“Spotlight” . . .and the winner is. . .

How are designs judged at a fashion show?

The Art Institute of California [Ai], Hollywood, showcased it’s annual student produced fashion show – a collaboration between the students and faculty of the Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing & Management programs, produced by students enrolled in the Event & Fashion Show Production Class.    The designs featured were from 14 student designers at all levels.  Ai Spotlight fashion event served as a platform to give students the experience, the exposure, and design review.

Ai Spotlight Fashion Show © Rhonda P. Hill, 2016-06-10 18.54.15
Judges: Rhonda P. Hill, Kevin Smith, Trish Concannon, Frances Harder
Ai Spotlight Fashion Show © Rhonda P. Hill, 2016-06-10 19.00.08
Ai Spotlight Fashion Show Award Certificates

I was one of a 4 panel judge team that selected 3 winners in the categories of Best Marketable Showcase, Best Artistic and Creative Showcase, and Overall Best Fashion Show Presentation.   Although there were 3 designers awarded, EDGE congratulates all designers on the achievement of their work.

When I review fashion whether it’s from a student’s portfolio, product designs, or runway shows, I look for the “unfamiliar”, not the outrageous, but the execution of design that is unexpected.   One of the key components that ground me when I look at fashion is the story; theme, message, or execution of what inspired the collection.  The story or theme must appeal to an audience, tie the collection together , and have a strong point of view.  It is ok if the story is ‘no story’ as long as the presentation is obvious.  The unique use of color, texture, and materials is important, especially the interesting combinations of them.   Collections with a lot of make in the construction are worthy; however simple construction can be very powerful with quality detail.

Fashion that moves me emotionally always gets my attention – the WOW factor!

As a judge, I recognize the work that was done by these 14 designers.  Designers,  you may feel vulnerable for the world to see your work, as many artist do.  It’s your form of expression and a part of your being is out there on the runway for all to see.  What you gain can be a rewarding and engaging experience to communicate your vision to the industry and public at large.

The Spotlight designs crossed the pop cultural channel making bold statements of color, texture, and graphics.  There was a children’s collection and the toddler models stole the show!  Some of the themes and inspiration were from a galaxy, Star Wars, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Victorian influence.   Inspiration from “the streets” took on new meaning from two of the designers.  I was intrigued by a collection inspired by mental illness and its association with the asylum. All in all, the designers and production team presented a focused and well organized fashion event.

At the end of the show, these 3 designers met the award criteria and earned these awards:

And the awards go to. . .

Jose RamosBest Marketable Showcase.  His collection is called ‘Gothic Romance’.  “It’s for a woman who is exuding confidence and sex appeal.”

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Alena SablanBest Artistic and Creative Showcase – Her collection is called ‘Tibetan Transplant’.  It is inspired by Tibetan Nomads.  “I’m not at all interested in mass production. What I create is art.”

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Patrick Kevin FranciscoOverall Best Fashion Show Presentation.  His collection is called ‘Siamese’.  “My collection is inspired by the Siamese betta fighting fish. My goal is look back at my old work and be proud of it because I haven’t always been this confident.”

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Ai Spotlight Fashion Show © Rhonda P. Hill, 2016-06-10 18.06 (1)
Rhonda P. Hill, judge
Ai Spotlight Fashion Show © Rhonda P. Hill, 2016-06-10 18.06 (4)
Rhonda P. Hill. huddled with other judges




Rhonda P. Hill

Founder, Publishing Editor

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