It all starts with a dream, an abundance of passion, a few sketches, mood boards, patterns, model fittings, and viola, a fashion collection is born.
On May 11, the Center for the Arts in Escondido opened their doors to hundreds of visitors to observe this year’s MODA Fashion Show. The theme for this event was Better Together inspired from a famous Helen Keller quote, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” to reflect the months of hard work produced by the team of designers, staff, and models.
From streetwear to sparkly gowns inspired by the bright lights of Paris, 10 designers from Palomar College’s Fashion Merchandising and Design program couldn’t wait to flaunt their latest collection.
“I’m overly excited,” said Michael Martin, 25, styled in a yellow plaid blazer, and a curly-q mustache to match, “I’ve definitely stepped it up, I have my garments more form fitting and I feel like my fabric choices are a lot better too. Definitely bringing a higher level of elegance to this collection.”
The night kicked off with the guest of honor, Yoli Bennet who works as the lead costume producer and designer supervisor for Legoland Parks for the past 18 years. As she stood in the spotlight, she shared her journey in following her true passion for design and encouraged the ambitious designers to shoot for the stars.
“Don’t give up, practice, practice, practice, be patient, be humble,” said Bennet, adding, “and the words of one of my favorite designers Edith Head, ‘you can have anything you want in life if you dress for it’”.
Shortly after Bennett’s moving speech, upbeat music filled the theater and the models selected through an open cast call strut down the catwalk, displaying the intricate and fabulous pieces designed by the talented fashion students.
One of the 10 designers, Koran Fields-Cameron, who is ending his last year at Palomar, brought back his extensive collection for the second year displaying his line inspired by Balenciaga. It showcased athleisure mixed with big tops, many jerseys, and some denim bottoms.
“I like working with denim, my thing was denim originally, so I feel like I took my denim to another level by changing the patterns of a conventional denim jacket, said Fields-Cameron. “Each jacket probably took like seven to eight hours, so you got five or six jackets here tonight.”
Palomar student, Shun Oyama wearing a grey plaid suit with his hair slicked back into blonde cornrows’, he incorporated his own culture into his collection. Born and raised in Japan, Oyama was inspired by the traditional styles of his homeland while mixing his love for street fashion.
“In Japan, the legal age is 20, so when we turn 20 we have a traditional ceremony,” Oyama said. “The city celebrates us, and that time some girls wear Kimonos. It’s kind of boring for me, so I just want to make something crazy and kind of beautiful.”
Oyama started the fashion program at Palomar college two years ago, shortly after arriving from Japan. He eagerly shared It was a great opportunity for him to take fashion classes on campus and with that experience, he was able to start his own clothing line.
Palomar’s Fashion Merchandising and Design program have opened many doors for these students to embrace their passion for fashion. “It’s the first stepping stone to the industry, I pushed myself to follow through and now I have product for a portfolio,” said Rachelle Hall, Palomar college fashion student.
Hall shared that she had been working on the collection since last June and explained how the program has really helped her further in her career. “We have wonderful instructors who are there to help with any question we have and inspire us to create that picture in our head, said Hall “The skills they have to teach us are invaluable, anytime I’ve been stuck someone has been there with a trick to get me through it.”
The event closed out with all of the designers, models, and staff walking out for one last time. As the crowd applauded them for their hard work in creating their unique line, it was truly a reflection of how these students were able to think of innovative ways to express themselves while being better together.