Award for Best Collection, which was the “Tales of Romance” set, and Cheryl Brewer with the Award for Best of Show thanks to her white crocheted outfit with black linings on the blouse.

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Johnny Ly, 19, fashion design, accepts award for best in class at the Runway to Wonderland, Monday, June 3. Photo credit: Elena Perez

Erika Leyva, psychology major and the person wearing the garment named best of show, didn’t realize she and Brewer won the award and was ecstatic when she found out.

“That’s awesome, that’s exciting, that’s everything,” Leyva said. “I’m glad I could make the designers feel good about their craft.”

Brewer could only give thanks to God for what she sees as a second opportunity at school and everyone involved with the fashion show who made it possible.

“I’m so happy and overwhelmed,” Brewer said. “I want to keep designing, even though I like modeling more.”

As the room emptied, relief and exhaustion could be seen across the faces of all the organizers of the show. Emily Dennis-Keep, secretary and organizer of the fashion show described the long, grueling process as so much work for what felt like a short event.

“I’m so tired,” Dennis-Keep said. “I feel like I’m going to fall off a cliff.”

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