Inspired by art deco, British punk, the Gulf oil spill and more, University of North Texas fashion design seniors are putting the final stitches into their original creations that will be unveiled at ArtWear — an annual fashion show.
Models will strut the runway in the students’ fresh, new designs at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, 2012, in the Silver Eagle Suite in the University Union, one block west of Welch and West Prairie streets on the UNT campus. Admission is $25 for the general public and $10 with a UNT student ID. Call the Union information booth at 940-565-3805.
“We have been working the past three years toward this, so the excitement is building up,” said Cesar Arzola, who is from Zacapu, Mexico. “All of our hard work will finally be appreciated by everyone we know.”
At ArtWear, Arzola will unveil a collection of British punk-inspired men’s suits made from navy velvet and red and white plaid suiting.
Pieces in the fashion exhibition are chosen by a panel of industry professionals.
“When you are working so hard on one project, you are too close to really evaluate it objectively,” Arzola said. “Having an outside opinion from someone in the industry is really beneficial.”
Elicia Wiltschko designed a collection of elegant evening gowns inspired by a seemingly unlikely source — the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
The collection emulates the effect of the BP oil spill on people’s lives, she said. The dresses, dripping with black splashes that look like seeping oil, illustrate the spill in hand-dyed and hand-painted fabrics. But the elegant evening wear also symbolizes the beauty in the midst of tragedy — as community members joined together to help people and animals affected by the spill, she said.
“The beauty created by an active and rallied community is something I was most inspired by,” she said. “The elegance of the fabrics and the structure of the silhouettes is my representation of our relief efforts to better this world after something so catastrophic.”
Jelyn Hobson, from Tyler, Texas, created a set of women’s pants, skirts and shirts inspired by art deco style — reminiscent of the iconic Empire State Building’s architecture.
“It brings art deco elegance to a dressy casual look,” she said of her women’s sportwear collection. “It’s so beautiful. I made overlapping shapes out of fabric that create texture and a three-dimensional effect.”
She called ArtWear the “ultimate showcase” in which students get to be judged by industry professionals and share their work with a wider public.
“It’s the grand finale,” she said. “It’s bittersweet because we are excited about it, but at the same time, it’s coming to an end.”
The event, which has been held for more than 30 years, has marked the debut of several successful designers who later worked for such companies as Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, Fossil, Theory, Nicole Miller, Betsy Johnson, Alice + Olivia, Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Kellwood, Neiman Marcus, Dillard’s, Haggar and JCPenney. Recognized alumni of the program include Michael Faircloth, Nicolas Villalba, Finley Moll, Shirin Askari and Khanh Nguyen — all successful independent fashion designers in the Southwest.
This year’s judges are: Dolores Bestwina, JCPenney; Ray Bushnell, Legacy Clothiers; Martha Falsetta, artist; Khanh Nguyen, Nha Khanh; Marianne Stayer Phillips, Stardust Celebrations; Ken Weber, Vintage Martini; and Virginia Wygal, designer.
In addition to Arzola, Hobson and Wiltschko, seniors in this year’s ArtWear are: Kristen Ashworth, Hannah Blalock, Joanna Bulloch, Cassie Bumpous, Cali Cooper, Becca Davis, Amy Godsey, Angela Herrera, Amy Huang, Megan Johnson, Allison Mayes, Breanna Melotakis, Alma Pedrueza, Alexey Patterson, Deloya Pepe, Martha Rettberg, Jarrod Roach, Miguel Sanchez, Gordon Steinecke and Bao Tran.
What: ArtWear — A runway show of original designs by graduating seniors in the fashion design program at the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design. Sponsored by Neiman Marcus.
When: 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, 2012
Where: Silver Eagle Suite in the University Union, one block west of Welch and West Prairie streets
Cost: $25 for general admission; $10 with UNT student ID
Contact: Tickets are available for sale at the Union information booth at 940-565-3805