Graduating students exhibit takes on 'Contour' theme

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Backstage volunteers attach a headpiece to a model wearing Rebekah Hoffer’s collection as part of the Contour fashion show at the Frank Erwin Center Thursday evening.

Photo Credit: Andreina Velazquez | Daily Texan Staff

From psychedelic mushroom-inspired dresses to a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”-inspired collection, graduating designers showcased their final works at the Frank Erwin Center on Thursday night.

Twenty-three textiles and apparel seniors sent about 120 original designs down the runway at the 13th annual Division of Textiles and Apparel fashion show sponsored by the University Co-Operative Society and in collaboration with the School of Human Ecology. The University Fashion Group organized and produced this year’s fashion show focusing on the theme “Contour.”

Marketing senior Angeli Aguilera, vice president of the University Fashion Group, said the theme of the show was meant for the designers to incorporate lines and shapes in their clothing.

“It was really up to the designers to take the theme and figure out what it meant,” Aguilera said. “Every designer interpreted it a different way into their outfits.”

Judges of the show included local industry professionals who awarded prizes for Best Fashion Collection, Most Innovative Fashion Collection, Most Marketable Fashion Collection, Best Constructed Fashion Collection and Best Evening/Bridal Gown.

Textiles and apparel senior Sofia Maldonado, was the first designer to showcase her collection, “Mercado.” Maldonado said she was inspired by her half-Salvadorian ancestry and the marketplaces in El Salvador where fabrics are sold and made.

“I also have a strong theater background, and one of my most passionate plays that I performed in and designed took place in the 18th and 19th century and was inspired by those silhouettes,” Maldonado said. “Along with that, I incorporated color and natural fabrics and combined with them with the actual market fabrics to make a chic summer line that is marketable and desirable.”

Maldonado said it was a long process for all the designers to complete their collections from the drawing boards to the pattern making and final fittings.

“It’s very time-consuming and you learn that time management is really important,” Maldonado said. “Personally, I’ve had to sacrifice a lot this semester and not see my friends and family, but these other designers are my family and we’ve spent all-nighters trying to figure out problems on our own, but experience is always the best way to learn.”

Karen Bravo, faculty adviser for University Fashion Group, said she wanted the show to impress the estimated 5,000 people in the audience and the people from a national and international scale who watched the live webcast.

“I wanted people to leave here amazed that the school can put on a professional New York Fashion Week production, which I think we gave them,” Bravo said.

Textiles and apparel senior Ashley Trevino, one of the designers, said her collection was inspired by the style of the 1940s and the movie, Casablanca.

“I wanted to update those things with fun colors and luxurious fabrics and make it a lot of fun to see,” Trevino said. “I hope that when somebody sees it, it makes them smile and reminds them of the beach because it is resort wear.”

English junior Tyler Neal, director of public relations for University Fashion Group and male model for senior designer, Albert Zhou, said Zhou’s collection was friendly for all seasons.

“It’s classic menswear with a little twist with a European cut that’s very sophisticated,” Neal said. “I can wear the pants in the summer or in the winter and wear different shirts with it, as well.”