City College San Francisco The Guardsman
Journalism DepartmentIndicator
Volume 134, Issue 6

Cafeteria Catwalk
Fashion Coordination class displays diverse trends


Christie wears a strap shift with lace overlay and feather boa.
Consider the noon fashion shows presented in the cafeteria through Dec. 10, as educational trunk shows furnished by the fashion coordination class. They are occasions to see shrewd, cutting-edge, formal and casual must-haves for budget-minded students.

Androvers, Slimanes and Ghesquieres of tommorow introduce apparel for every taste: from the edgy, skate punk look of Pure Energy, to the Asian influences in Oriental Winter Moon, to the strong East Coast statement of Urban Sexy in the City, to the mass appeal of Cheap Thrills to the upscale/downscale adaptability of Peasant Dreams.

The November 12 Gypsy Serenade show featured floppy felt hats, fedoras, oversize cowl-neck sweaters, crocheted tops, bell sleeves, ruffled sleeves, fur-trimmed vest jackets, lace shawls, caterpillar boas, full-length halter dresses, bustiers with built-in corsets, and ankle-wrapped stiletto-heel shoes, all in rich dark colors, worn by models with wine-red lips.

"We tried to capture the San Miguel look, popular for fall, fused with Spanish flamenco music," says organizer Jennifer Jann.

Diverse models with all kinds of body types displayed Buffalo Exchange's thrift-store-chic in Pure Energy on November 19, backed by a pop soundtrack including Good Charlotte's energetic, self-aware, religion toned punk-ska melodies. Florida-based band New Found Glory and Tracy, CA's own UVR also serenaded the boy and girl-next-door mannequins with skillful melodies and hardcore song structures.

"We looked around campus and saw what we liked: clothes that people really wear," says Jennifer Fredrickson.

The Pure Energy coordinators have dipped into the archive of punk culture: sharp spikes, jagged edges, zippers, chains, studs, safety pins, boots, tight, tartan-patterned pants, and dog collars with tiny Schlag locks.

They have made some changes to the classic look, though. Skull-and-crossbone logos, hoodies, T's, leather cuffs, fishnet stockings and skate shoes are in.

"We want to keep it fresh, upbeat, spontaneous -- a just-pulled-out-of-the-closet feel," Fredrickson says.

Cheap Thrills intends to educate hip and thrifty students by promoting two broad, appealing and affordable style trends: the Frida Kahlo look and white on white.

Sidewalk crafts merchants currently offer ruffled peasant blouses with red floral embroidery, long crepe skirts, hair ornaments, hammered copper bracelets and chunky turquoise necklaces. With traditional Mexican clothing, campus Latinas can proclaim their Chicana pride and celebrate Frida Kahlo's re-emergence on the scene.

The Thrills team also proves that white is the new black. The chic "Cr笥 de la Cr笥" look layers separates in shades of white, creating a look that says, "Splattering mud while commuting on a Schwinn is not an issue for me."

A woman can create a smart, knowing feel by combining a wool pencil skirt, cashmere twin set, velvet A-line fake fur swing coat, satin snood, sling-back mules, and a pair of knockoff Fendi shades, all in tones of lily, chalk, milk, pearl, paper, fleece, foam, flour, or ivory.

It is also an accessible look. Stores like Thrift Town, Community Thrift, and the neighborhood Goodwill all carry clothes in these pale shades.

"It's what urban college students look like," says trend watcher Citlally Azua.

Look for kimono-style tops and sleeves with mandarin collars as Desmond Kwok steers his Oriental Winter Moon show on a course toward the Far East.

Kwok, a graduate of School of the Arts High School, sees Asian fashions gaining mass-market appeal. "Chinese and Japanese dresses are creeping back into fashion," says Kwok.

He points at Tom Ford's use of the obi (a thick sash worn snug over the waist with an overlapping wrap) in his winter collection.

He feels, however, that some fashions don't work well on certain nationalities. "Last season's bright, lacy, velvet, almost Arabian style, looks wrong on Asian people," he says.

Kwok, 21, sketches women's inner and outerwear with the goal of finding work in costume and character design or advertising. "Fashion drawing opened doors for me," he says. "I want to expose myself to different sides of illustration."

In Urban Sexy in the City, the fashion coordination team of Melissa King, Tamara Thomas and Vanessa Olmos has drafted a fierce army of models wearing potent garments invented by and for African Americans.

Rocafella Records founder Jay-Z created the Rocawear label. In addition to perfecting his fierce flow and dazzling lyrical acrobatics, the rapper has produced an apparel line featuring fine fabrics and quality construction.

Marc Ecko, the creative force behind the fashion-forward Ecko Red label, makes clothes that combine technical and feminine styling, to fit what he calls the "global lifestyle."

Also displayed in the Urban Sexy show are the practical accents, attention to detail, focus on wearability, and functionality of Enyce (the initials of New York City, pronounced "En-ee-chay").

Finally, the show features the sophisticated comfort and technical sophistication of Camella Ehlke's "universal lifestyle brand," 555 Soul.

Ruqayyah Allen describes her Peasant Dreams show as affordable and wide-ranging. "Everyday wear, fancy or just casual, sweatsuits and boots, dressed up and down, long skirts," Allen says.

"It's my calling," says her teammate, Marquita Wy-singer, explaining her passion for the rag trade. "Something inside tells me I have to do it."

"I like meeting students, seeing them grow," says 23-year Fashion Merchandising Instructor Diane Green, formerly San Francisco correspondent for trade journal Women's Wear Daily, and past fashion editor for the Nob Hill Gazette.

Green, who earned her master's in Education from SUNY, Stony Brook, intends her classes in merchandising, image consulting and display, to prepare students to work as clothing store managers.

The demanding syllabus for Fashion 47 requires students to keep a "trend report scrapbook" documenting common garment themes, to demonstrate knowledge of matching accessories with a variety of outfits, and of course to produce these end of semester fashion shows.

You can still catch Winter Moon Dec. 3, Cheap Thrills Dec. 5, and Urban Sexy Dec. 10 at noon in the Ocean Campus cafeteria.