It is easily one of the most anticipated fashion shows of the year in Austin.  The UT senior fashion design students showed their final collections Thursday night to a crowd full of friends, family, and supporters including not one but two current reality tv fashion stars- Daniel Esquivel of “Project Runway”, and Cameron Silver of “Dukes of Melrose”.  This year the show was broadcast live from The Frank Erwin Center (for the 2 people I know who actually have the Longhorn Network).  But in spite of the painful tv announcers and awkward commercial breaks, the show was just as fun and exciting as years past.

Along with the hits, there are always some misses in a student fashion show, but overall I am always impressed at the outcome of the UT show, and this year was no exception.  It’s truly amazing to think that some of these students have just learned to sew.  The pieces that walk down the runway are the result of a lot of hard work on top of other schoolwork, which is sometimes combined with real world jobs as well.

The show was broken down into 3 sections- Active Sportswear, 3 Piece collections, and Evening and Bridal Gowns.  I was happily surprised at the creativity that some designers used in the active sportswear category by choosing less mainstream sports to design for, including fencing and fly fishing.  Although, I think we were all a little concerned when designer Lilia Beaman roller skated out on stage and almost fell down receiving her Honorable Mention award for Best Overall Collection (luckily the fashion show director Eve Nicols was there to grab her.)  Designers Mehgan McKinney and Kinni Song tied for the most wins of the night with Mehgan winning Best Cotton Sportswear, Best Technical Design, and the coveted award for Best Overall Collection.  Kinni Song walked away with Best Cotton Collection, Most Marketable Collection, and Best Bridal Gown.  But while I agree that Mehgan and Kinni stood out, I do feel like there are certain designers who were overlooked.

Hannah Kim’s 3 piece collection inspired by metallic brocades and simple silhouettes was one of my favorite collections of the night, and somehow walked away with zero awards.  And while Bang Nguyen received an Honorable Mention for Best Technical Design, his 3 piece collection inspired by The Great Gatsby and the Roaring 20s grabbed zero actual wins.  Bang’s black glitter men’s suit reminded me a little bit of Michael Jackson circa 1983 in the best way possible, and all I’m saying is that if he made me a female version, I would gladly go on stage and attempt my best “Billie Jean.”

Who were your favorites of the night?

Active Sportswear

Mehgan McKinney – Winner Best Sportswear

Christine Lew – Honorable Mention Best Sportswear

Kinni Song – Honorable Mention Best Sportswear

Briana Johnson

Margarita Farias

Catherine Carter Hite

Jennifer Ferguson

Lilia Beaman

Miriam Yarber

Helen Febrie

Samantha Mitchell

Alex Born

Nickie Temprachanh

Cecilia Vu

Hannah Kim

Meagan Leigh

Nickie Garcia

Kathryn Fish

Sara Abusheikh

Irene Carter

Cristal Martinez

Bang Nguyen

Alexandra Dieck

Three Piece Collections

Mehgan McKinney – Honorable Mention Best Cotton Collection, Winner Best Overall Collection, Winner Best Technical Design

Kinni Song – Winner Best Cotton Collection, Winner Most Marketable Collection

Alexandra Dieck – Honorable Mention Most Marketable Collection

Briana Johnson – Honorable Mention Most Marketable Collection, Honorable Mention Best Overall Collection

Cristal Martinez – Honorable Mention Best Technical Design

Bang Nguyen – Honorable Mention Best Technical Design

Alex Born – Winner Most Innovative

Cecilia Vu – Honorable Mention Most Innovative

Lilia Beaman

Margarita Farias

Catherine Carter Hite

Nickie Garcia

Jennifer Ferguson

Sara Abusheikh

Miriam Yarber

Helen Febrie

Kathryn Fish

Irene Carter

Samantha Mitchell

Meagan Leigh

Hannah Kim

Nickie Temprachanh

Christine Lew – Honorable Mention Most Innovative

Evening and Bridal Gowns

Margarita Farias – Winner Best Evening Gown

Christine Lew – Honorable Mention Best Evening Gown

Sara Abusheikh

Jennifer Ferguson

Miriam Yarber

Helen Febrie

Kathryn Fish

Alex Born

Cristal Martinez

Alexandra Dieck

Catherine Carter Hite

Bridal

Kinni Song – Winner Best Bridal Gown

Mehgan McKinney – Honorable Mention Best Bridal Gown

Irene Carter

Briana Johnson

Hannah Kim

Nickie Temprachanh

Nickie Garcia

Cecillia Vu

Samantha Mitchell

Lilia Beaman

Meagan Leigh

Bang Nguyen

photography by: Patrick Meredith

Joanna Wilkinson
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