As we waited in line at HCC’s (Honolulu Community College’s) automotive department, we got a taste of what the student designer showcase was going to be like. In a performance art piece, a designer was spray painting a hoop-skirted damsel and buffed and beaming guy. There was energy and spirit in those sprays and splotches of paint.
As we entered the archway into the event, we were surrounded by student fashion sketches. Let the show begin – at the door.
Even Governor Neil Abercrombie and his fashion forward wife, Nancie Caraway, who sat in the front row, were blown away by what the HCC fashion tech students presented on the runway last night in their show “Transitopia.”
There’s no question that the success of HCC grads Andy South and Jay Nicolas Sario on Project Runway has inspired these students. Andy, in a characteristic gesture of giving back to the community, took on the task of teaching HCC’s Fashion Production Class, which also meant producing the show.
Andy’s touches were everywhere, from the sassy little chapeau on the heads of students who helped seat the guests, to the name, “Transitopia.” Always in balance, however, Andy made sure that the senior students starred. Even though there were five Project Runway Season 8 designers sharing the stage (Casanova, Mondo, Michael Drummond, Christopher Collins and Andy each showed two garments from their current collections) , he made sure the senior grads were the highlight of the show.
The show opened with a sexy fire dance.
The undergraduates started off the show and offered some insights into how exciting next year’s student showcase will be. There was a lot of inspiration in those collections from first-year students. When I studied at HCC some of the students didn’t even know how to sew when they entered the fashion tech program. That clearly is not the case any longer. I think Project Runway has really made a difference to the whole art and business of fashion.
As for the seniors, their collections were creative, cohesive and often inspired. Was there another Project Runway star in their midst? We’ll just have to see……
– Paula Rath