FIDM Gala: Fashion, Costumes, Cadillacs and Chairing Styles

As of Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising presented its annual Debut runway fashion show at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., on March 22 to an audience that included industry insiders, FIDM alumni and faculty, as well as city notables and donors to the FIDM Scholarship Foundation.

The four-part runway show illustrated the work of FIDM’s advanced fashion and theater costume design students, as well as students in FIDM’s interior- and textile-design program. More than 100 intricately designed garments drawn from roughly 4,350 sketches were presented on the runway.

To kick off the evening, the theater costume design graduates focused on American jazz as a theme for their collections. Titled “Jazz Through the Ages,” the designs were influenced by ragtime, swing, bebop, contemporary acid jazz and jazz rap. Models in red silk shorts, black sequin jumpers and top hats danced around the stage. Some of the two-piece designs favored a showgirl look with elaborate feathered headpieces, lustrous gold chains and bustier tops. Rich colors—including red, fuchsia and plum—were used on velvet cloaks and sequin bodices.

Louis Armstrong’s version of “When the Saints Go Marching In” accompanied the finale, which featured men in white suits and a silver wedding dress.

FIDM’s Chairing Styles collection featured the work of 30 students in three disciplines—textile, fashion and interior design—who created a matching garment and chair using original fabric. The chair/garment ensembles allowed the students to play with patterns, textile designs, shapes and layered constructions. Se7en mill printed the fabrics, and nine furniture manufacturers constructed the chairs, including Lloyd’s Custom Furniture, Haute House, Michael Berman Ltd., Pivot Furniture, Vitality Furniture, Thomas School Designs, Gary Gibson, Ginae Berschneider Inc. and Pacific Hospitality Design Inc.

Another feature of the runway show was titled “Cadillac Couture.” Advanced fashion students collaborated with automaker Cadillac to create cocktail dresses and gowns inspired by the luxury car and incorporating Cadillac car parts.

A major attraction of the evening was the advanced fashion design students’ collections. There was versatility in each of the designs, maintaining a contemporary edge. The menswear collection was casual but had a rock ’n’ roll, hip-hop flair with printed tees, rolled-up chino pants, collared coats and leather motorcycle jackets. The womenswear collections ranged from sportswear designs inspired by futuristic storytelling to gowns inspired by the graceful movement of jellyfish.