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Arts in Review

Absolute Style fashion show leaves unforgettable impression

Exotic Russian chic, ‘20s gangster and modern minimalism – just a few of the many looks that graced the runway at this year’s annual UFV fashion show. Diversity was the name of the game for this year’s graduating fashion students. Yet, even with all the differences each and every design was pulled off with effortless finesse by the models. The event, one of the biggest at the university, took place on April 25, and showcased 100 original outfits. Collections of sporty bustiers, first-year dresses and dramatic wearable art lead up to the big finale – the graduate collections.

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By Griffy Vigneron (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: May 8, 2013

Exotic Russian chic, ‘20s gangster and modern minimalism – just a few of the many looks that graced the runway at this year’s annual UFV fashion show. Diversity was the name of the game for this year’s graduating fashion students. Yet, even with all the differences each and every design was pulled off with effortless finesse by the models.

The event, one of the biggest at the university, took place on April 25, and showcased 100 original outfits. Collections of sporty bustiers, first-year dresses and dramatic wearable art lead up to the big finale – the graduate collections.

Given only a semester, the graduate collections were a culmination of long hours of designing, drafting, pattern making and sewing over a period of only one semester. Each grad student was required to design three cohesive garments for the show, while taking classes and completing a portfolio. Most students were at the school five days a week, seven hours a day. Of a class of about 25 students, only 11 remained.

But the result of the long hours of hard work on stage was simply stunning.

And the treat wasn’t just to be had by the audience. The students, relieved to finally be finished, had the satisfaction of seeing their hard work come to something.

Overwhelmed after the event, Marlie Raines, one of the graduate students, said, “It hasn’t hit me yet. Even after my collection [was on display], and we [all] walked out, we’re like, it’s over?”

Other students, like Bitty Berlinghoff, were ecstatic and relieved to have finally completed their program.

Berlinghoff was a recipient of the Most Marketable Award, one of four awards given out to the graduating students for excellent work. For her line, she mixed hip street wear with traditional Thai fabrics. While her program is complete, it’s definitely only a beginning for her.

Eagerly she told me, “I have an interview at Arc’teryx on Monday. Two of the members of the colour department were in the front row looking at me, I swear!” In the same evening, she was also approached by woman who wanted Berlinghoff to be her intern.

Ning Hao was another extremely talented award recipient. Modern, sleek and stylish, Hao’s line used tie-dyed blue-green fabrics and striking shapes. Not only did she win the textile award, but she was also announced as one of 25 finalists to compete in Télio Canada’s Breakthrough Designer competition. The competition takes place during Montréal Fashion week, and the trip there is all-expenses paid.

Other showcases of talent were Carly Engelbrecht and Minyi Li.

Engelbrecht, the winner of the Most Technical award, designed dresses that captured the artistic essence of the wearer. Each piece was draped so precisely, it clung to the curves of each model and flowed beautifully.

Most Creative Award went to Minyi Li. Half Jackets, and even half pants looked marvellously classy in her midnight blue fabrics. The models, with their dark feathered eye makeup, looked like they walked right out of Black Swan.

And it wasn’t only the awarded designs that burned beautiful fiery afterimages into viewer’s artistic eyes. The entire show was a showcase of upcoming talent. Glimpses of brilliance that danced on to the runway, and just as quickly were whisked away.

Look out for full Absolute Style Fashion Show coverage in our next issue on May 22!

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