Student designs take center stage at FAST 10th anniversary show

Ariel Hayat/Senior Staff

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“X” marked the theme at Fashion and Student Trends’ 10th anniversary fashion show last weekend. The sold-out show was a mix of ready-to-wear garments and the stuff that makes fashion shows fun: shell-bedazzled crop tops, wire mesh horns and cutting edge hair and makeup.

“We wanted to have something symbolize and remind people that it was the 10-year anniversary show,” said Nataly Flores, co-president and public relations director of Fashion and Student Trends. Flores, along with FAST co-president Cory Mohn, managed all the aspects of show production, including the set — built as part of the FAST DeCal — and the various committees that produced and publicized the show. As Flores put it, “it’s just fleek, it’s just chic, it’s good.”

A total of 24 designers, including new and veteran members of FAST, debuted collections at Clark Kerr’s Joseph Wood Krutch Theatre. Some participants had no previous sewing experience, so design workshops were held over the course of the semester to guide the fledgling designers. Designers first conceptualized their ideas before sketching them out and beginning garment construction. They then consulted FAST’s design directors, who offered counsel throughout the creative process.

Hair and makeup services were provided by Paul Mitchell the School East Bay. Notable details included golden eyebrows, graphic eyeliner and cheekbones highlighted with jewels or patches of purple pigment — if mermaids could have a signature makeup look, this would certainly be it.

This year, the show’s theme was “X,” a broad, almost-inscrutable idea from which a few key trends emerged. The bevy of crop tops and cleverly cut cocktail dresses made it clear that the group of UC Berkeley student designers wanted to showcase skin as a trend unto itself.  Other trends stood out, too. The opening collection by Megan Riggio alluded to 10th century fashion, with diadems and crosses accessorizing the looks. Long, trailing, kimono-esque pieces in embroidered chiffon were also popular among many of the student designers.

White embroidery was seen most frequently, but a long black nightgown designed by FAST design director Tina Xu commanded particular attention. The piece, jacket-like in the front, curved into a long, floor-sweeping train in the back. Small, red flowers dotted the front and back of the gown, creating a scattered effect, as if someone tossed a handful of flowers over the garment just before its catwalk debut.

Jacklin Ha’s collection “Dream a Little Dream” featured magical, fairytale elements and made stunning use of blue and silver fabrics. A two-tone dress, for example, featured a sleeveless lace top in deep blue and a white tulle skirt cinched at the waist with a thin black belt. What stood out most wasn’t the softness of the silhouette, however, but the fuzzy glow of blue light bulbs suspended underneath the full skirt.

The standout collection — and crowd favorite — was the show’s closer, a collection by Soazig Kaam. Kaam, a graduate student, has designed with FAST since 2011. Kaam thought of “X” to mean expectation, and her collection paired patterned textiles with primary colors. Kaam’s designs included lime green harem pants paired with an off-the-shoulder crop top and a strapless, floor-length sundress. The dress, which would easily pass for a ballgown, was cut so that a hint of yellow fabric peeked out from the folds of the dress as the model moved down the runway.

Ultimately, FAST’s 10-year anniversary show was a display of the new: new avenues of creativity, new designers (more than 15 of them) and new details. “I think that’s really been this semester, seeing where we’ve come from and what we can do to get to the 20-year anniversary,” Mohn said. “We’ve grown out of things, we’ve grown into things, and I think this show really reflects that.”

Contact Elizabeth Moss at [email protected].

A previous version of this article misspelled the name of Megan Riggio.