The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Re-Fashioned Fashion Show provides glimpse of UI’s Creative Fashion Network

Mackenzie Wranovics
A model poses during the Re-Fashioned Fashion Show in the Siebel Center for Design on Saturday.

At the Siebel Center for Design on Saturday, the School of Art and Design hosted the Re-Fashioned Fashion Show, showcasing models and designers who were ready to display the designs they’ve worked on throughout the semester. With over 30 looks walking the runway, the event gave observers the chance to immerse themselves in the hidden world of fashion at the University. 

Kiera Oliva-VanDeWalle, sophomore in FAA and featured designer, started designing from a young age and had three looks that walked the runway.

“When I was younger I was really drawn to clothes and the way that things look on people,” Oliva-VanDeWalle said. “My aunt taught me how to sew — not garments, but pillowcases or a simple dress.”

Oliva-VanDeWalle did not shy away from incorporating unique elements into her designs. Tasked with creating a look that incorporated unconventional items, Oliva-VanDeWalle created a look based on her old makeup.

“I made the belt out of old makeup and tools, and I ended up painting pieces of cardboard, and the train was made of dryer sheets that I sewed together,” Oliva-VanDeWalle said. “I splattered and went crazy with paint so it looked like splattered makeup. The dress itself was made out of plastic bags.”

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Another designer was Tien Tran, senior in FAA, who focused on weaving the concept of emotion into his design. 

“I chose anxiety at first so that’s why I played into the theme of water the pants,” Tran said.

Tran’s design consisted of light denim jeans with thick white threads woven through to create the image of waves and water. 

“In the front, there’s a tidal wave — that’s like the feeling of anxiety weighing on top of you and crashing,” Tran said. “On the back, the design represents the wave growing.”

Tran was not only a featured designer, but he was also a model. As his first time modeling his own creation, the experience offered a new perspective for Tran. 

“I was kind of nervous because I’ve never walked before, but it’s so different being in both shoes now,” Tran said. “It’s a very interesting perspective.” 

Designers were given the option to model their own pieces or get other people to model them. Sophie Hartzheim, sophomore in LAS, and Cam Moraska, junior in FAA, were chosen by their designer to model the looks.

“Walking is always a great and fun experience — it’s just a fun thing to do,” Moraska said. “I love it, I love getting to wear people’s expressions and designs.” 

The models are offered a new perspective on fashion as they experience what it’s like to be the conduit for the designer’s art. 

“The models are presenting this art and having the privilege of presenting this art in a way that does it justice,” Hartzheim said. “You get to see all the work that people put into things, even down to the hair and makeup — that in itself is artistry.”

The Re-Fashioned Fashion Show brought together friends and family to come support the work designers have put in. 

“My daughter was involved as one of the models and I had a couple of friends who were models too, but I also wanted to see the whole production,” said Margaret Etienne, event attendee. “I’ve heard so much about it and it’s been going on for years, and this is the first time I’ve been able to come.”

Onlookers got to observe what the new generation has in store for the fashion industry. 

“This was the first time that I’ve been to this show, and it was really impressive,” said Cynthia Folan, fashion show attendee. 

The show occurs every year to celebrate and showcase the work that artists and designers of the new era have done. Re-Fashioned Fashion Show brings together a variety of people — designers, models and onlookers alike — to enjoy the art of fashion. 

“It’s great to see a bunch of people come together to create something fun that looks so cohesive, but there are so many different working parts,” Hartzheim said. 


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