Design Vendetta at the Urban Hive
Each student designer was given the same amount of fabric and other items to design and create an outfit in an hour. The designers had their own sewing machines and were assigned a model to work with.
As people began to arrive at the Urban Hive they were able to enjoy some hors d’oeuvres and drinks. VyVy Nguyen’s work payed off as everything was well organized for this Midtown Sacramento event à la Project Runway.
Three hair and makeup artists from Roseville’s Image Provocateur were on hand. One of the artists was Arrvada and she noted they had been involved last year with Tiana Vega and were back again to do hair and makeup for Designing Dreams.
A table was set up in a corner of the main gallery at Urban Hive where the designers were set up. I approached the table to talk to them and get their opinion about the challenge.
Rodrigo Trujillo, a Bolivian native, currently attends American River College. When I asked him how much longer he had before finishing school he said, “Technically I need just one more class to get an associate degree in Fashion Design but I’m also getting an associate in Fashion Merchandising and in Business.” I asked him about his expectations with this event. “I’m expecting to have fun and see the outcome of the designs. It would be cool to win. I personally think it would be awesome to be able to showcase at the Memorial Auditorium,” Trujillo said.
Jacqueline Anaya was another student contestant and I had previously seen some of her designs as she shared a spot when she participated in last month’s International Academy of Design and Technology (IADT) Imagine Fashion Showcase. She has 2 semesters left at IADT.
When I asked Anaya what she was expecting out of the event, “Winning,” she said and continued. “It would be a good experience. This being a timed competition you have to work through the pressure and I’ve never done that before.” She ended by saying, “It could be going better. I totally forgot my sewing machine and I’m borrowing one right now. My sister is on her way here with my sewing machine.”
Linda Vang is also attending IADT and was a participant in the Imagine Fashion Showcase. “I will be graduating this year in the fall,” she said when asked how much longer she would be attending IADT.
When asked what she was expecting at the competition she said, “I really don’t know what to expect. This is a whole huge surprise, I’m a little excited and nervous at the same time.” Vang said, “It would be good exposure for me and get my name out there.” When asked what winning the competition would mean to her. She ended by saying, “Honestly, if I win or don’t win I’ll still be happy either way. It will be a good experience.”
Samuel Parkinson is yet another IADT student who also showcased some of his designs at the Imagine Fashion Showcase. Regarding IADT he said, “I have another term and a half, about four and a half months.” I asked him how he felt about last month’s fashion show and he said,”I enjoyed it. I got good feedback and I liked it a lot.”
I also asked him what he was expecting to get out of this competition and he said, “I’m here to have fun, maybe test my skills a little bit; I’d just like to get at least the opportunity to be in the Designing Dreams show.” He also said, ‘Winning this and being on Designing Dreams would let me stand out and get some recognition from a different crowd.”
The four designers were looking forward to competing and enjoying the experience and challenge of the event. Their nervousness and enthusiasm was apparent as they talked with each other.
I asked Tiana Vega to describe the Design Vendetta and what guests should expect. Tiana said, “Basically for this Design Vendetta we hand-picked four student designers to come out and compete for a spot in the Designing Dreams show. Whoever gets picked will get a free spot on the show. We’ll start off by giving them 15 minutes to come up with a design based on a theme I came up with. The theme is Audrey Hepburn, so they’re going to make a piece based on this iconic woman. After their 15 minutes of designing and taking measurements from their models they’re going to come together and they’ll have an hour to actually construct the garment. After that the judges are going to look at the pieces and pick a winner.”
Tiana Vega, Sacramento Fashion Week producer Mykha Ram, Stylist Karri Grant, and Kristy Braafladt a Sister Brother Style representative were the judges. The Vendetta took place last year as well and ended up giving 2 designers the opportunity to showcase at the Designing Dreams Fashion Show. This year only one student designer will get a spot.
Maria Serquen of Sacramento Fashion Week and CSUS Student Fashion Association (SFA) along with some models were on hand at the Design Vendetta. Jennifer Richards representing Sweet Dreams also attended the event to answer questions about her foundation.
As the competition was about to begin, a countdown began as the audience counted backwards from 5. Self of Live Manikins was on stage most of the evening putting down some great sounds. Stevie Nader also took some time to entertain the audience.
During this time the designers feverously worked with their models to put together their outfits. At times it looked as if the Tasmanian Devil cartoon was spinning around and around cutting and throwing material all around the designer table.
The designers measured, cut and sewed their outfits while models waited and moved to try on garments while the designers evaluated their work in progress. The designers’ laborious work was non-stop. As time moved on they were able to put their work together a piece at a time.
The pressure must have been hard but the designers just kept working. It’s funny how you can wait for water to boil and sometimes it seems like it takes forever. At this competition the hour went by really quick and although the designers looked like they were under control they worked until the last possible second.
As the hour came and went the designers had to put down their work and get ready to show the judges and audience their completed work.
The designers’ work was soon showcased as their models walked down the runway. Samuel Parkinson’s work was the first to be evaluated. The judges admired Parkinson’s work as his model walked down a runway and stood in front of the judges table for further evaluation.
Jacqueline Anaya’s work was shown next followed by Rodrigo Trujillo and Linda Vang. The judges talked amongst themselves and then had the designers and models stand in front of the judges’ scoring table and answered questions from the judges.
Since the theme of the designs was Audrey Hepburn the designers were asked to speak a little about their style and how it fit into the theme.
The “Fashion on the Fly” concept made the Design Vendetta quite interesting for the guests that witnessed some marvelous skills and garments resulting from the competition.
The models and designers were asked to leave the judges for their final decision. About 5 minutes or so later the designers were asked to come back to the judges table.
Tiana said, “We liked something from each of your designs; you did a good job in an hour. A couple of things we looked at; creativity and how well you spent your hour, your construction and also how well you applied Audrey Hepburn, your theme. Based on all of that we think the designer that should be in the Designing Dreams show will be Samuel.” Everyone, including the other designers, applauded for Parkinson on his work.
I asked Parkinson how he felt about the event and he said, “It was nerve wrecking, I still feel a little sweaty but it went well. I feel good about it. I thank everybody and obviously my competition was stiff.” He continued, “Oh man it was the worst waiting for the results and it made me feel good. Honestly I did not know they were going to pick me.”
Audrey Hepburn once said, “Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.” I believe this quote summed up what the designers experienced and they will look at this in the future and draw from it.
Design Vendetta was a unique opportunity for all involved. Designers were able to show their talent and how they could work with limited time and resources and show their creativity. It gave judges the opportunity to see some young up and coming designers and allowed guests to experience a great competition.