LNY 2015 Fashion Show In Depth with Thu

With a completely new team of coordinators, you may have noticed the stark contrast between this year's Fashion Show and the previous years'. The former team, Linda Cheng, Brittney Xu, Nathan Alison, and a few others, were extremely creative and had pulled off stunningly extravagant shows - avant garde, extreme post modern in the eyes of fashion-naive college students. This year, we wanted to both promote this blog as well as try to raise the standard for the general fashion sense of the student body as a whole. The easiest way to achieve this was to do an inspiring, more ready-to-wear show, aka very safe and could possibly be considered boring.

The final show turned out to be a spectrum of styles, from dressy to street, traditional to fusion to modern. Which was completely fine because this was a reflection of each of the designer's tastes, the models' popularity helped with the great positive response, and everybody had a good time through the end.

Couples modeling a transition from modern to traditional wear. Alex Tran in his own suit and shirt, Olivia Hu in her own denim shirt dress, hat embellished by Joanne Shin (styled by Joanne); Chris Nguyen and Jessica Tran in their own shirt and ao dai; Rachel Ngo in her own ao dai, Linh Nguyen in borrowed ao dai/qing pao.

Our theme this year was The Four Elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. Our budget was $100. (Which we went slightly over but we also now have extra supplies for next year... darn Amazon bulk packages...) Our project didn't start rolling until January 12th.

Zaq Mills in his own clothes; Kathy Wei in her own dress (styled by Joanne); Stephanie Zhao in my dress and coat; Stephanie Chen in Mary's jumpsuit, coat, and accessories (styled by Mary Anderson.)

Kathy Truong in her own blouse and pants, my coat; Rayne Yu in her own dress and coat (styled by Mary Anderson); Bo Kim in his own clothes, scarf from Joanne's collection.

I started out going to the models' rooms and sorting through their closets, seeing what kinds of colors they wore to determine which element they would be. The formula kind of worked out to be like this: Earth - greens, yellows, browns; Air - white... and other colors...; Water - blues; Fire - reds, oranges, and black (for coal.) Most of these people ended up being truly ready-to-wear models. Being an LNY act, I wanted to incorporate traditional dress, so I contacted people who had any kind of traditional dresses, and categorized the dresses into each of the four elements.

Erica Kim in Korean hanbok; Cindy Nguyen in Vietnamese ao dai and Katniss Everdeen inspired makeup; Iris Huang in Chinese qing pao, Breakfast at Tiffany's era (accessories from and styled by Mary Anderson.)

The final three looks of the show were all inspired by each other and Elie Saab Couture SS15. (If you look through the collection, you can tell my cherry blossom skirt was definitely inspired by him.) It all started with a trip to Baltra in November, where I found the pink blouse for a bargain. The color gradient had already reminded me of cherry blossoms, and later one look at the Elie Saab collection was all it took to get a sketch down in half an hour. Afterwards, I realized I didn't want there to be only one custom made tulle skirt that would make the model a black sheep, so I went and made a few more sketches, that turned out to be exactly the fire-y tulle skirt overlay and ocean waves glitter tulle skirt. No access to a sewing machine means everything was sewn by hand: 14 hours for the flower skirt, 5 hours for the blue skirt, and 3 for the fire skirt. On top of schoolwork, I ended up sewing until the day of the show (yes that was me and Joanne sitting on the floor of the Grand Hall sewing more flowers on that day...) The fire skirt was spray painted using red and yellow paint, which took more time air drying then spraying. Glitter was glued onto the ocean skirt the old school way: throw a bunch of glue onto the tulle, then shake an entire bottle of glitter (or two) and hope for the best. This process took about 3 hours because I had to wait for the glue to dry on one side of the skirt before moving on to the next section.

Nicole Zhao in her own romper, Margaret Lin in her own blouse, Vy Tran in Shasa blouse from Baltra.

The somewhat oddball looks from the entire lineup were more abstract and street, artistic or truly modern Asian fusion. The guys' shirts were hand designed with ribbon by Kai Holnes, and the pants and sleeveless tops were part of Zhizhu Fashion's debut line, on loan from Nonno Houston Inc. These looks were probably the avant garde you all were waiting for.

Angela Martini in Zhizhu top and joggers, Tony Ren in a top designed by Kai; Dan Xiang in a top designed by Kai; me in Zhizhu top.

And with that, I would like to give another big thank you to the entire crew for pulling this off with me! Mary Anderson, Kai Holnes and Joanne Shin for styling and being there in general! All the models for being fantabulous! Also, of course, a thank you to the audience for you warm response. I can't wait for next year!

Photographs by the amazing June Deng, thank you so, so much for doing this!

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