Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, April 26, 2001

HCC fashion design major Kelsy Hyunh models
a dress of her own design that fulfilled a
requirement on use of assymetry.

can stand in the
way of fashion

HCC students vowed to put
on a show no matter what

By Nadine Kam

College classes may have been curtailed during the recent strike, but students were, perhaps, getting a little more education than they bargained for.

There's nothing like a little bruising from the real world to gain a lesson or two.

The women of Honolulu Community College's Fashion Technology Program, for instance, turned to guerrilla tactics to stage the show they had worked on all semester long.

"We were going to do the show anyway, without teachers," said Christine Nagamine, president of HCC's Fashion Society.

Nelia Solano models a playful halter and pant set,
one of her designs that will be featured in the
HCC Fashion show.

First step: Secure the clothes, which were bagged and carted over to Sandra Strack's house. Never mind the inconvenience. They had to do what they had to do.

None of this is new to the students, who in recent years endured state budget cuts and a stop-out that left HCC without a fashion program for a year.

The fashion merchandising program never came back, which means the day of the elaborate luncheon/stage shows hosted at Waikiki hotels is also past.

Last fall, they took the underground approach of taking their show to Pipeline Cafe, which had advisers complaining about the dark, the drinking and the smoky air.

Nevertheless, the students felt the rush of backstage prep, the clothes were seen, applause was heard. Success!

Honolulu Community College fashion design
major Christine Nagamine models one of her
designs, created from obi fabric, in the
school's design studio.

This time around, the students are taking their show to an even more public venue, Ala Moana's CenterStage. "Through the Eye of a Needle" will feature 75 garments covering casual, aloha, business and fantasy wear.

In the fantasy category is a bustier by Nagamine, held on by toupee tape -- shades of J-Lo's Versace stunner -- that will be worn with a flowing, fluttery butterfly skirt.

Also fitting this category is Strack's medieval-style wedding gown, which started its life as a Halloween costume.

Eventually, one layer of fabric turned into four, and she embellished it with braid and rows of pearly beads.

"It was supposed to be a simple costume, but I got carried away. I kept going just to see how far I could go, how much I could do," she said.

That sort of ambition usually gets rewarded, degree or not.

Fashion design major Genevieve Lehano models
an outfit of her own design that caters to many
women's need for unique but conservative clothing,
"that isn't too short or with a neckline that's too low."

On stage

What: "Through the eye of a Needle," a Honolulu Community College fashion show
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Ala Moana CenterStage
Admission: Free

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