Students prepare for CSUN’s 35th annual fashion show to take place this Saturday

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Hang Cui, 23, senior apparel design major, works on her sixth garment for the CSUN’s 35th Annual Fashion Show on April 26, 2014. This year’s theme is titled, “Fantasy: Once Upon a Dream.”
Photo credit:Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

Every year during the spring semester, TRENDS, a nonprofit student run organization, and the department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) put on a fashion show. This year marks 35 years of creative jaw-dropping designs.

Designers must come up with an original idea that embodies the “Fantasy: Once Upon a Dream” theme.  From then their idea is put to the test as they sew and stitch their creation together until it comes to life.

What makes this event so unique is that it is completely produced by students from start to finish.  From designing and creating their own pieces, to hiring the models and taking care of advertisement and media, the students work tirelessly for months on every aspect of the show.

The apparel and design merchandising students begin work at the start of the semester, to make sure that every little detail is flawless by the time the show comes around.

“I have a lot of ideas,” said Autumn Hooks,sophomore apparel merchandising major. “The biggest challenge is staying true to what I want my piece to look like.  It always comes out different than what I envision so I just keep working to perfect it.”

Participating students in the department of FCS are split up into committees that are designated to particular aspects of the show. There is a wide variety of committees ranging from models and merchandising, judges and VIP, PR and promotions and stage.

A series of auditions were held during February and March to determine who would be walking the catwalk. A majority of the selected models are current CSUN students.

“I have no idea what I’m going to be wearing, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be amazing,” said model Natalie Casteneda, freshman journalism major . “I’ve been in a lot of fashion shows before, and I prepare by practicing walking in my heels in my hallway and I make my roommates watch me and critique my walk.”

Students that are not already involved in the show are also welcome to volunteer their time and expertise. Because the fashion show is taken so seriously and run like a professional production, volunteering for the event can give your resume a boost.

“I ideally want to work events like fashion shows in the future when I graduate from college and this is a great way to pick up real world experience,” Karina Ramirez sophomore apparel merchandising major, and volunteer and apparel merchandising major said.

This year, five judges from the fashion industry will determine which designers have the best collection. Included amongst the five guest judges is Rick Garcia, anchor of CBS 2 who will be hosting the event.

“With the fantasy theme, we envision this show to take the viewers on a journey through the different realms of a dream,” said judge and VIP committee member Lindsay Kusumoto.

The judges and VIP committee is in charge of handling VIP seating arrangements, booking the judges, the VIP pre-show party and gifts for the guests.

Alumna Amparo Maru, last year’s winner, had the privilege of having her designs showcased at high-end retail store Bloomingdales, in Sherman Oaks.  Her collection was displayed in-store for two weeks.

The days pass in a blur of last-minute adjustments to garments and finalizing details of the production. The excitement among the production crew is tangible and contagious.

Maria Rosales, PR committee member says the whole process is fun, but overwhelming.  As part of the PR committee, she is in charge of advertising and promoting the production. The committee also plays a crucial role in reaching out to the media and photographers.

“I just love working with the girls, they make the whole thing fun,” Rosales said. “Last year we had 700 people who bought tickets and the show was sold out. We’re hoping we sell out again this year.”

For this year’s production all VIP tickets were sold within the first week of being on sale.  The VIP tickets include access to the VIP party with the judges and designers.

While the several committees involve strive to perfect all of the backstage preparations, the designers and models are also hard at work preparing to make this the best show yet.

“My piece is going to be made of stuff that reminds me of my childhood,” said Gabriella Natareno, junior apparel merchandising major.  “It’s like things I remember seeing as a kid in the ‘90s.  It’s all things that made me feel happy, it’s not going to be obvious.  I don’t think people will see the piece and assume it’s ‘90s inspired but it’s more personal and from what I remember.”

As the production day draws closer, the staff is gearing up to make this event a show to remember for all in attendance.

The fashion show will take place on April 26 at 6:30 in the USU Northridge Center with a red carpet event held prior to the event.