Fashionistas – a department at large

Students prep for annual formal fashion show

By Estela Fuentes
The Guardsman

City College fashion students are getting ready to present their end of the year fashion show “Belle Epoque,” meaning beautiful era, on May 25 which will have a theme of 1920s underground Paris.

After deciding on a theme, the class was broken up into four different groups: production, sponsorship, fashion house and marketing.

For production, design students were assigned to one of five design categories — La Femme, The Shining, Out Of Africa, In Black and White and Tribal. Each student made a series of designs and the fashion department determined which would fit best into each category of the show.

Students in the sponsorship group have been working hard to get funding from businesses in San Francisco.

“The hardest thing I found was going up to a complete stranger, asking them for money and to take interest in your work and to sponsor you,” fashion student Brittaney McCreavy said. “With the help of our professors, we learned how to network within the city and find people.”

The fashion house group, in charge of choosing models, held an open casting session on April 20. With the help of fashion instructor Natalie Smith, students in the marketing group reached out to modeling agencies throughout the Bay Area, as well as advertised the audition to City College students.

“I have relationships with a lot of modeling agencies in the city, so I personally contacted them to let them know I was teaching this class,” Smith said. “I encouraged them to send their new faces, so their models can gain experience on the runway.”

Models were asked to submit a head shot, but were also required to present two different walks. Judged on a scale of one to four, all auditioning models were assessed based on appearance, how they walked and the energy they could bring to the runway.

The marketing group has also been spreading the word through social media, online and in print.

“This is a really passionate group of students,” Smith said. “They are really eager to get a good basic foundation on what it takes to produce a fashion show.”

Belle Epoque will be held May 25 at 8 p.m. at the Wellness Center, with a pre-show reception from 7 – 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for the general public. They can be purchased at the Ocean campus bookstore annex, the fashion department in Batmale Hall room 210, the Downtown campus bookstore or the Mission campus bookstore.

City College off-campus runway shows begin

By Jen Houghton
The Guardsman

Among glowing blue lights and a photographer’s flash, models strutted an L-shaped runway to a mix of live rock and electronic music, drawing attention from pedestrians outside the large windows at Sugar Cafe on April 19.

“From Dusk Till Dawn” was organized and executed by a team of students in the fashion coordination evening class. It was the first of many student-organized, off-campus fashion shows coming up in the following months.

“We’re one of the only schools in the state that produce our own fashion shows,” fashion department chair Diane Green said.

The teams work throughout the semester on the production. They secure a venue, clothing, models, a DJ, hair and makeup artists, as well as a videographer and photographer. All services are donated to the department.

“We were the first group, so we had the shortest amount of time,” said group leader Syeda Lee, who booked the venue and solely drafted the proposal to get materials and volunteers.

Mercedes Briancesco secured a photographer and, in cooperation with Ariana Casanovas, found volunteer models. Alexandra Cazares landed hair and makeup artists as well as a videographer to capture the event. Ibrahim Brahama was in charge of queuing, making sure the models’ timing to enter and leave the runway was perfect. Danielle Bilanko, Ashlyn Jones and Briancesco obtained clothing and accessories from friends and local stores including Dema, Sway, House of Hengst, Wasteland and Goodwill.

Many of the fashions included dark fabrics, metallic accessories, short hemlines and tall heels.

“For this show we were thinking, good girl gone bad,” Lee said.

The models, all volunteer, ranged from amateur to experienced.

Alexis Gibney was visiting from San Diego and hadn’t planned to be modeling.

“I’m not much of a fashionista,” she said. “Four girls pulled out at the last minute. I’d do it again to help a friend out.”

Others, like Leanna Chavez, have walked in City College fashion shows before.

“It’s an adrenaline thing,” she said. “When you’re on the runway, you can feel it go through you.”

The show was fast-paced behind the scenes but ran smoothly in front of the audience.

“It’s definitely intense,” model Chane Rodgers said.

To close the show, the team stepped onto the runway to accept applause. Afterward, models posed for photographs and Sugar Cafe began bustling with attendees and participants, all excited and some relieved, many already talking of future endeavors.

“This summer is when I want to make stuff happen. I really just want to gain more experience,” Lee said. “Seeing it all come together was the best part.”

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