For most of the 29 senior apparel designers, the final runway walk down the middle of the Frank Erwin Center was the not only a college highlight but an end of four years of hard work, countless hours in the sewing lab, endless amounts of coffee and lasting memories with fellow students and faculty that will last forever. After all, it is college, and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
The fashion show, entitled Dimension, was broadcast LIVE! from the Frank Erwin Center on the Longhorn Network and hosted by the dynamic duo, Holly Mills-Gardner and Emmanuel Acho. The show has been a department annual event since the 1970s and has grown every year with the designers and collections getting better year after year.
The University Cooperative Society, a founding and title sponsor, put the designer’s creativity to the test for “The Forever Longhorn” challenge. Designers gathered inspiration from the UT Longhorn sports program and created a design that is both functional and comfortable while capturing the intrinsic nature of UT’s game day spirit.
The pre-fashion event “World of Textiles and Apparel” featured the junior class student designs and research projects, as well as the entries for the SoHE Director’s Design Challenge.
For the first time this year, the designers were asked to recycle previously worn “fast fashion”, which are usually worn for a single season, into new pieces of activewear clothing. For example, designer Alexandra Hill created pants and tops from thrifted sheets at Goodwill to create her look.
As the new class of designers began their senior year back in August, the design faculty never knows what direction these creatives will take. “This year, I think they are more creative. Some years there are more ready-to-wear garments, but this year there are more avant-garde pieces. They were all in a creative mood,” added, Ockhee Bego, Director of UT Fashion Show.
Once the more than 140 garments finished their runway spotlight, it was time to hand out the coveted awards.
Winner – Michelle Cantu
Honorable Mention: Natalie Arriaga
Winner – Giselle Villareal
Honorable Mention – Taylor Hicks
Honorable Collection – Gioia Caponera and Kim Jihyo
Winner – Lesley Stewart
The show was organized by the University Fashion Group at the University of Texas at Austin and judged by a panel of local Austin industry professionals, retailers, educators and consumers.
Some of these 2018 Seniors are headed for some impressive internships, some will move on to other careers and some are getting married! But as we say goodbye to this class of Seniors, I am sure we’ll see some of these designers’ names on future fashion runways or running major brands.
Trust me, the fashion industry is in good hands.