I was skeptical when I first escaped the windy tunnel of 8th Street and went into the warmth of the California College of the Arts (CCA) building on May 17, 2013 around 6:40pm.

Once we’re inside, a woman that lost her way, whom I gladly helped to get inside the building to check-in asked, “Was it always this windy?”

“Oh yes,” I smiled, “it was windy last year too.”

The art exhibitions in the CCA building seemed to resemble construction work at times that I was momentarily confused whether the school is currently undergoing a renovation. But after seeing fashionable Amy Williams walking about seamlessly around and about the installations and towards the VIP reception at the back, all was fine in the world. I should not be surprised; CCA is the top school in the world for sustainable fashion education. No materials are off-limits, the students’ creativities are boundless and refreshing.

I very much loved CCA fashion show in 2012, so I had high expectation this year. Chris and I were not fans of the new T-shaped runway setup, and at the beginning we were concerned that the runway surface looked a bit “too much decorated with dust spots”. Seeing looks after looks coming and going on the runway, I was content but not very much impressed at first. Perhaps that runway shape really threw me off. But thank God for Chris’ pictures, because I finally saw the brilliance that the CCA students possess when I chose and edited those pictures on our iMac. Wow, the California College of the Arts 2013 Annual Fashion Show was truly amazing. When I started exporting those pictures from Lightroom, I was no longer a skeptic :)

So without further ado, here are the students’ collections featured on California College of the Arts 2013 Annual Fashion Show, May 17, 2013. Please click on the image once, wait momentarily to bring up the whole album.

Fashioning Functional Gear

The Fashioning Functional Gear course is focused on exploring the combination of fashion design and industrial design to create “aesthetically pleasing, functional, wearable gear responding to use need.” The seven designs featured were a nice show opener; the banana suit (called a “rainana”) and the sight of someone opening a crash pad, momentarily jumping on it, quickly bouncing back, gathering the pad, and then going backstage were so amusing it’s awesome.


From the order of design appearances:
1. Henry Lipkis – Bandolier de Muralista
2. MK Nguyen – Rainana
3. Cindy Chiu – The In-Vest
4. Mark Lee – Onesie Twosie
5. Sindia Lin – Shift (this is a multi-wear garment, so there are three models depicting different ways of wearing it)
6. Hyouna “Hannah” Nam – Extended Warmth
7. Drew Putterman – Airpad

Tisina T. Parker – 4th Dimension

I did not get to see the details of her work during the runway, but they are so much clearer in pictures. Tremendous amount of details went into this geometrically inspired, abstract collection. The night’s program states that Ms. Parker’s collection is “inspired by ideas in computational architecture, it blends modern technical approaches of laser cutting, 3D printing, and material bonding with traditional textile techniques of hand quilting and pleating to achieve an unconventional evolution of beauty.” Nicely done, indeed. And congratulations Ms. Parker for winning the 7×7 Emerging Talent Award by the end of the night’s program!

CCA 2013 - Tisina T. Parker
CCA 2013 - Tisina T. ParkerMay 20, 2013Photos: 10

Jennifer Mirich – Eternal Elysians

The angelic goddesses that walked the earth runway that night showcased Jennifer’s sense of elegance, however I wished it was a little bit more airy looking. Regardless, I LOVE the last two looks.

CCA 2013 - Jennifer Mirich
CCA 2013 - Jennifer MirichMay 20, 2013Photos: 5

Elysia Ellis – Nova

The fashionista superwomen were there to save the night! (Hmm, first goddesses, then super heroes?) This collection seems gimmicky at first, with the jaunty shapes and loud colors, but I love the electric sense this collection exudes. And yes, I need to make those ombre tights (yay, a DIY project inspiration!).

CCA 2013 - Elysia Ellis
CCA 2013 - Elysia EllisMay 20, 2013Photos: 6

Ann Anglim – Melancholia

My personal favorite collection of the night, it somehow reminds me of romantic yet nostalgic autumn season in Paris. Great pants, great layers, smart use of colors, and sharp styling choices. Solid.

CCA 2013 - Ann Anglim
CCA 2013 - Ann AnglimMay 20, 2013Photos: 7

Carlsbad Oster – Amalgamat

The shades of blue and the variety of knit textures look so fresh, current, and a bit quirky. Maybe I should start using chopsticks as my knitted bolero’s closure.

CCA 2013 - Carlsbad Oster
CCA 2013 - Carlsbad OsterMay 20, 2013Photos: 7

Hannah Nam – The Line

The constellations-inspired collection looks straightforward chic and perhaps the most commercial; lovely shapes that work for many body types.

CCA 2013 - Hannah Nam
CCA 2013 - Hannah NamMay 20, 2013Photos: 5

Marison Duran – Lagrimas Eternas

I love the quiet yet intense drama of this La Llorona-inspired collection. The darkness mood that lies beneath the beautiful garments are so captivating and alluring. The skeletal-like back rib cage shapes reminded me of one of the skeletal suits shown during Jean Paul Gaultier’s exhibition at de Young. The big rosary necklaces are a nice touch, the dark mood would not be as successful without them.

CCA 2013 - Marisol Duran
CCA 2013 - Marisol DuranMay 20, 2013Photos: 9

Polly Lai – Doll in a Bubble

Ah, the white, transparent shapes of innocent, bubbly youth. Dressed in Ms. Lai’s collection, the models look so soft and fragile that I want to encase them in a snow globe. Oh wait…well done, Ms. Lai! Mission accomplished.

CCA 2013 - Polly Lai
CCA 2013 - Polly LaiMay 20, 2013Photos: 6

Lei Dong – Dune

This is also one of my favorite collections of the night. The colors are strong, the drape and flow of the garments are clean, and it’s also sexy yet refined. My favorites are the 1st and 3rd looks. I want them!

CCA 2013 - Lei Dong
CCA 2013 - Lei DongMay 24, 2013Photos: 6

Irina Murphy – Haven

My second favorite collection of the night. The diamond pattern, the volume, the sunglasses, they all look so controlled, confident, and badass. Even the red gown at the end pierces such fierceness that you don’t want to mess with.

CCA 2013 - Irina Murphy
CCA 2013 - Irina MurphyMay 20, 2013Photos: 7

Cher Du – Less Is More

The program summarizes it best: “The curve is the line liberated and energized.” Yes, indeed. This collection is deceptively controlled and so well-crafted that the minimalistic approach works successfully. The first three looks are especially wonderful to observe and examine. Really well done!

CCA 2013 - Cher Du
CCA 2013 - Cher DuMay 20, 2013Photos: 6

Congratulations once again to the student designers of California College of the Arts 2013 Annual Fashion Show, Program Chair Amy Williams, Design Faculty (and the night’s MC) Stephen Biel, and the rest of the production team. And we’re so happy to  meet Cynthia and Simon from StyleWylde again! One thing I hope is that the runway format went back to the way it was the year prior. Fingers crossed.

And before we part, here are some (more!) pictures of Fafafoom Highlights….these are my personal favorite shots before, during, and after the show:

CCA 2013 - Fafafoom Highlights
CCA 2013 - Fafafoom HighlightsMay 20, 2013Photos: 27

Thank you for reading. Until next time,