Student designers prepare for annual fashion show

A line of girls in fashionable wear and summer clothing stood around as cloth was strewn and examined in preparation for the May 29th LA Mode fashion show. The event will be held by the SMC Fashion Department to showcase the latest, stylistic visions of the department's students and emerging artisans.

On Thursday designers and instructors gathered to select what faces and bodies will grace the runway at the California Market Center's Fashion Theater.

"I found about this when someone randomly gave me a flyer," said Moona Abdullah, a student model hoping to be selected. "I think it's good to have nerves. It's humbling. I love the clothes."

Among the other potential models in waiting was Courtney King. Decked in a red skirt and high heels, King closely observed the proceedings. "I'm really excited that the designers are getting a wide variety of people to choose from. I'm sure they will be well represented," she said.

"I've done modeling for a few years," said King adding that she's even gone down the catwalk in London.

An SMC student designer looked carefully at the options on display and described the work ahead with the spirit of a director. "We need to get everything in order and organized."

"I have about 7 pieces of the fall-winter collection," she said. "It's exciting stuff." She added that some of her designs were inspired by the textures of ancient Greece.

"There's a little bit of an Egyptian feel to one of the pieces," she added. She explained how selecting a model varies in objectives. The design and size of a dress must be considered.

"We all have certain things. A form with a bigger bust, or a backless, you might need a girl with smaller breasts," she explained. "I need a girl with short hair and small breasts because she'll be walking down with a hood. And of course aesthetics, beauty, make sure their look matches the style."

For her there should be an "edge to beauty" when selecting a model.

Instructor Marin Boyacchyan, who teaches fashion at SMC was the grand overseer of the day's preparations. With the grace and style of a classic fashionista, Boyacchyan paid minute, precise attention to the entire process of organizing the clothes and selecting models.

"The main idea of this show is to make a portfolio for the designers," she emphasized. "They do the sketches, they make the patterns. They do everything from A to Z."

Boyacchyan explained that the show will have no definitive theme because the designers are encouraged to indulge in the corridors of their imaginations. There can be no specific theme because the designs themselves will vary in style, tone and expression.

"One main purpose is to learn how to align garments. How to open up a business or if they [the students] go work for someone else they'll know what to do and what not to do," she added.

She did not detect any nervousness among the modeling candidates. One great source of anticipation in the show will be the avant-garde designs which Boyacchyan described as "out of this world and amazing. The designers really used their imagination."

The fashion world can strike a universal chord because as Boyacchyan underlined, it has to do with how we dress and appear. "Our garments are our second skin. Before we talk, we are dressed. That's the first impression we make," she said.

"After we start communicating it can be different, but the first impression is the garment, the look," she emphasized.

The color red can emphasize power, said Boyacchyan and a good suit and tie can make an immediate, penetrating impression.

From the show Boyacchyan hopes an atmosphere of encouragement will manifest itself from the viewers towards the students. "I hope they applaud and inspire our desires. That's number one for me."