Live models showcasing senior designer Khat Bautistas looks in her respective booth. The collection is made up of seven looks.
Live models showcasing senior designer Khat Bautista’s looks in her respective “booth.” The collection is made up of seven looks.
Lucia Peralta

A dive into the multiverse of fashion

UH’s Fashion Design & Merchandising program takes over Campus Center Ballroom for annual fashion show

Six different designer collections, each with a unique theme, were presented in a salon-style Tuesday night at UH, rather than the typical runway walk used in previous Fashion Design & Merchandising showcases.

That meant garments were featured on mannequins as well as live models, who walked through the crowd, during the 58th annual UH Mānoa Fashion Exhibition, “Into the Multiverse.”

The junior collections titled, “Celestial Grace,” and “Lunar Abyss,” are swimsuit collections that featured 13 junior designers, who contributed two garments each. Each of the three senior designers had their own separate collections, with six or seven garments, while also contributing garments to the senior group collection, “Envisage Affair.”

Senior designer Hokumalie Serna’s collection, “Listen to the Muse,” for example, is a collection of six garments inspired by various musical artists that inspire her, such as Prince and TLC.

“Illusionistic Eidolons,” is senior designer Quinn Curammeng’s collection based on aesthetics from K-pop idol group BTS’s songs and music videos.

Khat Bautista titled her senior collection “Beyond the Veil,” where she explores various textiles and materials in seven different garments.

“I’m kind of sentimental,” Serna said. “It’s kind of like finally kicking in that this is my last year, but I’m really excited and happy for people to see the hard work that me and my fellow classmates have worked on.”

The showcase is fully produced by students in the FDM 430 Fashion Show Production course, taught by Professor Minako McCarthy. In the course, students gain hands-on experience in creating, marketing, and fundraising for a fashion showcase.

“The fashion show in general is a great way for anybody involved to get exposure,” said Nathan Keovichith, one of the live models for Curammeng’s collection. “Whether you’re a designer, you’re a model, or you’re behind the scenes.”

Fundraising for the exhibition is done through several different avenues. The proceeds from the previous year’s show go towards the following year, which includes ticket sales. The students also put on a monthly event called the “Rainbow Bazaar,” where they sell second-hand clothing and merchandise for the show including T-shirts, tote bags, and stickers.

“So one of our main forms of income, other than tickets obviously because we do get proceeds from ticket sales, is we have students drop off, or anyone in general who wants to drop off, good condition clothing that they don’t want anymore,” said Production Lead Stephanie Sirju.“And then we resell it at our Rainbow Bazaar.”

In addition, the exhibition also has several sponsorships from various organizations that help fund the show, as well as donations from friends, family, and the community.

“A lot of people showed up, a lot of family of mine showed up so I’m kind of like trying to hold it my tears, but I love it,” Serna said. “I’m enjoying it and I’m really happy.”

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