SMC's fashion students serve up chic, original styles a la 'mode'

"Stitches, and seams, and zippers oh my!" The design students at Santa Monica College are preparing for LA Mode 2010, which will be held in downtown's fashion district on May 26.

LA Mode, originally created in 1984, is SMC's yearly fashion show that is held for the fashion design students of Fashion 12: Fashion Show Production to show the collections they've worked on throughout the semester.

SMC designs students will showcase their designs. The show gives first-time designers a chance to show the fashion industry their style and creativity through apparel construction.

Ultimately SMC Professors Cynthia Williams and Marine Boyadzhyan run the class collectively. Whether its ticket sales or gathering models, they assist the students with garments and organize what each student will need to complete at LA Mode 2010.

At the beginning of each designer's show, a three-minute video will feature the designer explaining their collection and giving insight to their inspiration.

"Putting a face to the collection is essential to any new designer because, if not, no one will give you credit for your work," said Williams.

Each student has created a collection that invokes each of his or her individualities and creative styles. From elegant eveningwear to flirty, floral spring dresses, the students draw upon their lives to influence their designs.

Lara Mustardino, who has been designing for two years at SMC, is designing a collection based on waves and the fluid movements of the ocean. By incorporating light chiffon fabrics and soft printed fabric, Mustardino's garments move fluidly.

"I've always loved the ocean and I grew up around the ocean, so [the clothes] remind me of home," said Mustardino.

Just like Mustardino, other students are hard at work with their collection and pulled inspiration from elemental figures. Gracia Bahati, a designer and graduate from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), finds inspiration from a prism of sunlight.

Bahati's main focus for her collection is summer wear, incorporating white denim with colorful hems. She intends to give women a chance to comfortably enjoy the sun while still looking fashionable.

While all of the designers are students at SMC, certain non-designing students on campus have volunteered to stand in as the models to help the design students reach their creative goal.

One designer approached SMC first year Ruknimi Martinez while Martinez was walking to class and asked her to model in the show.

Martinez does not wish to pursue a career in modeling, however she said that she would consider modeling as a hobby while pursing her goal of becoming a pediatrician.

With the fashion show approaching, the designers are on pins and needles about making their garments fabulous and ready to debut next Wednesday.