Wednesday, October 5, 2011
For the Fresh Traditions show, designers have complete control over their collection's vision, styling, models (all Asian), and runway music, but are also challenged to create one outfit made of five traditional Hmong fabrics: a neon pink, neon green, black velvet, black satin, and a deep navy satin.
Her line is based on a 1940s pin-up theme. "I wanted to go for more sexiness and sassiness," she says. "I like to work with a lot of feminine clothes. I'm bringing in a lot of different pieces, to show how versatile I am."
For Shai Chang, this will be her first fashion show, although last year she was an assistant to designer Chong Moua. She studied fashion at UW Stout. Chang says that she is very drawn to black and white, so much of her designs will use those colors. "I love the contrast," she says, "even though there's two colors, you can do a lot. The possibilities are endless."
Eventually, Chang hopes to open up an online T-shirt company, because she finds that women's shirts tend to be not as interesting. "Many times the graphics for womens T-shirts are a little cheesy for me," she says. "They say, 'I love farmboys' or something like that. I'm always searching for graphic tees that have cool designs."
Chang is utilizing a number of graphic prints in her line this weekend, on T-shirts, as well as a dress. A lot of her graphics include skulls. "My line is kind of punk rock with an urban edge," she says.
Kao Lee Thao, whose background is in animation and painting, will also be participating for the first time as a designer, though in previous years she has exhibited her body art. This year, she received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, and had plans to have models go down the runway with her paintings of Hmong folktales. However, she decided that she wanted to bring the paintings to life, and has been giving herself a crash course in sewing in order to create her collections, called Once Upon a Time.
Thao says her training in 3D animation helped her build the designs. "It's more like an art project for me. 3D does help me visualize -- it's basically trial and error."
IF YOU GO:
6 p.m. Friday, October 7
McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak St. SE.
$15/$20 at the door
For VIP tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org