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“Lunar Gala: Mélange” showcases student designs

Credit: Thomas Hofman | Photo Editor Credit: Thomas Hofman | Photo Editor Credit: Thomas Hofman | Photo Editor Credit: Thomas Hofman | Photo Editor Credit: Thomas Hofman | Photo Editor Credit: Thomas Hofman | Photo Editor

The much-anticipated “Lunar Gala: Mélange” took place this past Saturday, showcasing the talent of the student designers for 23 featured lines. This was an event to please anyone who appreciates fashion and art.

The setup of the lights, screens, and runway transformed Wiegand Gym into an elegant venue for the occasion. The lanterns overhanging the runway emanated a vibrant glow that seemed to welcome in the Chinese Lunar New Year. In the center of all this outstanding glamour, the creations of many talented designers were ceremoniously displayed.

This year, Lunar Gala was produced by students Ian Anthony Coleman and Eddie Wong. The producers worked hard to create something more novel than any preceding gala. “I really wanted to have a show that was completely different than every other show in the past,” Coleman explained. “My goal was to change Lunar Gala from a typical student-run fashion show to an innovative, interactive, and intimate fashion experience.” The show was definitely all of those things, and the models were not limited to the stage as in previous years. Instead, they strutted down the aisles in order to give the audience a closer, more personal view of the clothing. “We’ve had long, straight runways [and] humongous triangular stages, but never a show like this,” Coleman said.

“We tried to pick collections that would flow with one another but still were completely different interpretations of what fashion is,” Coleman said of the design selections. This event gave student designers the chance to exhibit their creativity in Carnegie Mellon’s biggest fashion show.

The first line was “Peaches Meets Abraham,” created by junior design majors Alyssa Brown and Carson Beyl. This line was based on an American backwoods style, featuring fur and long johns. This style seemed to be appropriate apparel for a cozy autumn day.

“Akoma” by junior English major Efi Turkson presented designs that put a modern Western twist on traditional West African prints. These garments boldly featured the cultural aspects of West African clothes and used them to create a sexy, cutting-edge version that reflected contemporary American culture as well.

“Unfold” by Samia Ahmed, a junior design and human-computer interaction major, was made up of flouncy, flowing attire in neutral colors. These clothes provided a graceful, refined look for women’s fashion.

This year a line of American Apparel clothing was also featured. This line showed basic apparel that was practical for everyday wear yet still refined and sophisticated.

The line “Neue” by junior design major Allison Tran displayed simple clothing of smooth, cleanly cut fabrics that created a classy look for women.

“Cocoa Cloches” was a line by senior design major Colleen Grogan featuring a number of classic bell-shaped hats from the early 20th century. However, instead of being adorned with bows and flowers, these hats were ornamented with a range of colors and geometric shapes made from different materials, which gave the look a resemblance to contemporary architecture.

“The Queue” by designer Ting-Yu Ore Ou Yang was a line that emphasized both elegance and boldness in a woman. The soft colors and graceful fabrics were contrasted by the bold, shiny metal chains that were incorporated into the outfits.

“Copacetic,” created by senior art major Jennifer Hwang, was bursting with bright colors that were reminiscent of ’60s and ’70s beach style. These charmingly cheeky ensembles featured high socks, short shorts, bright colors, polka dots, and stripes.

“Bluebird” by Carolyn Supinka, a sophomore H&SS student, was a very imaginative collection of flowing dresses with boots — a very audacious assortment. The dresses looked luxuriant, almost goddess-like, and the models wore large crowns on their heads to emphasize the fairy tale theme behind this line.

“Dahlem” by Emily Raffensperger, a senior art major, was a line that was designed using many different patterns and shapes to create a look that was subtle but sophisticated.

“Arete” by art and modern languages major Elyse Carr was a feminine line that really accentuated the natural appearance of a woman. The girly forms of the apparel seemed to state boldly, “I am a woman.”

“Versatextile” was created by fourth-year architecture majors Hubert Li and Macy Goh. This line featured looks that were definitely versatile, as the name suggests. The pieces of clothing appeared to be freely arranged on the body so that they could be rearranged to be worn in different ways. The materials looked very soft and smooth, giving this collection a relaxed tone.

“Avantwong” by Eddie Wong, a fifth-year architecture major, was a set of dark, edgy apparel that had a mysterious, futuristic appeal. There were many short dark pieces featured in this collection full of attitude.

“Constrict” by Ibrahim Garcia-Bengochea and Rain Chan-Kalin, both of whom are junior architecture majors, was a very experimental set of clothes. The different shapes of the clothing created different visual effects on the models wearing them.

The line “Cadmium,” by Sophia Chan, a junior design major, and Chi-Chi Chuang was stylish, delicate, and had a confident sex appeal. This collection was described in the program as “Elegance with an edge,” which is exactly what it was.

“ECT” by Erica Tong, a second-year architecture major, showcased clothes with many strips of clothing extending to the arms and legs of the models. This was another very futuristic line; much of the clothing seemed draped on the upper half of the body, and the materials seemed to unwind as they descended along the body.

“Bernard James,” a line named after its creator, was full of daring street style — a sophisticated, modern street style. There were brightly colored blazers and pants for guys and also colorful, flirtatious outfits for girls. There seemed to be a hint of ’80s retro style behind many of these pieces.

“Body” by Ingrid Kong, a fifth-year architecture major, was designed to change the human perception of the body. These pieces were cubic and made of non-textiles, and many of them were very revealing. The intent was for the outfits to display the human body as it really is, rather than what people try to make it look like.

“Rags to Riches” was designed by Amber Ohiokpehai and Gabe Ratliff, a sophomore mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering major and a junior art major, respectively. The project was created to help orphans in Manila, Philippines. The designers created the designs with the help of donations from friends. They hope to help the children by selling the collection and donating the proceeds to provide an education for them. These patterned pieces had a Southeast Asian style and were inspired by the orphans.

“Shallow,” designed by Alanna Fusaro, a first-year design major, was a line of elaborate swimwear. These pieces were very artistic and eye-catching. This attractive swimwear looked perfectly debonair.

The collection called “5/8” by Luther Young showcased different types of trendy bags. The structures of the bags seemed abstract in a way, and the collection had an androgynous allure. The different colors and shapes of the bags were both stylish and practical.

“N9IN” by Kristen Staab, a senior humanities and arts major, was a collection featuring many artistic, sculpture-like pieces. The clothing seemed to have its own shape apart from the person wearing it. However, the garments extended and constricted in shapes that were still flattering for the body.

Finally, “Wilderness Within,” by Silvia and Andreea Manolache, a junior mathematical sciences and business administration major and a third-year architecture major, respectively, was the last clothing line displayed. These silver-colored garments were majestic yet simple, displaying daring edges and shapes that were very pronounced.

In addition to all of these works of art, there were also performances by Carnegie Mellon-based dance groups SoulStylz and DS Company. SoulStylz did both a high-energy hip-hop dance and a more expressive, interpretive dance to different songs. The DS Company gave a performance that integrated a number of dance styles, including hip-hop and ballet. This attitude-packed act was a crowd-pleaser and the last dance performance of the night.

All in all, this event expressed that creativity really has no bounds. Many of the lines were experiments of the relationship between clothes and the body or other environmental aspects, while many of the modern and non-traditional styles seemed to have hidden meanings and inspirations. This show allowed viewers to enter into the enigmatic world of fashion.