The Imagine 2011 Student Showcase on the runway
Fifteen of the best students from the International Academy of Design Technology will have a chance to put five months’ worth of clothing design work on display Friday for The Imagine 2011 Student Showcase put on by the International Academy of Design and Technology.
The Imagine 2011 Student Showcase is the largest event of the year for the IADT, and a panel of judges in the fashion industry and from the school will assess designers on a multitude of skills ranging from sewing to pattern making and construction – all skills the IADT panel looks for when sifting through dozens of applicants for the fashion show, according to Amato.
This is the school’s fourth year putting on the event since its opening in 2007, according to Amato. The fashion show will take place Friday at the Hilton Hotel from 6 – 9 p.m.
“This is something that IADT loves putting on to showcase what a lot of our students have acquired,” Amato said.
Although the school has been putting on the Imagine Student Showcase for four years, this year has a list of firsts for the program.
This year’s fashion show will include a judging panel for the first time. Individual awards will be given to designers showcasing the best collection, emerging designers, best innovation, construction, and individual best look.
Children will walk the runway for the first time, since one student chose to design children’s clothing. Twin designers will design a collection together and share the limelight. A video question-and-answer session with the designers will be playing throughout the show to give a deeper look at who the designers are and what inspires them, according to Amato.
This will also be the first year that students are able to choose their own themes for their collections. Last year’s theme for all students was 1920s rebellion.
This year, attendees will have the opportunity to see what really evokes the students’ designs, be it everyday life, background or influence from music and movies, Amato said. Expect to see a little bit of “Alice in Wonderland,” a splash of Lady Gaga and a modern spin on traditional Mexican attire.
“It’s just a representation of their whole lives, and their philosophy of their designs. I’ve been seeing some of their work, and it’s just amazing what they could come up with,” Amato said.
Twenty-five-year-old Cassandra Faustinl is doing the Imagine 2011 Student Showcase for the first time. Faustinl has been at IADT for four years, and she graduates in fewer than two weeks, so the show will be a culmination of everything she has learned.
She said she is most excited about seeing the four pieces she’s been working on hit the stage. She hopes they stand out.
“My inspiration was Lady Gaga for a younger female who wants to be truly unique when they go out,” Faustinl said.
“It’s not really everyday wear, but works if you definitely want to stand out and not look like anybody else,” she said.
She is currently interning at a clothing store, Love Culture, and hopes to find a visual merchandising job after she graduates. She plans to continue designing on the side and do some shows of her own.
This is 23-year-old Edith González’s second Imagine Student Showcase at IADT. She said having done the show before, she knows what to expect, and that is more calming. She is trying not to stress too much about winning an award.
“It’s all for the experience. I know there’s a competition going on and they have a jury for the show, but it doesn’t really matter,” González said. “It’s not really about winning and getting the prize, it’s the experience that you get from this.”
González has plenty of experience in design, for she said she has been designing since she was eight years old and stealing her grandmother’s fabric to clothe her Barbies. Sewing is a tradition in her family. Her grandmother, mother and aunts all sew. She said her family and her background have a huge impact on her work.
“I took inspiration from my grandparents. There’s an old picture of when they first got married in traditional Mexican clothing, and I was always brought up around that, so I thought that would be a really cool inspiration for me to go off of,” she said.
González will be graduating in September and said she hopes to find a job that will allow her to continue doing fashion shows and working on collections. She added that there’s nothing like the excitement you get seeing your final product on a runway. Amato can attest to that.
“What really excites me is seeing the designers when their design is going down the runway and everybody is giving them so much support and positivity. They literally are experiencing something … that’s going to change their lives,” Amato said.
IADT prepares its students through courses, building a strong portfolio or landing a high-profile internship with Marc Jacobs, William Rast, Nordstrom, Forever 21 or The Gap, as students have done in the past, according to Amato. All IADT students are required to complete an internship before graduation in their field of choice.
In some cases, students have gone on to get hired in Sacramento, New York or Los Angeles either in design, merchandising, or vending. One past student is working with True Religion, some are stylists and others have gone to London to further their education in design.
Amato said there will be a colorful array of people for the event, some even from Los Angeles and San Francisco. They will include people from the fashion industry: boutique owners, buyers, vendors and people who are either involved, interested or living in the area and want to see what the school is all about. She said it’s a great networking opportunity for the students.
“The designers have the chance to showcase everything – their creation, their vision, and at the same time they know that they are going to benefit communities as well, which is nice,” Amato said.
The event will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities. IADT strives to not only teach it’s students but also to help them utilize their talent for the greater community. It also aims to help students be able to face the challenges and competition of the design industry, according to Amato, who has been in the business for 30 years.
“Everything that I have learned, that I have, that I’ve obtained, I give to them,” Amato said. “One thing I always tell them is you can have talent, but unless you have the work ethic and the desire and the drive, it doesn’t mean anything.”
“A waste of talent is ultimately the worst thing. If you have talent, utilize it, especially in this industry. It’s very competitive. It’s hard, so if you have the passion and the desire and hard work, it will get you everywhere,” she added.
Talent, hard work, passion and desire will walk the runway on Friday. Tickets are $35 for VIPs, $25 for the general public and $15 for students. For more information on this event, visit the IADT website.