Fashion a”wear”ness brings out the fashion forward

The true colors of Saddleback College’s Fashion Department gleamed on Fashion A”wear”ness Day. Held in the Quad on Nov. 20, the event showcased a plethora of local talent and items for sale, including work from current students.

One clothing line, named HunnyHill, included hand-dyed t-shirts with cartoon monster appliques in unique, kitschy fabric combinations with zippers and buttons used for facial features. HunnyHill also carries a line of quality handmade jewelry that uses unusual glass beads and natural rope and leather cording. The eclectic jewelry is made by Sarah Gilmore, 21, fashion design, and the fun shirts are made by Amanda Hunn, 19, fashion design, and Malia Hill, 25, fashion department assistant. The girls began producing the shirts after Hunn made one for herself and wore it to class, which generated rave reviews and spurred further production. They conjured the name “HunnyHill” by combining the last names of Hunn and Hill.

There were many other designs present, including one who offers custom corsets for “corset parties”. The parties are usually held Sunday afternoons at the hostesses house, and participants are measured and pick out fabrics for their creation. The corsets are 18th and 19th century designs, complete will full steel boning. “They will not budge,” says designer Cheri Wilson, 41, fashion design. “They are form fitted for your body. The modern corset is straighter, but with mine you get that hourglass shape.” Wilson also designs and sews period pieces, and showcased an elaborate 18th century-style gown at her booth.

Just across from Wilson was a booth scattered with feathered headbands and chunky, vintage-style jewelry, designed and made by designer Alexandra Banwell, 24, fashion design, who delves her inspiration from the past.

“I’m a huge fan of the 20’s and 30’s and Burlesque,” says Banwell, ” Dita Von Teese is a huge inspiration.”

Banwell uses real quail and pheasant feathers for her elaborate headbands, and sources headbands and jewelry materials from thrift shops around the world.

“I travel a lot, so a lot of them are from flea markets in Paris or Barcelona,” said Banwell.

She also frequents local flea markets, including the Fairfax Flea Market in Los Angeles, and the Rose bowl Flea Market, which is held on the first and third Sunday of every month.

Banwell aims to make affordable items that women can purchase in order to easily dress up their outfits.

“In these rough times, it’s not as expensive as maybe a coat of a handbag or an outfit,” says Banwell, “and I really want to give girls something affordable.”

Among the booths lining the walkways in the Quad, there was also a runway where fashion shows were displayed. The shows were student-run and used the theme “Making Yesterday Today” in order to convey a vintage-inspired look.

“We wanted to show people how to incorporate the past and make it relevant,” said Veronica Larsen, 26, fashion design, “because it seems that that’s what fashion actually does. They just pull from old looks.”

The fashion show used garments from Vintage Inspired, located by the Mission Viejo Lake, and also from Nordstrom, Banana Republic, and Bloomingdale’s. Larsen also pulled items from her own closet to benefit the show.

The fashion show was run in two parts showing different looks from the past, from the 1920’s up through the edgy 1980’s. Volunteer models were used, and had their hair and makeup done by Saddleback beauty students.

Fashion A”wear”ness Day gave students the opportunity to experience selling their own designs and running a fashion show, and proved to be a day of student ambition and creativity.