Sometimes it’s the most unexpected settings that spark style inspiration. For University of Texas apparel design students who are showcasing collections in the “Elements” fashion show on April 14, everything from literature to Austin’s skyline helped influence new designs.
The annual fashion show, which is organized by students of the University Fashion Group, will feature 120 original designs. Since its launch in 1997, the free event celebrating style has grown in popularity and attracted many celebrity guests including Brad Goreski of E!’s “Fashion Police.”
Here’s a sneak peek at three of the student designers whose collections will be highlighted at the free show at 7:15 p.m. at the Frank Erwin Center.
As a Muslim-American who grew up in Houston, Saifee says she’s always been immersed in two diverse cultures which now inform her colorful, detailed and powerful creations. “Designers always want to be in on the next big trend, but the next big trend differs for most cultures,” Saifee, 22, says. Diverse fashion points of view, she says, have allowed her to stretch her designing muscles.
As the daughter of an architect, Paige Rahe has been paying attention to design lines and proportions since she was a child. She remembers accompanying her father to construction sites where she realized that she, too, wanted to create things.
Now, the 21-year-old apparel design student has developed a clean and chic aesthetic that translates into each of her pieces. Rahe’s off-the-shoulder emerald green mermaid gown, which is among the five looks she’s presenting at the “Elements” runway show, was a passion piece for the budding designer because she designed it for herself.
Rahe says she poured more than 100 hours into this one show stopper. “I spent hours researching couture sewing techniques and took a lot of measures to ensure that it would not look homemade,” Rahe says. “It was such an amazing trial and error experience.”