Spring is upon us and so is the fashion season. Like flowers in bloom, fashion shows are popping up all around the bay area. One such show was The American River College Identity Fashion Show that was held this past Friday, May 6, 2011, on the American River College campus. This show was a culmination of several classes from the school who came together to produce an up-scale student showcase of up-and-coming new student designers. And even though this was a student-based fashion show, the quality of the designs was equivalent to that of the high-end modes that are already gracing the runways of Paris, New York, and Los Angeles.
12 graduating student designers from the fashion program at ARC presented their marvelous creations and showcased their abundant talent. There were four categories in which the designers were competing for: most marketable, most creative, best re-purposed, and best of show. A fifth category added to this year’s list included “best model.” Helium’s own Sophia M. Papadopoulos, that’s me, was asked to be a guest judge. I took the role of Tyra Banks for the day as I chose the Identity Fashion Show’s best top model. The last of Helium Magazine’s first published issue was also dispersed at the show. Everyone was very impressed by the quality of such a creative publication produced and developed by students.
The fact that the whole show was produced by a collaboration of many different classes within the school was very impressive. The classes that helped put on the show included: the fashion promotions team, which produced the show; the horticulture class, which designed the flower arrangements; the ARCH Dance Company, who provided the entertainment for the evening; the interior design class, who presented the elegant layout and decorated the lobby; and the collections class, who created the fashion designs.
Two alums from the fashion school were also invited to come back to their Alma Mater to showcase their designs. Mercedes Ben of “Benzo Couture” and Brenda Holts of “Kasha’s Creations” presented their collection at the beginning of each of the three shows held that day. This display of the alums’ designs was a great way to inspire the graduating class and to show them what the real world of fashion entails, along with all the opportunities they have once they take their last steps as students of fashion and come into their own, individual style.
Since there was so much talent present, it was very difficult for the judges to choose which designers should win in each of the five categories mentioned. However, there could only be five winners, and the winners that took the titles include: “M.E.” by May Roberts Elliot–best re-purposed design; “Bolivia When It’s Dark” by Rodrigo Trujillo Calderon–most creative; “Jewels of Byzantine” by Phillip Noynosoudachanh–most marketable; and “Futuristic Manifesto” by Michael Nolan Kouri–best of show. There were four top models that were chosen for best walk, best pose and best exit, but the one that was the best in all three categories, including best attitude appointed by me, was Juliana Pfeffer.
One of the prizes graciously given by Helium Magazine is a feature profile piece of the top three winning designers. Make sure to visit Helium Magazine for your first look at the hottest new designers in Northern California. You may just be wearing one of their creations in the near future.
A personal “Thank You” goes to instructor Teri Umhauer and production director Alicia Alvarez for the accommodations during my visit. I hope to be a judge at next year’s show!
For more information about this year’s show, please visit: http://www.wix.com/arcfashion2011/identity
Review and photos by Sophia M. Papadopoulos