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SYNTHESIS 2017 Senior Design Issue Spark Magazine


KATHERINE KYKTA Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor ELLIE WENDLAND Art Director ERNEST CHAN Assistant Art Director ILANA GRABARNIK Assistant Art Director AKHILA JANAPATI Business Director MARILYN ARTEAGA Treasurer & Head of Advertising and Marketing SHERIDAN SCHOLTZ Head of Public Relations KALPANA SATISH Assistant of Public Relations ABBY WILLS Head Event Coordinator SYDNEY HARKLAU Assistant Head Event Coordinator ERIKA NAJERA Creative Director TONY REDMER Assistant Creative Director ANDREW BYRNE Head of Hair and Makeup MAIYA EVANS Assistant Head of Hair and Makeup MARIAH BECERRA Head Model Coordinator ALAYNA ENOS Head Photographer SISSY MARTIN Head Stylist VERONICA LOZANO Assistant Head Stylist VICTORIA BASS Assistant Head Stylist NATALIE SENDUKAS Writing Director AIDEN PARK Writing Director NIKKI LASALLA Writing Director SAMANTHA BOLF




WILFRIDO RODRIGUEZ President Vice President of Operations SANDY SANCHEZ Vice President of Production JOJO CAPONERA Art Director GOBI-KLA VONAN Assistant Art Director AUSTIN CHEVIER Associate OfficerISAIAH VALLE QUINONES Associate Officer EDWARD TORRES Associate Officer JAVIER URIEGAS JR Associate Officer ANDIE KENT Head Model Coordinator ALEXANDRA MCCRACKEN Assistant Model Coordinator MELINA PEREZ Assistant Model Coordinator UNZILA ARAB Assistant Model Coordinator VICTORIA BASS Associate Officer MCKYNA HINES Associate Officer KIMBERLY GONZALES Head Event Coordinator DARBY MCALLASTER Assistant Event Coordinator MARY URBAN Assistant Event Coordinator ERIKA NAJERA Assistant Event Coordinator GISELLE VILLAREAL Head of Show Production LINETTE MONTANA Head of Show Production ELEXIS “LEX” SPENCER Director of Public Relations MADI KOLODGIE Assistant Director of Public Relations SYDNEY HARKLAU Associate Officer ASHLEIGH SNYDER Associate Officer KACEY ADAMS Director of Social Media SIVIM LY Assistant Director of Social Media APRIL OWUSU Associate Officer JAYLING ZHOU Associate Officer LUIS BARRAZA Secretary ASHLEY ARREOLA Secretary KARINA GAMBOA Treasurer ASHLEY BEDFORD Treasurer HANNAH SEAVEY Associate Officer of Treasury LAUREN VALASHINAS


Letter from the President of UFG


am Wilfrido Rodriguez Jr., a business marketing major and textiles and apparel design minor. My relationship with University Fashion Group (ufg) began before I came to college. As a local Austinite, I attended the 2012 fashion show, “Contour,” and I was impressed with the work that the ut designers and ufg students were doing. The following year, I attended “Transcend” and when deciding where I wanted to attend college, ufg was one of the reasons why I came to the University of Texas. Ever since then I have worked my way up from member, to Assistant Art Director, Art Director, and now President.

As President of University Fashion Group (ufg), I am in charge of running the organization by leading officer and general meetings, representing the organization, and producing the annual fashion show alongside our fashion show director, Ockhee, txa faculty, and ufg officers & members. When it comes to running the organization, I have the responsibility of booking guest speakers for our general meeting and help both vice presidents plan the nyfw trip that takes place in September and February. This past February we had the opportunity to work with Bureau Betak, a show production company in New York. Twenty ufg members worked with reputable and wellknown designers such as Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, Lacoste, Sies Marjan, and Lela Rose. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend, but I was so happy for them to have able to experience a unique opportunity like that. My mission this year was to improve our fashion organization and I have to say, we did a pretty good job. For the annual fashion show, I wanted to challenge the officers to create a unique fashion show. I did not want them to be limited based on their personal experience. Yes, we are a student organization, but that does not mean we can not create professional work. Our Art Director, Gobi, is a talented architecture student and worked with his committee to create a visually appealing stage set. Our show production officers, Linette and Elexis, worked with makeup artist and hairdressers to ensure we create a look for the models that works with all the designers' vision. In addition, this is the second year ufg decided the direction of the music and the show producers worked with local artists on curating music that emphasize the presence of the models as the walk down the runway. Our social media director, Sivim, worked hard on promotion this year and creating content that college students and Austin locals will be attracted to. Public Relations worked with Professor Jessica Ciarla to ensure that our ut fashion event is talked about in press and media outlets, as well as to help promote the fashion show on campus through flyers and tabling. Alex, our model coordinator, worked with senior designers and a local fashion show producer to ensure that we dress the models on time and that we are organized; every second counts when you are backstage. Especially when you are sending more than 6

100 looks down the runway. Finally, our show would not be possible without our volunteers. They are the extra set people that helped our head officers execute their projects and ensure that things got completed. As president, I have the pleasure of overseeing and helping out my team put on the best fashion show. has been a huge part of my college career. I am truly blessed to have been able to learn from and work with the smartest and most talented students. As I wrap things up in the month of May, I reflect on the friendships I have made (getting to work alongside my best friend, Sandy, has been fun), the growth I have achieved, and all the great memories I will cherish for a lifetime. I am incredibly proud of how far we have come as individual leaders and organization as a whole and I cannot wait what the future holds for University Fashion Group. ufg

Wilfrido Rodriguez President

Letter from the Vice President of UFG


he ending is always inevitably bittersweet. As Vice President of University Fashion Group, my time at ufg has been filled to the brim with memories, responsibilities, and hopefulness for the years to come.

I am a graduating senior majoring in advertising with a focus in copywriting in the Texas Creative Portfolio Program, but the creativity that fills the fashion industry has always been important to me ever since I was a kid spending my days working on fashion sketches. Coming into college I was timid and afraid of new people, so naturally walking into my first ufg meeting during my freshman year of college was an intimidating, great feat. After that meeting I thought, “Okay, I like this organization and I will become an active member and I will go to New York Fashion Week and I will help put on the ut Fashion Show!” I was determined to be a part of an organization that valued creativity and hard work, and so I did just that.

I eventually became an active member, falling more in love with ufg and its positive energy. It’s so important to find an organization that you feel happy in, and for me, ufg was the one. Throughout the course of college, I became more comfortable with myself and my ideas and the way I communicated with others. I eventually became the Assistant Social Media Director of ufg from 2015–2016 where I had fun working on concepts for our social media accounts and the promotion of the fashion show. This 2016–2017 term, I ended up becoming the Vice President of Operations, where I was excited to make the organization a better place for our members. I worked alongside Wilfrido, the President (and my best friend who I met through ufg), and Jojo, the Vice President of Production, as well as my sweet and dedicated office board. As Vice President of Operations, it has been my duty to oversee Secretary, Treasurer, Social Media, and Public Relations, as well as planning the trips to New York Fashion Week and helping run this year’s fashion show. Our goal for ufg this year has been to make it an inclusive and creative space where we value fresh ideas, fashion, networking, and the importance of just having fun with fashion. We aimed to do this through the speakers at meetings, our socials, branding, and the way we communicated ourselves with our members. This past fall, I finally attended New York Fashion Week where I got to explore NYC with the officers and get an in-depth view at the fashion industry. One of the most exciting things Wilfrido, Jojo, and I did this year (aside from planning the fashion show), was providing a new experience for our members attending New York Fashion Week. For the first time ever, this past spring, we worked with high-fashion designers such as Alexander Wang, Lacoste, and Jason Wu. It was one of the most

accomplishing and memorable trips and we hope this opens up multiple doors for ufg members in years to come. And so that brings us to the finale of my time in ufg. This year the finale goes by the name of Synthesis. Everyone in ufg has had an important role in putting together this fashion show. The big day is finally here and after multiple meetings, hours of hard work, endless Google Docs, and many tough decisions, this year’s senior fashion designers and University Fashion Group bring you Synthesis, the 2017 ut Fashion Show. It’s one thing spending a year planning an event but it’s another thing finally seeing it in front of you and knowing that you and your team did that. We hope you enjoy Synthesis! Thank you.

Sandy Sanchez Vice President of Operations


UFG Leadership Jojo Caponera

As Vice President of Production, my responsibilities are overseeing all production aspects of the show which include the Model, Event, Show Production, and Art Teams within University Fashion Group. Aside from ensuring the production of the show is a success, I help to organize nyfw and be the President’s right hand when needed.

Gobi-Kla Vonan

My duties as art director for UFG included creating graphics for our various events, designing and construction the spring fashion show’s backdrop & runway and managing the art committee in order to successfully execute our tasks. I love being a part of the art direction team because it allows for creative expression along with providing me with the opportunity to expand my skills in the arts, teamwork and communication. As the art director, I was able to take inspiration from various fields of design and my fellow peers in order to further develop my design process.

Alexandra McCracken

As head model coordinator of ufg, my main duties are to communicate with show production teams in order to send dressers to help backstage at local fashion shows. In addition to this, I coordinate model fittings for the ut fashion show and organize the run of show order. Overall, my job allows me to see the interior of fashion show production and work behind the scenes to make the ut fashion show a success.

Darby McAllaster

My responsibilities as event coordinator include planning and executing ufg socials and fundraisers, preparing the vip swag bags for the annual fashion show, and planning the snacks for general meetings as well as backstage at the fashion show. I love being a ufg officer because it allows me to gain valuable experience in the industry while cultivating lasting friendships.

Linette Montana

As head of show production, my job is to seek the hair and makeup styles that perfectly suit the looks of each of our designers. Along with my co-head, I collectively sought out a student music producer that would complement every section of the show. Perhaps my most important function is being the liaison between the senior designer and the officers. In order to produce a successful show we must have great communication between the designers and the producers of the show.

Elexis Spencer

For show production, we are in charge of music, hair, and makeup for the fashion show. We also communicate between ufg and the senior fashion designers, keeping both parties up to date about any and everything. ufg is an excellent organization for many reasons, but all of us senior designers are so grateful for their dedication in producing the fashion show.

Vice President of Production

Art Director

Head Model Coordinator

Head Event Coordinator

Head of Show Production

Head of Show Production


Madi Kolodgie

As pr director, I send out the information for tabling for meetings and for events that we should have representation at. In doing so we hope to share ufg with the University of Texas at Austin students as well as the local Austin fashion community. For the fashion show my team and I work on the press release, which is sent out to magazines and publications in Austin, and organize the check-in for volunteers and press.

Sivim Ly

My role in ufg is to manage our social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and our official website. During the fall semester our committee post regularly on social media accounts to build our online presence. In the spring semester we focus more on getting words out for the fashion show using video promotions and our overall social media accounts.

Ashley Arreola

As ufg secretary, my duties include introducing new members into the organization, keeping track of our point system, and providing our members with work and internship opportunities.

Karina Gamboa

As a secretary of ufg, I help to manage membership, points, design and communicate what’s going on with our weekly newsletter, and am actively looking for Fashion-related job opportunities in Austin for members. I love being a part of ufg because we’re all a little #messy sometimes.

Ashley Bedford & Hannah Seavey

As the tresurers of ufg, our main duties are to create, update, and oversee the organization budget and bank accounts as well as monitor and facilitate the fundraising tactics to increase our budget. Overall our job entails a variety of things such as budgeting, developing and managing our card system, updating organization’s legal documents to become a 501c3, and creating a tier system while managing the budget for that system.

Director of Public Relations

Director of Social Media






Designers 12 16 22 26 32 34 38 44 48 54 62 68 76 80 88 94 98 104 108 112 116 122

Cindy Soledad Aguirre Jordan Butler Alisha Contreras Antonea Eason Maria Easton Sheroid Evans Ariana Funug Phoebe Hambright Melinda Lawrence Van Anh “Annie” Le Christine Minah Lee Veronica Lozano Jay Martinez Linette Montana Jackie Ramirez Marc Reilly Hailey Sellars Dallas Skidmore Elexis “Lex” Spencer Rachel Spross Dee Ting Kate Wade



Soledad Aguirre

Cindy Aguirre is from Austin, Texas. When she first arrived to campus and her Undergraduate Studies Advisor asked if she would be interested in studying fashion, Cindy responded that she didn’t think she’d fit into the fashion environment. She couldn’t afford brand name clothing and, at the time, didn’t even know how to sew. Her advisor encouraged her to look more into it and, after realizing the major involved math and science components, subjects Cindy enjoys, she was sold. In her free time, Cindy spends time hanging out with her nieces and nephews, watching scary movies, drawing, and creating various diy projects such as jewelry and shadow boxes. On an average weekend during the school year, you can find Cindy working in the lab or doing homework. During the summer, you can find her enjoying time with her family. Cindy’s collection is inspired by her Texan and Mexican heritage and culture. Her first idea for the project drew on her memories from the first time she went to the rodeo with her dad. “It was just the two of us and one of the best days of my life,” she said. Cindy enjoyed the research involved in her project because it taught her more about her culture, which is very important to her.

everyday situations. Being a fashion major made Cindy further appreciate the creation of clothing from the agricultural end to the final product. She also loves to incorporate late ‘50s and early ‘60s silhouettes, agriculture, children’s drawings, and embroidery into her designs. Cindy is not motivated by labels or brand names when making clothes. She believes that people should aim for the great emotions that occur after finding the perfect outfit rather than looking at specific brand names. Feeling comfortable in one’s clothes instead of focusing on brand names is the true meaning of fashion.. In ten years, Cindy hopes to have a stable job and be starting a family. Her love for fashion will hopefully continue by designing clothes for children or dolls – such as Barbie or American Girl – if she does not design women’s wear. If Cindy ends up not pursuing fashion, she hopes to work in law enforcement or education. To Cindy, fashion is a type of everyday art that can convey emotion and one’s personality. “Fashion isn’t labels or brands but a form of self expression or representation of someone,” she says. “Fashion is an important aspect of everyday life some of us oversee.”

Other influences on Cindy’s designs include values learned from her parents and her religion: humility, thrift, and positivity. These influences motivated her to design affordable ready-to-wear clothes that people can wear in

Writer: Hannah Heydinger, Photographer: Cindy Soledad Aguirre, Model: Gabriela Tan, Julissa Veras, HMUA: Gabriela Tan, Layout: Caroline Rock 12




Jordan Butler

Dreams are a highly subjective realm. Some are fortunate to realize their aspirations from an early age and know precisely what steps must be taken to accomplish this. Others find themselves and their ambitions along the tedious path of introspection. Senior designer Jordan Butler awoke one night as hers materialized in the medium of a dream. She had been internalized in a conflict as to whether she should continue a biochemistry major or design major. But that morning, her eyes opened wide to the soft morning light and the path that would set her on the course of her goals. That day, she redid her entire schedule and changed her major to textiles and apparel. Following her abrupt realization, Jordan has been living her dream since. Jordan is from San Antonio. Yet, her wanderlust is consuming. It is the world around her that provides her greatest motivator for her work. In particular, she cites the various social climates as inspiration for many facets of her life. Jordan believes in the philosophy of art, as a conversation in which a message may be interpreted without any dialogue. As for her own message she wishes to resonate within the world, she desires to change how people see one another. In the absence of prejudice, Jordan believes that we have the ability to see each person for who they are and truly accept them. Her designs are her most substantial tool in communicating this message. Jordan often chooses to design for empowered individuals who consciously express themselves through their attire.

Her collection began with the print of an x-ray human vertebrae and pelvis. Its dark and mystical elements allured her into purchasing it immediately. Although she had been doing a collection entirely for women, the print pressed her to contemplate how she thought her designs would be impactful. As Jordan sought for a deeper meaning in her work, she longed to find her vision behind the collection. From a new sociocultural perspective, she discovered it by redesigning her collection to be for men. Using traditionally feminine silhouettes, Jordan wants to help revolutionize a market of formal dress for men while maintaining a sort of eerie aesthetic that she found so attractive in her x-ray print. As all of her creations represent an opinion she has toward the world, this one stands to provide a new outlet of masculinity. It’s Jordan’s desire to create, and her love for tedious, technical fixations that led her to find her a career in fashion. It’s revolutionary, she thinks, to form a new love of yourself when you are able to accurately express yourself through your attire. It’s the extraordinary medium of clothing, this silent ability to open up creatively, that Jordan admires about the art. She stands by her belief that fashion “has the power to subliminally change our consciousness, which, when done with care, can change our world,” and that is precisely what she plans to do.

Writer: Maddy Murray, Photographer: Tony Redmer, Stylist: Austin Chèvier, Model: Ebanie Griffith, HMUA: Maiya Evans, Layout: Manuela Rincon 16






Alisha Contreras

Alisha Contreras is from smalltown Sabinal, Texas. There, at a young age, Alisha discovered the art of designing. After her grandmother, or Meme, showed Alisha her Singer sewing machine, Alisha found herself entranced by its simple, cast-iron beauty. One day, Alisha got the chance to watch Meme make her a Halloween costume. That’s when it all started, Alisha says. When she reached the tender age of 14, Alisha received her own sewing machine, began watching diy Youtube videos and became hooked on “Project Runway.” Now, her hometown’s rural aesthetic provides the background for Alisha’s very own fashion line. Although she had wanted to get out of Sabinal as fast as possible, Alisha says it wasn’t until later that she realized she had taken her roots for granted. She now cherishes her youth spent shooting bb guns, fishing and playing in the mud. The subtle beauty of her small town contained a treasure trove, overflowing with inspiration. Alisha says her family of hunters and farmers influenced the design of her entire clothing line.

meat,” Alisha says. “We don’t think to make their hides into something beautiful.” Aside from designing, Alisha enjoys going on dates with her boyfriend, going to the park, watching movies and just having fun. She says it’s great to occasionally get away from college life and visit her friends in San Marcos. She also cherishes her lazy Saturdays, a day set aside for just taking a breather. Although rare, Alisha also relishes the time she gets to spend at home, where inspiration abounds. Alisha says her future remains slightly unclear, but she hopes to one day attend graduate school. However, if anything, Alisha wants to stay in Austin until the day she can afford to move states. To Alisha, the art of fashion means being comfortable, being unique, pushing boundaries and finding yourself – your very own aesthetic. “There is inspiration everywhere,” Alisha says. “Even if it’s in the feathers of the roosters on your grandparents chicken farm.”

Alisha even designed pieces using axis, or chital, deer skin for her collection. She says due to the abundance of this deer in Texas, their silky coat goes to waste far too regularly. As a matter of fact, Alisha says animal hides are one of her favorite textiles to work with. Even if there may be an ethical question over whether or not to design with animal hides, Alisha contends, it’s an age-old innovation that has led to our survival. “We hunt deer for their

Writer: Aiden Park, Photographer: Kevin Hwang, Model: Hannah Heydinger, HMUA: Alisha Contreras, Layout: Allison Fitzgerald 22




Antonea Eason

Born in Houston, Antonea has been sketching and designing for as long as she can remember. Her mother says she began designing at the early age of five when she started drawing gowns with her crayons. “I’ve tried going into other fields of study that were more practical but I always came back to designing,” Antonea says. “It just feels right and makes me happy.” Antonea believes in taking the female form into consideration when designing every time. She grew up inspired by strong, confident women such as her mother, who significantly influences her style. She designs clothes with the idea of flaunting and celebrating the body, rather than treating the body as a hanger for the pieces to simply be displayed on. Antonea believes first and foremost that women wear the clothing, not the other way around. Her current inspiration is the female form and playing with those shapes in each of her designs. She continuously focuses on accentuating the natural waistline and avoiding anything boxy. Recently, she has been working to exaggerate the female form through unique silhouette shapes.

For Antonea, fashion is self-expression. It is a way for her to nonverbally communicate her views and beliefs to other people. She believes that what we put on our bodies says a lot about how we feel, think and see the world. As Yves Saint Laurent is her favorite label, she enjoys the unique mix of style they bring to the table. “Everything is sleek, sophisticated and elegant, but also edgy and sexy. It’s a wonderful mix.” As for post-graduation, Antonea plans on immediately moving to New York City. She visited the big apple for the first time in high school on a school trip for an accounting class and has loved it ever since. Growing up in Houston, she enjoyed the culture and diversity the city had to offer and the inspiration she was able to pull from it. As for New York, she loves how it feels like a melting pot and its endless opportunities for inspiration it has to offer. Antonea hopes to launch her career in fashion as an assistant to a creative director, and eventually own her own line.

When asked what trend she is eager to see disappear, she fittingly answered, “Puffer jackets. They don’t do any favors for the body.” She also looks forward to athleisure dying out. Antonea appreciates the time one puts into dressing up before going out in public, which athleisure directly contravenes. One trend she hopes will reappear shortly is strong shoulders. “It radiates confidence and sexiness.”

Writer: Haley Johnston, Photographer: Michelle Chiou, Model: Caroline Otto, HMUA: Jessica Teran, Layout: Allison Fitzgerald 26






Maria Easton

Maria Easton always knew that she wanted to pursue apparel design. Although originally from Houston, Maria would say that she grew up everywhere. As a member of a military family, she was constantly moving. She credits this background as a great inspiration for her current designs and opinions on fashion. She thought that the uniforms her mom had to wear were unattractive and believed she deserved more beautiful clothing. Her opportunity to travel allowed her to observe the way fashion is practiced in different areas of the world. Her travels also instilled in her the desire for an incorrupt world and the knowledge that fashion, although wonderful in appearance, may have humanitarian and environmental consequences hidden beneath its surface. Maria’s designs are inspired by the sea. Growing up, Maria wanted to be a marine biologist. She always finds inspiration from the most recent place she’s traveled, and she spent last summer working as an Au Pair in Mallorca, Spain. Maria designed her collection based on the inspiration she received from living on a beautiful island surrounded by crystal clear, blue water. In fact, if Maria could only design with one type of textile, she would use silk chiffon. “It drapes and moves like water,” she said.

Fashion, according to Maria, can be described as millions of women coming together wearing tee shirts with sayings like “My Body My Rights” and “I am with Her” and marching together in a peaceful protest. Maria’s favorite designer is Mara Hoffman, but she is also inspired by the sustainable and ethical practices that the designer Stella McCartney uses within her company. Currently, Maria’s biggest inspiration is the fair-trade fashion movement. Fast fashion, she hopes, disappears forever. In 10 years, Maria hopes to be living in a bungalow on a beach somewhere in Indonesia, tan and happy, filled with life experiences. She’ll have her own mango tree too, of course. After graduation, Maria is going into the Peace Corps, where she will live and work in whatever country they need her to serve in for two or more years. After finishing her service, she hopes to try and make her way around the world teaching esl, Au pairing, picking apples – whatever she can do in order to see it all. Once she’s had enough of traveling, she hopes to pursue a career in fairtrade fashion.

In her free time, Maria likes to go out and party. However, she also loves being involved on campus. Two of her most beneficial experiences at ut include her involvement in Austin students for Global Peace and the 21st St. Cooperative, where she can be found making and eating brunch with the entire cooperative every Saturday.

Writer: Hannah Heydinger, Photographer: Ed Lehmann, Model: Ebanie Griffith, HMUA: Ruiz Salon, Layout: Olivia Brady 32


Sheroid Evans

One of Sheroid Evans’ favorite memories from his childhood is of the time he wore matching Versace outfits with his mom, proof that he’s been killing the game from a very early age. Fashion has always been a big part of his life, and Evans credits his mom with this passion. She’s always had a love for clothes and wearing brands herself, which she passed on to Evans by dressing him up right along with her. Evans recalls always wanting to look nice and trying to follow trends as he grew up, pursuits that he hasn’t given up just yet.

design a motorcycle jacket for his Flat Pattern class at the same time as spring ball, leaving him sewing at 4 in the morning. But for Evans, it wasn’t work to be up at 4 am because he was doing what he loved – and that made it all ok. (In case you were wondering, the jacket still turned out dope). It is this passion for his work and the support of his friends and family that get him through. And while it may seem like football and design are incompatible, Evans insisted on the contrary; his teammates have been incredibly supportive, even asking him to design clothes for them.

Instead, he has developed his love for fashion into a love for design as well. One of the most interesting things about Evans is that he is not only a fashion designer here at ut, but also a cornerback for the school’s football team. Evans came to ut on a football scholarship with the idea of getting a degree in Education and not much of a plan beyond that. A chance encounter with an old high school friend in his sophomore year, however, would change all of that. Morgan Mack was studying retail at the time and convinced Evans to check out the Textiles and Apparel, txa, program; Apparel 101 was all it took to get Evans hooked. Unfortunately, Evans could not get another degree given the time commitments from football…until he tore his acl his senior year, which gave him the chance to pursue a minor in txa as he sat out the season. Another injury in his fifth year, along with a scholarship allowing him to stay on for a sixth year, gave Evans the opportunity to turn his minor in txa into a major.

Today, Evans' style can best be described as urban streetwear, featuring a lot of denim (his favorite) and camo because – fashion tip – this is the year of camo. Evans’s inspiration for his style doesn’t come from any one place, but is more a product of the culture he’s grown up in. His hometown of Houston has played a big part with its unique culture and demeanor: the city of the country trendy folk, as he jokingly calls it. Another big influence has been music, A$AP Rocky being one of his biggest inspirations not only for his sick sense of style, but also for the confidence he has to fearlessly do his own thing.

This is not to say that the path has been easy for Evans. Balancing the demands of design and football has been difficult, and Evans remembers one time when he had to

The collection for the show represents Evans’ urban style and involves layering, texture, prints, and distressed hems. It has been compared to Yeezy, but this is Yeezy taken to new levels. It is high end streetwear, a hint at what’s to come with the brand Evans has been working on and hopes to launch in the near future, and his introduction to the world: this is Sheroid Evans.

Writer: Saku Gopinath, Photographer: Marybeth Schmidt, Model: Brejae Washington, HMUA: Brejae Washington, Layout: Ilana Grabarnik 34




Ariana Funug

Ariana Funug says she can’t pinpoint the exact time when she knew she wanted to work in design. Her eyes were always open to the shapes, colors and rich patterns around her. With a father in the military, Ariana found herself regularly moving. Although she considers upstate New York to be a home, she also considers Copperas Cove, Texas her hometown. The wide array of life Ariana experienced throughout her youth invariably molds and inspires her artistic eye today.

As for designers Ariana looks up to, she lauds Elie Saab gowns for their femininity, and cherishes the electricity of Gucci and Anna Sui. She says when designing, she tends to gravitate toward feminine details and intertwine them throughout fascinating fabrics. In fact, one of Ariana’s favorite textures to work with is upholstery fabric. She says she likes the idea of taking something like upholstery fabric and giving it a different purpose such as a clothing item.

Ariana’s senior clothing line is inspired from film director Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The methodically thought out colors and lighting Anderson uses in his movies resonated with Ariana, and served as a palette from which she created her line. Ariana says the basic shapes of her garments have a ‘70s vibrancy, much in the same way Anderson movies do. The first Anderson movie Ariana saw, “Moonrise Kingdom,” inspired her to capture Anderson’s hallmark whimsical spirit and overthe-top grandeur.

However, on the rare occasions when she’s not either in the sewing lab or working, Ariana enjoys exploring Austin, going to the movies or reading. In the future, Ariana hopes to be able to find a job and to be happy. In 10 years, she says she sees herself successful in whatever career she chooses, with enough money to buy a house and to travel. Ultimately, however, Ariana will be forever entranced with the “love-hate relationship” that is fashion.

Like Anderson, Ariana’s colors of choice include muted or dusty pinks, blues and purples. She says the way color can evoke emotion is a wealth of inspiration. Ariana also likes to mix and meld different, unexpected fabrics together. Shying away from trends, Ariana credits the time she spent sifting through thrift stores as a major influence in shaping her personal taste. “Unlike stores,” Ariana says, “thrift stores are a hodgepodge where you are the one who decides what’s fashionable and what’s not.”

Writer: Aiden Park, Photographer: Andrew Byrne, Model: Alayna Enos, HMUA: Saumya Gupta, Layout: Allison Fitzgerald 38






Phoebe Hambright

Phoebe Hambright is from Beaumont, Texas. While nothing in her hometown led her to design, she was constantly putting together personal projects with her hands and dreaming of starting her own business. As an advertising student during her sophomore year, Phoebe took a class called Clothing the Planet, a design elective that she thought would be interesting. While she enjoyed advertising, the class had her at the edge of her seat, wanting to learn more in a way that her other classes didn’t. During this class, she realized she was meant to be a design student and made a change. Phoebe’s biggest inspiration behind her collection is music. Growing up, she often listened to her dad’s Beatles and the Rolling Stones records and watched the Rolling Stones concert footage on tv. From these videos, she gained an interest in 1960s clothing, especially the silhouettes of the styles they wore. Phoebe has taken these styles and adapted them into her own designs. She says that the goal is to produce clothing that evokes the same moods and attitudes she has while listening to the Beatles’ and the Rolling Stones’ music. Her dad is heavily involved in her design process, as they often text back and forth about her sketches and the fabrics she’s using as her pieces take shape. As Phoebe’s “best pal,” her dad’s involvement is a special piece of the design process. Phoebe is constantly intrigued by colors and textures and finds excitement in making new combinations from these elements. When she is able to make new combinations, her

ideas are able to develop more clearly and easily. Some of her favorite designers are Brandon Maxwell and Proenza Schouler, and both use these elements in unique ways. She loves not only Maxwell’s attention to craftsmanship and crisp tailoring, but also his ability to empower women through his clothing. The Proenza Schouler brand blends different prints, colors, textures and silhouettes in an interesting way, something that intrigues Phoebe the most in the fashion industry. To Phoebe, fashion gives her a unique outlet to express herself and to have fun while doing so. While she doesn’t believe fashion defines a person, she believes it is an important channel in silently broadcasting oneself and his or her personality. Fashion allows people to express themselves as individuals through their appearances. In her free time, Phoebe enjoys sitting at coffee shops with her Bible, researching travel spots she hopes to visit in the UK, meeting up with friends when she has time outside of the studio or schoolwork, or kayaking, which she describes as her happy place. In the future, Phoebe hopes to design for Keith Richards, if by some miracle he is still alive at that time, and ultimately have her own label. She has seen the way her plans and reality rarely align, as in the case of her switching to a design major. However, that only makes her excited and hopeful about the future as she takes each step one day at a time.

Writer: Abigail Rosenthal, Photographer: Taylor Hall, Models: Katie Olsen, Joseph Wilson, HMUA: Katie Olsen, Layout: Olivia Brady 44




Melinda Lawrence

Melinda Lawrence was born and raised in Jodie, West Virginia, but it wasn’t until she was in college that she discovered her love for fashion. After attending her first fashion show at the University of Texas, she was hooked – no pun intended. From then on, her passion was design. Lawrence switched majors after that one fashion show, and the rest is history. Lawrence’s message is one of positivity and of loving yourself in the outfits you choose. Trends come and go, but if people like what they’re wearing, that’s what really matters. Her collection represents this mindset; one that prioritizes the confidence of the wearer over what’s considered “stylish” by the masses. Interestingly enough, Lawrence really sees herself working in the airplane industry. She added that she plans “to work as an airframe and powerplant mechanic,” also known as an aircraft mechanic, after graduation. Her love for aviation helped create the collection that will be on display. “I was inspired to design garments that I would personally want to wear,” Lawrence said. “I used to work as an aircraft mechanic in the Navy, and I would come home covered in grease and smell like fuel.” She thought about what she “would like to wear when [she] wasn’t at work,” and her collection “is what [she] came up with.” Lawrence made sure that her designs still

incorporated basic and elements of older aviation fashion, including Sherpa fur and the color brown – just updated for modern fashion trends. Simply put, Lawrence loves aviation. She loves the oldfashioned aspect to it, and how she can turn it around and make it new; she loves new airplanes and old airplanes alike. She is passionate about the “industry in general, especially the women who are breaking down barriers in a male dominated field,” and she hopes to emulate those women currently changing the landscape of aviation in the future. However, Lawrence’s hobbies include more than just aviation and fashion. She’s a film and television enthusiast, and you can often find her watching Netflix or going to the movies – or the gun-range. On top of that, she loves Girl Scout cookies. After graduation, Lawrence knows exactly what she hopes to do. As previously stated, she plans on pursuing a career as an airframe and powerplant mechanic. She is already currently certified as such, and hopes to work for Northrop Grumman once she graduates from ut with a degree in Design. While fashion stole her heart in college, she knows that her future will have something to do with aviation; and designing this collection allowed her to combine her two loves into an unique and personalized look.

Writer: Nikki LaSalla, Photographer: Allie Weitzel, Model: Brianna Brandyburg, HMUA: Brianna Brandyburg, Layout: Olivia Brady, Location: Austin Biplane 48






Van Anh "Annie" Le

Growing up, Van Anh “Annie” Le kept sketchbooks of amateur renderings of dress designs. When toying with some of her mother’s fabric scraps that were available, Annie had, in her words, “this weird habit of zooming in on different surfaces and textures I saw in my surroundings, focusing on minute details like the texture of the interior car fabric.” Annie’s mother immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam where she worked as a seamstress. She also took up many odd jobs to support Annie's family. Annie took after her mother, who, once in the states, constructed her own versions of outfits that she liked at the mall or in catalogues. Annie is inspired by architecture; the way the sunlight creates shadows with shapes in architectural structures is a major source of inspiration for the lines and shapes in her garments. She pays close attention to the the different shadows created by the light hitting the surfaces of the building’s façade. One label that continually inspires Annie always is back to is Ralph and Russo. Annie believes that “Their creations are feminine, with each piece exuding an understated sense of grace, sophistication, and luxury. Every look in their collections carries its own personality and dramatic flair – from the most ornately embellished gowns to the simplest draped dresses.”

If Annie were only able to use one textile for the rest of her life, it would be definitely silk organza. For Annie, silk organza provides the best of both worlds with structure and flow. With this fabric, Annie feels that she can create looks that range from being tailored and straightforward, to ethereal and delicate. For this three-piece collection, Annie experimented with shape and structure. She liked the idea of “structured volume” and creating dome-shapes around the silhouette of the body. For color, Annie decided on a tonal look, choosing to keep everything in the dusty pink to mauvecolor family. For the near future, Annie plans to stay in Austin, preparing for her next career move by working as hard as ever. Annie currently interns with couture designer Sergio Guadarrama, but has said she’d take on an additional internship if it meant more valuable experience. Fashion is a platform where individuals can express their current state of mind and their personalities. As a consumer Annie feels able to show her preferences and tastes for certain details in the way that she dresses; as a designer, she is able to exhibit the progression of the ideas and the creativity that occurs throughout the design process.

Writer: Joseph Wilson, Photographer: Andrew Byrne, Model: Lindsey Ehlers, HMUA: Paola Mena, Layout: Ernest Chan 54








Christine Minah Lee

Christine Lee grew up in Katy, Texas. Although nothing in her hometown explicitly guided her toward choosing fashion design, she always had an interest in art. “I came into college as a Nutrition, pre-med major,” Lee said. “But the more I studied science, the more I realized I hated it.” During her sophomore year, Lee was planning to go on a mission trip to Cuba during winter break. To raise money for the trip, she sold frockets she sewed herself. One pivotal night, it dawned on Lee that she had lost track of time while sewing those pockets onto shirts, something that never happened while staying up late to study for a biology or nutrition exam. After late night, she knew she had to change her path and choose a different focus. Her main inspiration is the constant support from her religious beliefs, community, and her family. Even though her family wasn’t always in agreement about her choice to pursue design, they continued to support her decision. Christine’s friends are just as significant in her journey, and she added that they have always been beside her, picking her up whenever she falls. In terms of fashion, her interests have expanded toward street wear, with a focus on popular trends from the 1990s such as the oversized bomber and windbreaker jackets and the uses of color blocking.

are the Adidas streetwear line and Dior’s couture gowns. Some of her preferred designers include Jeremy Scott and Linda Asaf, as well as Alexander Wang. “I adore his style, minimal colors but bold and edgy designs,” she said. To Christine, clothing holds a lot of power, because it can really “boost a person’s mood and… define who they are.” Her aim in designing is to help people be confident and comfortable in what they’re wearing, without stressing about what others think. This goal stems from her experiences in life. “Just like a typical girl growing up, I had a problem of wanting to fit in with the crowd. But I was so uncomfortable wearing the things other people thought were popular. I hated that feeling. I felt so congested and not myself,” Lee said. “I realized that the most important thing was to be comfortable and confident in myself. I shouldn’t care about other people’s opinions.” She thinks that fashion should be used as a tool to flatter your body type and define who you are as an individual. Fashion should be unique, bold, and confident. Christine’s future goals include designing her own fashion line, and balancing out her life with love, happiness, as well as time for her friends, family, and church.

Although her personal taste in fashion “is all over the place,” Christine mentioned that her current favorites

Writer: Madeleine Munford, Photographer: Sissy Martin, Model: Naili Woelper, Malcom Berry, HMUA: Natalie Arriaga, Layout: Caroline Rock 62






Veronica Lozano

Veronica Lozano was meant to be an artist. Growing up, her parents encouraged creativity and artistic expression – her father is a radio host and singer-songwriter, and her mother made her own home décor. “Because of this, I was naturally drawn to all things creative,” Veronica said. “Throughout high school, I tried several instruments, art, sculpting, photography, and even theatre. But I could not get apparel design out of my head.” Veronica is from Laredo, Texas, a town near the border. Though she knew she wanted to pursue apparel design, there was nothing at her high school that suggested her dream could ever be a reality. But Veronica knew that was what she wanted. “By high school, I decided to follow my heart,” she said. “Today I am forever grateful that I took a leap of faith and moved to the amazing city of Austin.” While attending the University of Texas at Austin, Veronica has pursued her passion relentlessly, and her life has continued to shape her understanding of fashion. She often incorporates elements of her past and culture into her designs. “I definitely see how my Hispanic upbringing has influenced my love for embroidery,” she said. Among other inspirations, she cites Delpozo as a label that she admires for their intricate embroideries, and “ethereal and timeless aesthetic.” Her three-piece collection is indicative of her talent, as well as her dedicated nature. It was inspired by a wish to

“[create] something that would make a woman feel badass, beautiful, and feminine.” The empowerment of women is a theme that runs throughout Veronica’s creations – her main motivation when designing clothes is to embolden and encourage women through fashion. Her eveningwear gown was designed because she wanted to create a dress that was “both bold and powerful, but still feminine and delicate.” Veronica also finds inspiration in nature, architecture, and finding ways to challenge the stereotypical silhouette. “I love the idea of combining things that contradict each other, which influenced the choice of boxy olive silhouettes paired with delicate tulle dresses,” Veronica said, in reference to her collection. Veronica’s future is limitless, full of potential and fueled by a desire to use her art in order to do good. Alongside her devotion to female empowerment, in 10 years, she plans on contributing to ethical and environmental stability while continuing to learn and grow in the design industry. In the end, Veronica wants to use fashion to help others understand themselves in a way they couldn’t through a different art form. For Veronica, fashion “can convey meaning. It can express inner-self, it is a statement and an art. It’s fit for all sizes, for all people, of all ages. It does not exist in dress only, but has to do with ideas and innovation, something that comes from within.”

Writer: Samantha Bolf, Photographer: Tony Redmer, Model: Grace Davila, Alex Kemsley (Mazza Models), HMUA: Natalie Arriaga, Layout: Ernest Chan 68










Jay Martinez is from Dallas. Growing up, Jay would make custom garments for her dolls and dog out of her mother’s curtains and old clothes. Designing felt like a natural progression for Jay. It made the most sense for her and feels the most rewarding. Jay’s childhood hobby later led to her being a member of her high school’s sewing club, and eventually, a senior designer for the ut Fashion Show 2017, “Synthesis.” The inspiration for Jay’s collection is mostly torn yarn and hair. Since Jay’s evening and activewear are pretty plain, she wanted to incorporate texture to create the desire of actually touching the garment. Actually, texture and complicated construction is what Jay gravitates towards when she is creating new designs even though she will later hate himself for going with that design. Combined with her humble upbringing and fascination with design, Jay sees fashion as something that is both beautiful and disgusting. Jay describes the disgusting side of fashion as an unattainable fantasy that idiots put priority over the reality of their finances. As for the beautiful side, Jay does enjoy fashion and it is the only thing she can see himself doing. Aside from her time being a designer, Jay likes to relax, catch up on shows and sleep. When she has more free time, Jay plans to study languages. Currently, Jay is teaching herself to make flowers for hats. On Saturdays, Jay usually sleeps until 3 pm or studies for her classes. Depending on her schedule, Jay will work in the sewing lab to finish up on a garment. Some fast facts about Jay include that her favorite fashion label of all time is Undercover

by Jun Takahashi. If Jay could only design with one type of textile, it would be muslin. Reason why is because Jay sees designing with muslin as new frontier for herself. Jay is not very influenced by trends or what is on the runway since she has little care for those subjects. Jay’s biggest inspiration currently is a house that she used to live in that had seafoam green walls with black bars decorating the porch and white window sills. This house was surrounded by rose bushes and white chalky rocks with bits of crushed pink granite throughout the yard. Jay wanted to take this inspiration and translate it through her garments by a playful use of different colors. However, Jay had designed her garments with the same pinkish hues even though she is not the biggest fan of pink! As the ut 2017 Fashion Show “Synthesis” is fast approaching, Jay is busy at work in the sewing lab. The ut Fashion Show is known to be the final project for Design Seniors, about a month before Spring graduation. In the future, Jay wants to work in the fashion industry doing something she likes. More specifically, Jay wants to start her own company after gaining some funds and industry experience. As for the next 10 years, Jay wants a career in fashion that will allow her to dress in her desired style and label choices. Last but not least, Jay wants to have her student loans paid off! Don’t we all? From designing for her dolls and dog to now designing for “Synthesis,” Jay has come a long way in her designing career.

Writer: Annelle Gonzalez, Photographer: Hannah Laamoumi, Model: Hannah Seavey, HMUA: Hannah Seavey, Layout: Manuela Rincon 76




Linette Montana

Upon arriving at the University of Texas at Austin, Linette Montana had two passions: space-science, and fashion. After some pondering, she decided to major in astrophysics, choosing to keep fashion just a hobby that she could one day pursue after college. It wasn’t until she saw a textiles and apparel design student on the bus with a bolt of fabric that she realized her dream of fashion design was not as out-of-reach as she’d thought.

or shopping and brunching at places with a lot of natural light and modern decor. She enjoys taking trips out to the local lakes, and adores any body of water. She believes that fashion is an expression of taste, feeling and personality, and she tends to gravitate towards white hues and light color palettes. Her favorite fabric is mercerized Oxford cotton, and at the moment, she would choose to utilize it in most of her designs.

Growing up in El Paso, Texas, Linette wasn’t pushed toward fashion by any outside influences. It wasn’t until her freshman year of college that she realized she could keep up with fashion trends through Instagram and other social media platforms. One of her favorite brands is Delpozo, because of their “bright colors, soft-speaking designs, and structured fabric choices.”

“It’s a very light and airy fabric,” Linette said. “However, it’s stiff enough to maintain structure and allow the execution of many types of designs.”

For her senior collection, Linette used the classic button down shirt as the basis of inspiration. “Normally when a person wears a button down they feel empowered, professional, and sharp,” Linette said. She decided to play with this idea of strength and focus on the aspect unexpected comfort and freedom to the classic button-down. The three looks she designed for her collection speak to the idea of comfort by exuding an aesthetic of “going to the beach,” where “a slight breeze extends your unbuttoned top.” Her goal is to speak for the clientele style, and make comfort sharp. When Linette is not designing she can be found hanging out with the other designers, drinking frozen margaritas

Linette is not a fan of thick heels, or Pantone’s color of the year: Greenery. “It’s not the most flattering,” she said. After graduation, Linette plans to move to New York City and pursue a career in fashion design. “I see myself working with a brand that practices sustainability and ethical manufacturing,” she said and added that she eventually would like to start her own brand that practices these aspects of conscious capitalism. She is thankful for her ut experience for helping her connect with people in the fashion industry, getting a better feel of working in New York City, and being able to reach out to recent graduates and top designers.

Writer: Mattison Gotcher, Photographer: Tony Redmer, Model: Lindsey Ehlers, Kabir Karnani, HMUA: Linette Montana, Layout: Izy Scott 80








Jackie Ramirez

The art classes and competitions in which Jackie Ramirez participated in high school are what led her to design. It was there that she developed a passion for art and creativity. During middle school, Jackie’s school required uniforms. It wasn’t until high school that Jackie was granted the freedom to select her own outfits for school. The moment when Jackie realized she wanted to do apparel design was when she was in Spanish class in high school. “I can’t clearly remember what the assignment was but I drew a dress, and my Spanish teacher was impressed and told me I should think about doing fashion design in the future.” Jackie says that she couldn’t be happier with her major in textiles and apparel. When Jackie isn’t in the studio, she enjoys hanging out with her fellow designers and exploring the abundance of opportunity for adventure the city of Austin offers. Jackie’s biggest inspiration at the moment comes from classical and modern art, and Jackie’s activewear garments are most notably inspired by the work of Jackson Pollock. Jackie is also continually inspired by the deep, dark colors utilized in collections by Alexander Wang, Vetements and Helmut Lang. She loves streetwear, anything with a touch of athleisure.

and how “fierce” it looks on garments. To Jackie, fashion means comfort, confidence, and originality. It means a form of expression and discovering yourself – who you are and what you want to be. When designing, Jackie sees herself designing geometric styles and working with unique textiles. For her collection she is using a medium weight knit with cotton sateen and leather. Jackie loves combining different fabrics to create new and unique pieces. For her collection, Jackie was inspired by the enormous ice shelves in Antarctica. Jackie looked to old photographs of the shelves, and when she did, fell in love with the lines that they created. Jackie drew inspiration from the lines and cracks in the shelves in order to create a geometric effect in her garments. Her color palette was inspired from the northern lights: dark navy blue, emerald green, grey, black and white. In 10 years, Jackie sees herself either in the beginning steps of owning her own business or working for an established athletic apparel brand. She plans to eventually have her own brand of socially and environmentally responsible activewear. In the near future, Jackie plans on interning in New York City this summer to finish her degree.

If Jackie could design with only one type of textile for the rest of her life, it would be leather. Even though it can be tricky to work with when sewing, she loves the texture

Writer: Joseph Wilson, Photographer: Tony Redmer, Model: Rachel Real, Madeline Wells, HMUA: Natalie Arriaga, Layout: Manuela Rincon 88






Marc Reilly

Marc Reilly hails from McAllen, Texas. Growing up, his mother was his largest source of fashion inspiration. A creative-type herself, Marc’s mother gave him a first-hand look at the apparel design industry, and greatly influenced his desire to become a designer himself. He credited his love for humor, including the cheesiest of jokes and the worst of puns, to the easygoing nature of his family. Their unwavering support and encouragement have motivated the glass-half-full outlook that Marc has on life. At the University of Texas at Austin, Marc realized that he was meant to pursue a career in apparel design when he would catch himself daydreaming about fashion instead of paying attention in class. Taking this as a sign of fate, he slowly began incorporating design classes into his schedule until he had officially transferred into the Textiles and Apparel program. Marc firmly believes that inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere, so long as the looker searches passionately enough. His admiration for the beauty of humor is apparent in his most recent collection, which is inspired by the uniqueness and individuality that pizza embodies. He believes the triangular shape of a pizza slice follows the body’s natural lines quite perfectly.

Marc noted that he is “eager to see the fashion industry rid itself of the sameness that plagues many of today’s trends.” ­He looks forward to seeing high-end comfort on the runway someday, including pieces that are glamorous enough for the red carpet and cozy enough for at-home lounging. Aside from designing, Marc enjoys spending time with his dog, Hampton, by taking him out on long walks or to the dog park. He also loves adventuring to new restaurants or watching independent films at his favorite theater. On a typical Saturday morning, you can find Marc running morning errands before heading to ut to sew or prepare for work. After graduation, Marc aspires to start his career as an assistant designer for womenswear apparel at an established brand and see where that leads him. In 10 years, he hopes to be well into his working career and living in his allglass dream house with his dog Hampton (and possibly another puppy).

Marc defines himself as a “ridiculous-ist,” or someone who is constantly looking to push the boundaries of normality and infuse whimsical fun into fashion. His designs embody this eclectic state of mind.

Writer: Joanne Xu, Photographer: Kevin Hwang, Model: Carlie Roberson, HMUA: Carlie Roberson, Layout: Izy Scott 94




Hailey Sellars

Growing up in small town Early, Texas, Hailey Sellars was never surrounded by an abundance of clothing stores. This lack of exposure led her to ideas for designing her own wardrobe. Although she didn’t get around to actually sewing them, the desire was always there, cumulating. Coming to the University of Texas at Austin as a physics major, she found herself at the end of her freshman year wanting to explore other opportunities. Thinking back to her childhood desires to design clothing, she jumped at the chance to take retail merchandising. However, during her first class in the summer, her professor took interest and encouraged Hailey to switch to design and ignore her recurring hesitations over her dreams. Sellars’ inspiration comes from architecture and geometry. The various shapes created by the tiniest details can be seen from the shadows cast, to the structure of the building’s silhouette and lines. To Sellars, structure is everything. Her latest interest is fabric manipulation, which started from incorporating pleats into several of her looks and letting it take off. Pleats, folds, and shadows found organically in nature are the inspiration for her latest collection. Sellars wanted to create pieces for the contemporary woman, while drawing inspiration from the linear silhouettes of the 1960s. A typically boring, wear-to-work, professional wardrobe is completely rejuvenated with Sellars’ take, as she constructs a plethora of pleats in interesting ways.

Often when designing, Sellars is drawn to sleek, modern, and edgy silhouettes. She generally uses a solid color – rather than prints and patterns – with blockier silhouettes that almost hide the shape of the figure. To this designer, fashion is an expression of the self that one aspires to be. People have total control of what they put on their back and how they wish to outwardly express themselves, which says a lot about them. Fashion is flexible. Fashion is freeing. Fashion is never the same day to day, which changes a person’s outward representation. In Sellars’ rare free time, one can find her at the park playing frisbee with her puppy or watching Netflix. Her occasional knitting hobby will be taking a hiatus, as she spent so much time working on the leg warmers for her active wear look. Her idea of fun is attending live music concerts when she has the chance. Sellars’ future includes finding a job working for a company she loves, and in general, enjoying a life she’s proud of in a completely new city. She wants to stay openminded and let life take her where it naturally leads her.

Writer: Madeleine Munford, Photographer: Miranda Chiechi, Model: Carlie Roberson, Hailey Sellars, HMUA: Carlie Roberson, Layout: Cristianne Povoa 98






Dallas Skidmore

Dallas Skidmore was born and raised in South Padre Island, Texas and moved to College Station in her teenage years, but feels truly at home at the University of Texas at Austin. Dallas designs with the goal in mind to make women feel comfortable in their clothing while still looking fashionable and pulled together; no doubt inspired by her personal experience with Texas heat and humidity throughout her whole life. Dallas’ active lifestyle of working out and skating has also contributed to her voice as a designer, as she would prefer to design in Spandex material over any other material because of the comfort it provides the wearer. While Dallas ultimately wants to work with her church in their student ministry program and eventually become a high school teacher, she knew studying apparel design at ut was meant for her in a high school fashion design class. She came to ut with her best friend and since then has pursued a degree in apparel design. In her rare free time at ut, Dallas enjoys exercising in Gregory Gymnasium, skating and attending concerts. The concerts Dallas attends have provided a font of inspiration for her designs, as she cites live music as her biggest inspiration. Dallas’ sources of inspiration are wide-ranging and unique, such as bands she sees in concerts, the fusion of comfort and style, and her own busy lifestyle. She’s noticed her active routine requires comfortable, easy and fast, but trendy clothes, true to her personal style. To cope with her demanding major, Dallas turns to working out to

channel her anxious energy in a positive fashion. She particularly admires the brand Lululemon Athletica. Lululemon’s ability to make athletic clothes that look amazing fits right in with Dallas’ design aesthetic, making Lululemon her favorite brand. Dallas also likes the brand Agape Attire, a Christian faith based clothing line that keeps her fashionably connected to her religion. Dallas’ goal is for her clothes to help young women bridge the large gap between comfortable and fashionable clothes, which is a tall order. Dallas manages to achieve this difficult union through an intricate mix of simple, loose silhouettes and a minimalist aesthetic, hoping to have the garments delicately hang from and flow off the body rather than clinging harshly and uncomfortably to the wearer. Despite identifying her aesthetic with flowy clothing, Dallas dislikes the recent wide-legged pant trend. She would like to see more designers such as herself featuring athletic wear on the runways, as that is a rapidly expanding style of clothing modern, everyday women are turning toward due to their active lifestyles. At its core, fashion means the way one dresses – an important concept for a designer to tap into. Clothing helps present oneself to the world, and to Dallas, it is essential for young women to be able to fuse their increasingly active lifestyles with their natural desire to look stylish and chic. In Dallas’ eyes, women should be able to represent all aspects of their lives in their clothes without having to sacrifice personal comfort or unique sense of fashion.

Writer: Sydney Mahl, Photographer: Megan McKenzie, Model: Rachel Real, HMUA: Paola Mena, Layout: Caroline Rock 104





"Lex" Spencer

It’s a special moment when something one worked hard on comes to fruition. In Elexis Spencer’s case, that special moment will be when her clothing goes down the runway for everyone to see. From a young age, she felt naturally attracted to fashion; something about cutting the cloth, pinning everything into place and mixing in the occasional sweat and tears felt like the path she was destined to take. “I loved watching ‘That’s So Raven’ do her thing… that show definitely motivated me to get into fashion,” she remembered. “But beyond that it was just natural for me.” Hailing from Harker Heights, Texas, Elexis turned to sewing and designing apparel, managing to cook and exercise in her spare time as well. Now a busy textile major and up-and-coming fashion designer spending prolonged hours in the studio, she first admits, “Recently Saturdays have been a bleed-over from Friday,” Elexis said. “What is free time?” In these cherished bits of downtime, Elexis enjoys cooking, exercising, and talking to her boyfriend. These conversations with her boyfriend serve to relax her in her downtime, but also serves as inspiration. When coming up with ideas on which she bases her designs, she recalls a minute detail from one of the countless letters she received from her boyfriend. She explains, “I was reading a letter from my boyfriend from when he was in basic training, and he wrote something about ‘kings and queens.’ Something about that statement…it stood out to me and inspired my collection.” Using those keywords that evoked sentiments of royalty and elegance, she

conjured up apparel that would fit her sense of what embodied a king or a queen. It resembles how they would dress in today’s society. In her words, the looks are “sexy yet sophisticated.” There is a difference between having a fabric in mind and a creative goal or topic to bring into play with the clothing; for Elexis, that lies in her culture. “As a black woman, I like to create apparel with my people in mind.” She goes on to explain the greater goal of her clothing, “People of color are underrepresented…As a designer, I want to do what I can to promote this movement of empowerment for people of color.” In the future, Elexis hopes to see her looks grace red carpet events. She specifically mentioned stars like Zendaya, who she called her “dream girl.” Another future goal of hers is to give back to the fashion community, and be a fashion design professor. Her plan is to share her experience and knowledge with everyone, and inspire her future students. A more short term goal of hers is to get her business off the ground - she added excitedly, “Stay tuned for PASSiON Apparel.” But all this depends on her unfaltering work ethic. “I only plan to continue to keep grinding and pray my way through it all,” Elexis says. As these last words leave a powerful wake, one thing becomes certain: Elexis Spencer is a name to remember.

Writer: Sarah Munoz, Photographer: Nikki LaSalla, Model: Sheroid Evans, Layout: Cristianne Povoa 108




Rachel Spross

Ever since middle school, Rachel Spross knew she wanted to become a fashion designer. Born in Waco, Texas, the designer has always viewed herself as a creative person. It’s no surprise that she wanted to pursue a career in fashion. She feels that “[having] a creative brain” has had a great influence on her fashion choices because it is what led her to the career in the first place. When she first started getting involved with fashion and makeup, it was because fashion was an outlet for her own self expression in her small town. While Rachel loves coming home to Waco, she has always felt like more of a big city kind of girl. For now, though, her typical Saturday morning starts off with an early morning trip to the gym. After her workout, Rachel likes to get ready to create photoshoots for her blog, The Trendy Tomboy. A self-proclaimed workaholic, Rachel is always working on a new project. So, on days that she is not shooting for her blog, she likes to sew or work on other fashion projects. Rachel says any free time she has she is “probably spending it on Instagram or is pinning a million things on Pinterest.” Rachel considers herself a big foodie as well and also spends her free time trying out new restaurants. The inspiration behind Rachel’s collection is a mixture of 1950s Hollywood glamour tied with romantic themes. She adds nods to fairytales in many of the pieces as well.

Evening wear is Rachel’s favorite style. To her, working with evening wear is the most fun. Her inspiration comes from fashion designers like Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa, and Zac Posen. If Rachel could only design with one type of textile, she would choose tulle. “You can gather it, layer it…the design options are endless.” It was a tough decision to make, but bcbg Max Azria is one of Rachel’s all time favorite fashion labels. She “loves that you can go into bcbg and find everything from evening gowns, to ready to wear, to shoes and accessories.” When it comes to finding pieces to incorporate into everyday outfits, she is “obsessed with Topshop. The store is “an awesome price point for college students and young professionals and everything is always really on trend.” Even if Rachel is not too crazy about a certain trend, she would not like to see it fade away. She believes that “a trend that she hates, might be a trend that someone else loves.” To Rachel, the true essence of fashion is self expression and personal style. “Everyone has their own style and that is what makes fashion so interesting.” One trend that Rachel hopes will stick around for awhile is the sneaker/athleisure trend. She’s “all about being comfortable!” After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin, Rachel wants to stay in Austin and continue blogging full time. She would like to start making YouTube videos and ultimately start her own clothing line.

Writer: Alana Hernandez, Photographer: Brandon Hill, Model: Rachel Spross, HMUA: Rachel Spross, Layout: Ilana Grabarnik 112




Dee Ting

Born and raised in the Philippines until the age of 10, Dee Ting was immersed in various cultures early on. After moving to the United States, his family lived in Chicago for three years, until finally settling in Texas. As a result of having lived in many different places, Dee has a more open and adventurous frame of mind when it comes to looking for inspiration for his work. He decided that apparel design was the fit for him, “when I found myself working in the studio for an entire day,” and ended up “feeling like I hadn’t even done work.” Fashion, to Dee, is the physical manifestation of one’s thoughts and interests and feelings. Clothing and accessories, he believes, are the strongest forms self-expressions humans can possess. Because of the many locations he has lived, Dee understands the universality of fashion as a form of art. Each culture has their own unique spin on it; how they present themselves, and what it means to them is what Dee focuses on. He strives to integrate various cultures into an interesting combination with his work. Both on and off the runway, he hopes to see greater global exploration from more obscure and underrepresented styles in different countries.

futurism, minimalism, and dystopian worlds “slowly being taken back by nature, erosion, and weathering.” One of his favorite elements of his collection is linen fabric as he finds the texture amazingly easy to work with. “[Linen] can be lightweight or heavyweight, and it drapes beautifully,” Dee added. As for the coming years, Dee plans on settling down, somewhere it doesn’t get hotter than eighty degrees. His ideal day is rather simplistic: serving up a nice breakfast, sipping tea on his balcony, and practicing yoga. However, we can still expect his work to prove dynamic. Dee’s “work,” which he prefers to call his life’s passion, will continue to encourage those choosing to express themselves courageously and confidently with his equally daring designs.

Aside from designing, Dee finds creative outlets in drawing and making music. He hopes to continue making music on the side, while focusing on his main passion: creating his own brand and aesthetic. He is inspired by

Writer: Maddy Murray, Photographer: Tony Redmer, Model: Alayna Enos, HMUA: Natalie Arriaga, Layout: Cristianne Povoa 116






Kate Wade

Kate Wade always knew she was meant for the apparel design industry. Her love for admiring art, and in particular of the fashion variety, begun as a mere child. Whenever she would ask her mother to buy a piece of clothing, her mother told her she was capable to sew it herself. Kate would then proceed to search through the back of her mother’s closet to find old dresses and repurpose them into shirts and skirts. She says it only took a few of these creative escapades to fall in love with apparel design. Born in Maryland but raised in Katy, Texas, Kate was fortunate enough to frequently travel around the United States and open herself to a variety of cultures and their respective fashion norms. Because of this, Kate became aware at a very young age how fashion trends in America started, traveled, and expanded. As an adult, Kate’s largest source of inspiration comes from admiring start-up companies and labels rally behind the sustainable fashion movement. This new age in the industry, where consumerism is slowly putting greater emphasis on the importance of ethically made fashion, is what makes Kate so passionate about what she does. Kate is eager to see trends that revolve around cheaply made fast fashion to disappear from the runway. It is her wish that the fashion industry will soon encourage a wider variety of interchangeable and versatile pieces for women.

fly. She is entranced by the way such an innocent, simple process can result in one of the most remarkably beautiful miracles found in nature. Fashion allows Kate to intertwine her love for both vintage clothing and modern fabrics into a piece of artwork. Her designs typically reflect this, usually incorporating empire waists, deep pockets, and what she calls “vintage silhouettes with a modern twist.” It is evident from one look at Kate’s work that this idea of silhouetting to tailor toward the body is extremely important to her. In her free time, Kate loves to spend time with her husband Nate, their son Zeke and their dog Charlie. On the weekends, Kate prefers to step away from work life and collect her thoughts while sipping on a “giant cup of coffee.” She also likes to indulge in an occasional bike ride with her family. After graduation, Kate plans to travel to Japan to immerse herself in a brand-new culture. She hopes to draw inspiration from the Japanese way of life and later integrate aspects of their fashion culture into her future designs. In ten years, Kate aspires to work in the television or film industry, designing costumes for major cinematic productions.

Her collection this year was inspired by the transformation that occurs when a chrysalis blossoms into a butter-

Writer: Joanne Xu, Photographer: Michelle Chiou, Model: Madeline Wells, HMUA: Saumya Gupta, Layout: Izy Scott 122











Spark Magazine - Senior Design 2017: Synthesis  

Senior Design Issue featuring garments by students from the University of Texas at Austin.

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