Fashion show models recall their experiences on the runway

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Fashion show models recall their experiences on the runway

Sabrina Harris and Monshawn Simon-Tittle consulting about the fit and comfort during a walk of the garment on Thursday, May 16. Photo credit: Jaime Solis

Sabrina Harris and Monshawn Simon-Tittle consulting about the fit and comfort during a walk of the garment on Thursday, May 16. Photo credit: Jaime Solis

Sabrina Harris and Monshawn Simon-Tittle consulting about the fit and comfort during a walk of the garment on Thursday, May 16. Photo credit: Jaime Solis

Sabrina Harris and Monshawn Simon-Tittle consulting about the fit and comfort during a walk of the garment on Thursday, May 16. Photo credit: Jaime Solis

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Muffled techno music has been bouncing off the Student Activities Center walls these past weeks as models practiced walking the runway for the annual El Camino College Fashion Show on Monday, June 3.

Models are preparing their postures, taking poses and walking in a way that showcases the garments they are wearing.

“I’ve always wanted to be a model, so why not try it” Genesis Menjivar, respiratory care major, said.

Menjivar said this is her first time modeling and, while she’s enjoying her experience, she has her doubts.

“I’m a little nervous because I don’t like showing a lot of skin,” Menjivar said. “I’d really have to think about it, but I guess I’ll try it out.”

While several of the models participating are students, some are members of the EC community, including Deiby Gonzalez, a local EC resident who participated as a male model last year.

Gonzalez was invited to return this year.

“This isn’t something I ever thought I’d do,” Gonzalez said. “At first it was a way to get out of my shell, but now it’s just fun.”

Psychology major Erika Leyva said she participates in the fashion show as a form of acceptance towards herself.

“I like it because it allowed me to accept my body height and characteristics that I was self-conscious about,” Leyva said. “Here I can stand tall and it was helpful for my confidence.”

Business and real estate major Sabrina Harris said she has been modeling for seven years outside of being an EC student.

“Some professional and some non-profit,” Harris said, “I’m independent, but I’ve worked with some up and coming designers.”

Harris said her experience modeling has helped her settle her nerves for what is to come, making her more excited than nervous.

“In modeling, you don’t have a choice,” Harris said. “The designer gives you what to wear and you just work it. You are the designer’s muse.”

As the fashion designers complete preparations of their garments for the fashion show, they must also take the models they have available into consideration.

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Manuel Botella, fashion design major, tries on a garment for the fashion show on Thursday, May 16. He participated last year and liked it so much he decided to continue. Photo credit: Jaime Solis

“I like to draw out their inner beauty through my designs,” fashion and design major Cheryl Brewer said. “I chose my models because I like them to feel good about themselves.”

Brewer said she is participating this year as both a designer and a model.

Brewer said her first time modeling was in 2003 and she was instantly hooked so she participating in the fashion show every year after that and deciding to design for the show.

“I was inspired by being a model in that show to design,” Brewer said. “I designed clothes for my toys ever since I was a kid but, ultimately, I was inspired by the runway.”

Just as the models come from different areas of interest and expertise, the designers also have varying talents.

Brittany Dke, is a fashion and bio-med major. She plans on getting an AS degree in fashion but will get her Bachelor’s degree in biology

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Brittany Dke, fashion design and bio-med major, working on her garment for the fashion show on Thursday, May 16. She submitted a mixture of gowns and cocktail dresses for the fashion show. Photo credit: Jaime Solis

“I’ve always been interested in science so I wanted to be a doctor,” Dke said. “But I thought it would be interesting to design.”

Dke started a fashion line while at EC, Lacey Collections, which is geared towards women apparel and has since become a social media influencer.

“I learned to sew at El Camino, so I wanted to showcase some of my work,” Dke said. “This year I submitted a mixture of gowns and cocktail dresses.”

While the designers and models prepare for their grand entrance, students in Fashion 44: Fashion Show Production and Promotions work diligently behind the scenes to set the stage.

“I’m the one backstage hustling models and protecting garments once they’re in my hands,” Erin LaVoie, fashion and design major and chair of the design committee, said.

Much of the show’s organization is divided between different committees that take on specific responsibilities, such as the design committee being responsible for recruiting and coordinating with designers.

A large part of the production process for the show is to obtain funding.

“The Tailor Made Fashion Club is where we get all our funding,” Emily Dennis-Keep, fashion design and production and fashion merchandising major said.

As the secretary and treasurer for the class, Dennis-Keep’s responsibilities include keeping track of events, ideas, and money.

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Models waiting for the designers to arrive in the classroom on Thursday, April 4. The designers will be choosing which models will be wearing their garments. Photo credit: Jaime Solis

“We get funds from fundraisers the club holds over the semester, residual profits from last year’s ticket sales, and ads,” Dennis-Keep said.

Despite being involved on the committees, Dennis-Keep is also submitting designs in the hopes of showcasing her talent in front of an audience through the models she selected.

Brewer added this is where she belongs, feeling free, inspired all by the “experience of showing off.”

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