DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETN.COM
Nikki Thommes wears an orange knit and crochet dress with a graphic giraffe-print jacket, created by Alana Morton.
Designs by ...
University of Hawaii design students get ready to take their work from the classroom to the runway this month
"Absolute Fashion: All Bottled Up"
» Place: Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, 2555 Kalakaua Ave.
» Time: Noon April 27 with 11:30 a.m. lunch
» Tickets: $40, available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Maria-Victoria Gicala at 368-1628
» Information: email@example.com or www.myspace.com/uhfashionshow
» Preview: At Kahala Mall Centerstage, noon Saturday. Free.
The students of the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Apparel Product Design and Merchandising Department will host their annual fashion show, "Absolute Fashion: All Bottled Up," April 27 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.
The show will features collections from 11 senior designers and previews from 17 junior designers.
Each senior will present a five- to seven-piece collection, plus work from three class projects that involved their interpretations of Barbie style, environmentally conscious "Go Green" garments and adapting global or ethnic style via the theme "Around the World."
UH-Manoa's APDM program helps students gain the knowledge and experience to become productive members of the retail industry as retail buyers, visual merchandisers, textile and apparel designers, and entrepreneurs of their own collections.
A preview of the show will take place at noon on Saturday at Kahala Mall, where the 11 senior designers will each show two looks from their collections. Displays around the mall also will feature junior design sketches.
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETN.COM
Desarae Harwood models a yellow-wrap dress with scalloped hem, hand-painted at the bodice and hemline to create the illusion of an ikat print.
Her "Top Shelf" collection focuses on street-wear geared toward making wearers feel comfortable. "I'm not so much into the red-carpet thing. I want to make everyone feel good," she said. "My clothes are comfortable, not so body-conscious."
Her collection comprises jeans, casual tops and jackets, but she couldn't resist adding a show-stopper, a gown inspired by her fashion studies in Italy two years ago, featuring the black-and-white stripes of a gondolier's outfit.
The designer always appreciated fabric and embellishments, and her earliest experience was creating clothing for Barbie dolls, by taping scraps of fabric together.
She still loves embellishment and texture, and among her designs is a skirt of hundreds of little pieces of fabric, quilted to form a skirt.
Also a designer for theater and a milliner, many of her designs include matching hats.
The Los Angeles-born designer created a resort-wear line, "Shine," without creating the typical sundress.
Her use of gold metallic mesh wrapped around a shimmery minidress, or peeking from a skirt, is designed to reflect the sun the same way as ocean waves and the scales of tropical fish.
Other upscale casual looks include shorts and draped tops with a twist at the shoulder, also with the sparkle of rhinestone-studded buttons.
The fun and color of shiny metallic fabric and circular "yo-yo" embellishments showcase Lee's fun and playful approach to design, exhibited in her "Spin Around" collection of club-ready wear.
Her micro minidresses are intended to be worn with leggings. Now an intern for Tori Richard, she's one of few designers who enjoys the less glamorous task of pattern-making and grading.
The designer drew on her travels to create an ethnic-inspired collection dubbed "Shangri-La."
When she couldn't find the fabric she wanted to use, she experimented with acrylic paint and a fabric medium to create the look of "ikat" fabric on dresses and tunics.
The designer brings feminine elegance to her dresses that manage to be simultaneously classy and sexy. Her aim is to make women feel comfortable during any occasion.
Born in Tokyo, Yamagishi is following in her mother's footsteps by becoming a fashion designer.
Her flirty, girly collection was inspired by the effervescent work of Betsey Johnson, full of ruffles and lace.
The Cambodian-American designer grew up in Tacoma, Wash., but said his parents kept their ties to Cambodia and Thailand, from which his mother, accustomed to luxury before the Vietnam War, continued to import fine fabric she would give to a seamstress to be made into clothing.
Kravanh continues to be inspired by the silks, knits and lace of Southeast Asia, incorporated into his young Hollywood glam looks, including a red-carpet ensemble for men.
Originally from Tokyo, McCarthy graduated from Bunka Fashion College, where clothing design is an art form and she said there is a great focus on technical skills.
Her garments feature intricate treatments and avant-garde design.
While most Westerners will see in one of her dresses a skirt overlay of circles over black lining, she sees the light of the surface treatment masking a dark side of human nature.
Bright prints with a modern twist and clean lines mark the designer's collection, which utilizes vintage fabrics from her mother's closet, with elements of knit and crochet work adding texture to the garments.
Her collection is geared toward fall dressing.
Paresa appreciates the range of fashion from the urban style of Diesel to the theatrical designs of John Galliano for Dior. Her "Tune In, Turn On and Get Dressed!" collection was inspired by the freedom and psychedelic looks of the 1970s.
All her designs start with research into the wearer to create effortless chic, because getting dressed shouldn't be a production.
"Clothes shouldn't be a costume, but an extension of who you are," she said. "I don't want to feel like an outsider looking in."