There was a feeling of deja vu at Pasadena City College's student designer show recently. Not only did students infuse many designs with a retro feeling, but the evening also featured authentic antique garments in honor of Pasadena's centennial celebration.
Pieces from as far back as the turn of the century were interspersed with clothing by 25 students in the college's two-year design program.
The show, in Sexson Auditorium on campus, focused on day dresses, sportswear and evening clothes; a casual, layered look predominated.
Broad shoulders, pillbox hats and midi lengths hinted at the past, but in bright, '80s fabrics.
"You do see the past but it doesn't look exactly the same as it did in the late '30s and '40s," said apparel arts instructor Karlene Cunningham, who noted that each student designed about seven outfits during the spring semester.
The college's apparel arts advisory board named second-semester student Eddie Doyne of Altadena the best designer overall. The 36-year-old, who previously studied design, said she leans toward versatile styles that can be transformed from day to evening through accessories.
"I like traditional clothes with a touch of the avant-garde," Doyne said. She said she also favors asymmetrical lines, bias-cut draping and kimono looks.
For evening, Doyne created a "twilight suit"--a leopard-print silk Jacquard evening pajama with a gold lame camisole and feathered pillbox hat. One of her sportswear entries was a hooded "cocoon" coat layered over a matching tunic, leggings and a Velcro-attached skirt in pale turquoise jersey.
Other winners were Janet Lee for day wear, Iumari Spada for sportswear and Muoi Tran for evening wear. Quyen Che and Alicia Gilmore received honorable mentions.
Woodbury University's annual student design show at the Bonaventure Hotel recently also took its cues from earlier decades. The rock 'n' roll-choreographed show, attended by more than 1,000 guests, featured 92 outfits by the college's 22 design students.
Design program director Rosalie Utterbach said the student's designs reflect an industry-wide preoccupation with the past.
"There's so much retrospection," she said. "Designers look to the '50s and to the '20s. I think they're still searching for the '90s."
Sophomore Wendy Khoo was judged best of show for her white satin-and-lace wedding gown, featuring a 50-foot silk net train lifted down the runway by helium balloons. The 20-year-old from Los Angeles said the Byzantine-inspired gown took four weeks to complete.
Also cited for outstanding designs were senior Stephanie Miller and junior Nicole Gorsuch for play wear, junior Luz de la Riva for knitwear, junior Gabriela Quintero for her trench coat and stirrup-pants design and senior Scheris Shephard for day wear.
Senior Marianne Perttula was honored for her gold-paneled black linen suit, designed to resemble a sculptured perfume bottle. Senior Jiashun-Yin was mentioned for outstanding evening-wear design.
Scheris Shephard and fashion marketing student Josephine Cota were voted outstanding seniors by their classmates.
The program, in the hotel's California Ballroom, was staged by Woodbury's fashion marketing department headed by Julie Winkle.