Student designs: UH Manoa’s fashion show

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UH Manoa’s Fashion Design and Merchandising Program celebrated its 49th year with an impressive senior fashion show at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Prince Kuhio Hotel on Sunday. It began with the theme Axis — the intersection of lines creating a point of origin. Whether because of the creative vision of student director Jeremy Divinagracia or budget constraints, the B-formation floor-level runway was ambitious and a welcome change from the typical raised runway.

The Axis theme guided student designers in expressing their heritage and philosophies in their creations. Here’s a look at some of my favorite runway moments from the seniors.

Legacy by Ayaka Hosomi
Heritage was a strong element in Hosomi’s collection. I loved the surprise elements of a feminine open back paired with the classic structure and construction of her Japanese-inspired designs. The collection definitely conveyed the axis of beauty and tradition.
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Mod Nouveau by Gabrielle Sanehira
This collection featured simple lines and was heavily influenced by Sanehira’s background in photography. Her garments incorporate sheets of exposed and processed film.
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Jardin De Papillons by Asia Joan Mateo
There’s a definite 1950s romantic, elegant vibe to Mateo’s designs. Her first look was a crowd favorite with little flowers randomly falling from within the dress, trailing the models’ steps. Her design inspiration was a butterfly’s thorax and the contrasting delicacy and strength of its wings.
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Mirage by Grace Tsubaki-Noguchi
Of all the collections, Mirage had the strongest sense of whimsy and lightness. Tsubaki-Noguchi’s architectural silhouettes contrasting with feminine prints and fabrics created a softness with an interesting edge.
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Adaptation by Li Jin King
Last year I was impressed with King’s stingray-inspired junior design. This year she turned up the design heat with her sultry creations. I love how she incorporated a Roaring 20s flair with fitted Chinese cheongsam silhouettes. I’m also intrigued by the draping and juxtaposing Eastern vibe of her men’s designs.
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The 2015 Fashion Production students definitely took the show to the next level. I can’t wait to see what instructor Cynthia Tsark does with her students next year in celebration of the program’s 50th anniversary showcase.

Here are more creations from student designers.

Axis - 2015 UH Manoa fashion show

Axis - 2015 UH Manoa fashion show
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New Wave - Junior Designer Group Collection.

— Photos by Eric Baranda