Fashion and Student Trends, or FAST, of UC Berkeley put on its biannual runway show Sunday to reveal the multitude of collections created under this semester’s prompt, “Momentum.” The fall semester’s runway was an array of creativity, color and diversity that demonstrated the numerous ways in which forward movement exists in everyday fashion. This diversity ranged from cross-cultural representations to different embodiments of the prompt.
All the looks on the runway represented the visual talents of the designers as well as the encouraging environment created by every member of FAST. Each designer brought an unexpected and profound interpretation to the show, emblazoning a piece of themselves on each garment. The stand-out collections that stole the runway were those that weren’t just stylistically impressive but were unexpected takes on “Momentum” itself.
Leilah Talukder’s collection, titled “Cyclic,” was an incendiary evolution of past and present styles reminiscent of the Louis Vuitton 2013 collection at Paris Fashion Week. With beautiful attention to detail and clean craftsmanship, Talukder –– who also modeled for Pierce Firebaugh’s “Hot Couture” collection later in the evening –– developed a series of garments that embodied human evolution. The four-look collection was an anthology of chainmail skirts pieced together with Mondrian-style, primary-color polka dots and go-go inspired dresses, all tied together by the 1960s-inspired monochromatic take on color. The models clicked across the stage to a “Space Oddity” remix, reflecting the progression from 1960s fashion to today’s styles in Talukder’s designs.
Similar to Talukder’s recycling of innovative styles of the past, Rose Aguilar-McGhee’s collection “Crochet Modernism” also looked at contemporary applications of older styles. The goal of the ensembles was to redefine traditional crochet with youthful cuts and modern lines. This designer surpassed all expectations by designing the models’ jewelry, styling their prominent, tight hair and makeup and crocheting the fabric that they flaunted down the runway herself. Her collection featured multicolored crocheted pants, a loose, two-tone, diamond-patterned halter top, a fitted bikini top and a skirt that featured complimentary meshings of color. The models swayed their hips to the beat of music by “Sure, Sure” with cool, saucy attitudes licked across their lips by their vibrant, red lipstick, the effect leaving a mark on the audience.
Momentum took a more abstract face in the spicy collection “Hot Couture” designed by Firebaugh. While Firebaugh’s description of his collection is simply, “These looks are hot in a number of ways, honey,” this collection establishes the forward movement of energy, exhibited through garments that transcended gender-binary-based stylings on the models. The models wore a mix of streetwear graphics and sexy styles that helped redefine gender. He played with the monochromatic, subtle embellishments of the first garment, modernized ruffs, detailed embroidery and cropped leather. The last piece was a blue leotard under fiery chaps, similar to the Manolo Blahnik chaps designed by Rihanna in spring 2016. All around, this collection was a spunky marriage of sophisticated ingenuity and casual yet avant-garde fun.
The fashion show ended with a finale collection designed by Hannah De Vries, with inspiration drawn from the progression of a fireworks show. The models crossed the runway with playful serenity in donning all four looks, which were brought together by the dynamic and energetic overarching theme. Their accessories were exciting, with tassel earrings dangling bouncily across their shoulders as they walked. The finished designs were a concoction of embroidery, multicolored stars and an attentive and individual mixture of materials. Every ensemble possessed a shape, movement and texture that ultimately made the entire collection explosive, each outfit a cohesive blast in De Vries’ intended fireworks.
From the designs to the lights to the music, this semester’s FAST fashion show was a lively, jubilant medley of talent and style. The professionalism of the show and the seriousness of the models and designers helped transform the experience into a chic night of glamour. More than anything, Sunday’s runway was an exemplary representation of UC Berkeley’s multifaceted students as more than academics. The show heartwarmingly and impressively demonstrated the artistic talents and abilities of the student body.
Ultimately, what made the night was not the makeup or the outfits but the final waterfall of models and designers at the show’s finale, cementing that this powerful runway was the result of many students working together for the sake of passion and art itself.