Project Runway: Long Beach Edition
STORY BY: CAITYLN MENDOZA
PHOTOS BY: TRANG LE
One of the biggest campus-based fashion shows on the West Coast, Campus Couture will stage its 30th annual show at CSULB on May 11.
Fashion design majors get to shine in this almost entirely student-run show, showing off what they have learned and what kind of design they want to pursue after graduation. Professional designers come to watch, and at the end of the show, awards such as Outstanding Fashion Merchandising Graduate, Outstanding Fashion Design Graduate, Rising Star and Most Marketable are given out.
Six student coordinators, more than 120 volunteers from the fashion merchandising program, more than 100 models, members of the campus Fashion Club, and art majors specializing in photography work together for the entire academic year to put the show on. The head of the Fashion Merchandising and Design department, Dr. Suzanne Marshall, and Student Life & Development coordinator Celia Mejia assist the students.
“We really have a broad span across campus,” Campus Couture student coordinator Jenn Pham says.
Six committees collaborate to make a plan, brainstorm, set deadlines, raise awareness and money, and promote the event. The coordinators not only want to see their vision become reality, but also the work of the 20 senior designers and about 40 junior designers go from paper to fabric.
“For an entire year we have been molding, shaping and imagining how things will play out on show day,” says Rachelle Pila, Campus Couture’s design liaison and fashion student. “I think the show is well-known for the talent that walks down the runway. We could never put a show on without the designers and their beautiful art; they are the star of the show! Fashion professionals come to see who the next generation that will eventually run the industry are, since CSULB has produced top designers like Walter Mendez and Phillip Lim.”
Campus Couture will walk the runway at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. on May 11. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the USU Information and Ticket Center, the Carpenter Performing Arts Center Box Office, or carpenterarts.org.
We checked in with Daniel Flores, the Campus Couture designer we profiled last month, to find out how his collection is shaping up.
DIG: How are you prepping for the show?
Flores: I’m trying to get my garments done on time. I’m also trying to see who to invite, scouting people, trying to spread the word, because a lot of people on campus don’t know about the show. I’m pumping myself up by pumping them up to get them excited to come to the fashion show, and then trying to figure out my outfits and what I’m going to wear.
DIG: How do you feel about your pieces coming along?
Flores: My pieces are coming together great. I have finished four designs, so I’m very excited. There’s a little bit of hand sewing that is left, but I’m definitely getting it done. At first I thought I was going to have a lot complications – not finding fabrics for my color theme, seeing if it was going to match or look too matchy, trying to get different colors or not have enough colors – but in the end, I’m very happy with the selection I have of my fabrics and actual styles. I have think I have a lot of diversity and variety of garments.
DIG: What are you most looking forward to for the show?
Flores: Seeing everyone’s designs, seeing all of my colleagues and my peers, having my family there, having my friends and their friends there, them saying, “Oh, that’s my friend up there doing his stuff.” Seeing my parents’ reaction as I go on stage with my whole line, bow down and everyone clapping. I’m just waiting for that moment to happen, just to see everyone so happy to acknowledge the fact I actually did this.