Meet the 2013 University of Texas Designers & Winner Recap From "Transcend"

The 2013 UT Fashion Show was a night where 23 designers, staff and behind-the-scenes folks will remember. The show, entitled Transcend, was broadcast LIVE for the first time in the 17 year history of the event on The Longhorn Network. Students and family enjoyed the hour-long show along with some familiar Austin faces and designers, including Project Runway Season 11 Final Four finalist Daniel Esquivel, Cameron Silver from Bravo’s Dukes of Melrose, Former UT Designer Ross Bennett and Lauren Polt another UT Designer from chicka-d. Congrats to the University Fashion Group the designers/participants for a fantastic show. We wish you all success in your fashion careers. Hair provided by Jackson Ruiz Salon, models from Sue Webber Productions.
Click Here to See More Pix from the Show!
Click Here to See Street Style and Finale Fashion Show shots!
Click Here to Meet the Designers!
Lexus of Austin Design Challenge
HM – Alexandra Dieck
Winner – Christine Lew
Immersed in Cotton Active Sportwear
HM – Christine Lew
HM – Kinny Song
Winner – Megan McKinney
Evening Gown
HM – Christine Lew
Winner – Maddie Farias
Bridal Gown
HM – Megan McKinney
Winner – Kinny Song
Most Marketable
HM – Alexendra Dieck
HM – Biranna Johnson
Winner Kinny Song
Best Technical Design Collection
HM Cristal Martinez
HM Bang Nguyen
Winner – Megan McKinney
Msot Innovative Collection
HM – Chrstine Lew
HM – Cecilia Vu
Winner – Alex Born
Best Cotton Collection
HM Alex Borne
HM Megan McKinney
Winner – Kinny Song
Lexus of Austin – Best Overall Collection
HM – Brianna Johnson
HM – Lilia Beaman
Winner – Megan McKinney
This week the University of Texas Designers will show off and close out their senior years at the University in style!!  The show entitled “Transcend” will feature 23 designers this year and more than 120 garments.  Since the shows inception in 1997 the attendance has skyrocked from 500 to nearly 5,000 in 2012.  Many of the senior designers have a focus on becoming a designer and others use it as an opportunity to explore various careers in the apparel industry.
Several designers from the UT Design program have gone on to create successful businesses including, Ross Bennett who appeared in the first season of NBC’s Fashion Star, Lauren Polt of the successful brand chicka-d and Jessica Bird who designs jewelry.
This year’s show is inspired by the ability to go beyond limits, and the show title, “Transcend,” embodies this notion fully. The students are encouraged to push boundaries and follow their passions, lending to a creative and one-of-a-kind experience for the audience.
A panel of local industry professionals will award prizes for Best Fashion Collection, Most Innovative Fashion Collection, Most Marketable Fashion Collection, Best Technical Collection, Best Evening Gown and Best Bridal Gown.
The show is Thursday, April 18, 2013 at the Frank Erwin Center.  The show starts at 7 pm (an hour earlier than previous shows) and admission is free.
In previous years Fashionably Austin has webcast the show but this year the show will be broadcast LIVE on the The Longhorn Network.
Meet the designers!
Click Here to see the entire gallery!

DSC_0017Margarita Farias

Major: Textiles and Apparel Design
Hometown: San Antonio
Favorite Designer: It’s hard to have just one favorite! It varies and depends on my mood. Sometimes my current taste is towards fun and colorful clothes, so I’ll like Betsey Johnson’s designs, and then i’ll suddenly like more elegant and delicate things so I’ll like Marchesa’s designs.
Talk about your collection: My collection is for junior girls and young adult women ages 15-25, and is inspired by California casual laid back comfortable style for the Summer. Personally I love to draw and Los Angeles is where a lot of graffiti and comic artists are so I was inspired by that type of art. With my own interpretation of that kind of painting and drawing style, I put my own graphics on each piece of my collection. Graphics on the back pockets, and the front and back of shirts and my jacket were all drawn by me, and have a kind of “cartoony” feel to the drawings. I wanted to design a collection that was going to be fun for me to put together as well as fun for someone to wear. If my pieces were sold at stores I would want a girl to say “This is so cute, I have to have it!”.
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: My fashion experience at UT has opened my eyes to new areas I want to go into deeper. For example, my favorite class so far has been my Computer Aided Design class (CAD). Unfortunately there was only one part to the semester long class so we only learned the basic skills for a fraction of the amazing computer programs out there. This class opened my eyes to seeing that I can incorporate my love of Art into something like prints for clothing and accessories with computer programs as my medium. Right now I’m really into playing around with Adobe Illustrator.
“When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m drawing, painting and watching movies. I love graphic design and comic book art so in my free time I like drawing in that style.
DSC_0200Jennifer Ferguson
Major: Fashion Design
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Favorite Designers: Alexander McQueen/Zac Posen
Talk about your collection: It is inspired by the 60’s mod era
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: You cannot escape the sewing lab, not even in your dreams.
When I’m not dreaming about fashion:   I’m asking those around me if I can feel the fabric of their outfits.
DSC_0270Miriam Yarber
Major: Textile and Apparel Design
Hometown: Austin
Favorite Designer: Prabal Gurung
Talk about your collection: my theme is “Funny Business”: classic houndstooth, a sprinkling of rainbow stripes, bookish styling
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: this degree has been challenging, more so than most imagine! I have learned so many new technical skills and applications that I feel like my perspective has grown so much.
When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m … I enjoy cooking, sewing, and exercising. I really enjoy making wallets and purses.
DSC_0267Kinni Song
Major: Textiles and Apparel
Hometown: Amarillo, TX
Favorite Designer: Oscar de la Renta
Talk about your collection: Inspired by different types of collars/lapels and garments that emphasize the back. This collection focuses on ready to wear, cotton cocktail garments for the summer.
When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m doing nothing but sleeping.
DSC_0276Meagan Klafehn
Major: Textile and Apparel Design
Hometown: Flower Mound, Texas
Favorite Designer: Jason Wu
Talk about your collection: My collection is a contrast of hard and soft mixed with mixtures or leathers and sheers that blur the lines between opacity and translucency. It’s a lot of black and neutrals with splashes of oxblood that create a very coo, urban, chic vibe.
UT Fashion Experience: My experience in the Textiles and Apparel Program has been the best, and at times the worst, part of my college career. It has been a lot of long hours, stress, and nervous panels. But it has also been a lot of crazy dance parties, delusional all-nighters, and fun with the friends I’ve made in the program. It has been incredible to meet so many talented people and be a part of a program where all of the professors know you individually. Everyone involved in the TXA program is truly invested in helping you succeed and meet your goals. It really has been the foundation that has prepared me for working in the fashion industry and given me the confidence in my work and creativity to go out and show my designs.
“When I’m not dreaming about fashion  I’m enjoying spending time with my friends, family, and puppy Scout.
DSC_0286Briana Johnson
Major: Apparel Design
Hometown: Southlake,TX
Favorite Designer: John Galliano for Christian Dior and Gianni and Donatella Versace
Talk about your collection: My collection is evening wear inspired by ancient Egypt. It is all draped with elements of asymmetrical form. It is also made out of knits and has elements of leather and suede. It is made for the chic and modern women looking for a good time.
Tell me about your UT fashion experience:
I have modeled in two UT fashion shows and various fashion shoots that promote UT’s program. In Spring of 2012, I went to New York for UT in NYC. It was a program that allowed UT students to meet with alumni that work in the fashion industry. I also have done an internship with Stephanie Merzon that I got with the help of the University Fashion Group.
When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m thrift shopping and looking for inventory for my online vintage clothing store, Love Charlie J. I also will usually be eating infinite amounts of food.
DSC_0274Alex Born
Major: Apparel Design
Favorite Desginer: Alexander McQueen
Talk about your collection: My collection is inspired from dreams, fantasy movies, and the fluid nature of the baroque period. I used cotton fabric that I screen printed at home. There’s one mens’ and two womens’ looks.
My experience could be described as very diverse from taking hands-on sewing classes to Chemistry II. I’ve met many people and explore opportunities that I may not have been able to at a small private college.
When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m studying for an art history test or getting a ride to HEB.
DSC_0289Catherine Carter Hite
Major: Fashion Design
Hometown: Austin!
Favorite Designer: Lanvin & Marni because they understand the importance of good construction and that this is what makes a garment beautiful.
Talk about your collection
My collection is entitled “Illusion & Texture” and focuses on these two elements as well as the illusion of texture & modern technologies (laser-cutting and digital printing). The collection includes a print that I designed and painted, for this collection, which was inspired by the abstract work of artist Gerhard Richter. I decided to take on this notable task of creating my own print as a way to bring more texture into my work while using fabrics that were appropriate for the moderate weather of Austin. Although this print will not be shown at Transcend, it will be featured at my Austin Fashion Week runway show on May 8th. My first collection will debut in its entirety at this event.
While my collection is based on classic shapes and staple pieces, such as white shirting & pencil skirts, it maintains the element of intrigue through my exploration into technology. My classic esthetic guides me towards fuss-free fashions that will be worn and loved after a decade in your closet. My mantra is: “Trends come and go, but style is timeless. Instead of following trends, you should go for garments that excite you year after year, season after season.”
Tell me about your UT fashion experience
The greatest technical skill that I have learned at UT is the art of draping. However, the professors have taught me much more than that; they have taught me valuable life lessons through the endless hours that they dedicate to the students, the positive energy that they constantly exude & the incredible gift of mentoring that they give without hesitation. I credit this support, and their unending willingness to give of themselves, as the main reason that I am able to launch my own line, a life-long dream.
“When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m doing….” (finish) it’s probably because I am asleep. Since the age of three, when I boldly declared that I wanted to be a fashion designer, I have never wanted to pursue anything else. I have always felt an inner need to be creative and from my earliest years, I have always been happiest when I am doing something creative. Over the years, I have explored everything from drawing and painting to needlepointing and knitting; bookmaking, photography and even basketweaving. But I always dreamed about being a fashion designer. A lifetime of dreaming and I still would never have believed that I could not only be starting my own clothing line, but also doing it in my hometown and my favorite city, Austin.
DSC_0190Nickie Garcia
Major: Textiles and Apparel Design
Hometown: San Benito, TX
Favorite Designer: Valentino
Talk about your collection: It’s a cotton collection inspired by pin-up girls. Classic silhouettes with a touch of polka-dots.
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: This program definitely develops well rounded students. It covers all aspect of design to construction while teaching us about the industry requirements.
“When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m …enjoying the Austin music scene. And reading!
DSC_0197Alexandra Dieck
Major Apparel and Textile Design
Hometown: Austin TX
Favorite designers: Balmain, Emilio Pucci, Rachel Zoe
Talk about your collection description:
My three pieces for the fashion show is really a bunch of elements of style that I love all incorporated into a mini collection. The overall theme of it is fur but it also includes leather and metal hardware. The collection has a very sassy and fun feel to it all so I decided to call my collection “Furget You,” inspired by Cee Lo Green’s hit song “Forget You.” I want the girl who wears my clothing to feel cool, bold, and independent. Its a very luxurious and glamours line that I feel like could be worn by a variety of women in different ways.
UT fashion experience:
My experience at UT has been such a great learning experience. Not only do we learn about the construction of garments but we learn every step from just brainstorming ideas to sending our own creations down the catwalk. It has really taught me well about the business side behind the fashion world. UT has opened the doors to so many opportunities for me that have further taught me about the industry such as interning with designers in London and studying in New York. It truly has been the best and most fulfilling four years of school.
“When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m styling or thinking of different aspects of the industry. So there’s never really a moment I’m not dreaming about fashion.”
DSC_0272Sara Abusheikh
Major: TXA: Apparel Design
Hometown: Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Favorite Designer: Ellie Saab
Talk about your collection: Simple evening gowns dressed up with separate, beaded accessories. The collection is called “Diamonds and Pearls.”
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: It has been a strenuous but very rewarding process. I feel I learn so much and love it more every day.
“When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m… ” Spending time with my family, reading, or trying to graduate!
DSC_0202Christine Lew
Major: Textiles and Apparel Design
Hometown: Austin, TX
Favorite Designer: Hussein Chalayan and Haider Ackerman
Talk about your collection: My collection was inspired by organic architecture and contrasting structure with movement.
UT fashion experience: I believe my experience here at UT has kept me a well-rounded individual. I am educated not only in design, but also the science and business aspect of fashion.
-“When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m trying to figure out what to do with my life.
DSC_0193Kathryn Fish
Major: Fashion Design
Hometown: Austin
Favorite Designer: Marni or Milly
Talk about your collection: My collection is called “Salerosa” which in Spanish means “lively and graceful.” The collection is classic and elegant with a modern twist. I used almost all natural fibers. The designs are aplacable in many situations and different body styles to allow them to be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: It has been great! I have to thank my professors through out the years for making my experience enjoyable and inspiring me to do my best. Creativity runs through these halls and it’s a wonderful atmosphere to learn in.
When I’m not dreaming about fashion, I’m showing my horses in nationals or at the lake with my dog, Winston, and pet monkey, Charlie.
DSC_0284Cristal Isabel Martinez
Major: Textiles and Apparel Design
Hometown: Corpus Christi, TX
Favorite Designer: Hussein Chalayan
Talk about your collection: Inspired by structure and natural fibers
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: It’s been really awesome to meet and work alongside so many talented and smart students and mentors.
DSC_0259Hannah Kim
Major: Textiles and Apparel Design
Hometown: Houston
Favorite Designer: Givenchy
Talk about your collection: “Baroque Revival” — it was inspired by the Baroque period and metallic brocades
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: It’s been great being in this major. I love the creative ideas, my classmates, but most of all, I love my professors. They truly are the best mentors any student could ever ask for. Without them, my UT experience definitely would not be the same.
“When I’m not dreaming about fashion I image myself resting on the beach relaxing.
DSC_0265Irene Carter
Major: Textiles and Apparel – Design
Hometown: Burleson, TX
Favorite Designer: Balmain, DVF
Talk about your collection: My collection was designed with a rock group in mind. The pieces are unique and will have great presence on stage.
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: I’ve had a wonderful experience in the Design program. The teachers give a lot of great one-on-one advice, and have taught me about every aspect of the fashion business.
“When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m doing….” …traveling or dreaming about traveling, spending time with friends and family.
DSC_0280Helen Febrie
Major: Textiles & Apparel: Apparel Design
Hometown: Austin, TX
Favorite Designer: Anna Sui
Talk about your collection: Casual wear for spring. Unique pieces that will induce a feeling of happiness when you wear it because of its bright, fun colors. It was inspired by the 3 primary colors with a pinch of Asian culture in its pieces.
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: I’ve learned so much at UT, the program, the faculty, along with all the opportunities they provided for the students have been great and they really want us to succeed and make a difference in the world.
“When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m….” inventing something that will be used by everybody around the world.
DSC_0278Cecillia Vu
Major: Textiles and Apparel: Design
Hometown: Houston, Tx
Favorite Designer: Stephane Rolland, Alexander Wang, Balmain
Talk about your collection
My collection is for the sassy city girl; sleek and chic. It is a very versatile collection, full of interchangeable pieces that can be mixed and matched with each other. Definitely neutral mixed with black, and lots of vinyl!
Tell me about your UT fashion experience
My experience with the UT fashion program has surpassed my expectations. I have been blessed with three amazing and supportive instructors as well as a group of talented classmates. We have become more than just students and teachers at an institution; we are more like one big creative family overflowing with bright ideas! I walked in not knowing how to sew a straight seam, now I just made a bridal gown and more!
When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m thinking about what my next meal should be.
DSC_0262Lilia Ballí Beaman
Major:  Textiles and Apparel Design
Hometown:  Austin, TX
Favorite Designer Alexander McQueen
Talk about your colletion:  It is all about the Scottish Invasion: 60s mod meets Scottish culture
Tell me about your UT fashion experience:  I have been at UT for 11 years both as a student (graduated Class of 2007) and as an employee (2007-2010) and I have never felt more at home than I have being in TXA.
When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m thinking about … roller derby.

Bang Nguyen
Major: Textile and Apparel Design
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Favorite Designer: Tom Ford, Marchesa, Schiaparelli
Talk about your collection: Glamorous, provocative, and a classic 1920’s feel with an interesting twist
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: Being a fashion student at UT had been a wonderful experience, we’ve grown together as a group of young designers, somewhat like a family almost. The faculty members were very helpful in everything that we do and provided us with the knowledge that we need in order to bring our 2D designs into a 3-Dimensional object. 
When I’m not dreaming about fashion I love to just go on a hike or be at the lake; a break from sitting in a room for several long hours.


DSC_0204Mehgan McKinney
Major:  Textiles and Apparel: Specialization in Apparel Design
Hometown:  Honolulu, Hawaii
Favorite Designer: Coco Chanel
Talk about your collection:  My collection is a combination of leather and cotton. Inspired by Steampunk culture and medieval warriors.
Tell me about your UT fashion experience:My UT experience has been so beneficial to my life.  I have learned just about everything I know about fashion from UT and I also learned some important things about myself.
When I’m not dreaming about fashion, I am dreaming about puppies.


Samantha Mitchell
Major: Apparel Design
Hometown: Fort Worth
Favorite Designer: Marc Jacob
Talk about your collection: Dinosaur inspired. Edgy. Textured.
Tell me about your UT fashion experience: it’s been incredible. I’ve learned so much and grown so much. I don’t want it to end!
“When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m doing….” Eating thundercloud

Nickie Temprachanh
Major: Apparel Design
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX
Favorite Designer: Marchesa 
Tell me about your collection:  Inspired by witch inspired black dresses 
“When I’m not dreaming about fashion I’m…eating delicious foods!” 

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