Under most circumstances, if I heard someone comparing a runway show to a  “student fashion show”, I’d probably assume they were throwing shade like a Real Housewife of Atlanta. But here in Austin, the annual UT fashion show is one of the best fashion shows, if not THE best fashion show that happens all year long.  It’s not that there aren’t occasionally some fit issues or some threads hanging from the student’s designs, it’s that overall as a whole, the show is always incredibly impressive and a breath of fresh air for those in the Austin fashion scene.

This year’s show was titled “Fusion,” and took place just after Austin Fashion Week had ended.  The proximity of these events to one another this year makes it impossible for me to not compare the two.  And in my opinion, the UT show wins out. Not only is the production value of the show unmatched, but there’s just something incredibly special about seeing the work of new emerging talent in its very early stage.  It makes me smile to view the talent that these kids already have, and to think about how much time they have ahead of them to grow and develop as designers.

There are of course always a few students and a few designs that stand out to me in particular. This year one of my favorite three piece collections was from Courtney Gilmore.  Her collection was consistent in color and pattern, and yet she was able to show 3 different silhouettes. I particularly loved the little black wrap dress which I thought was super chic but also very marketable.  The whole collection also looked very well constructed.

Billie Green showed the most avant-garde collection with each piece looking like something Lady Gaga might wear to the grocery store to pick up some eggs.  Because who needs to actually see or breathe when running errands?

The Active Sportswear part of the UT fashion show is usually not my favorite part of the show (simply because gowns and three-piece collections are always more dramatic and interesting), but this year there were a few really cute looks from this section. The classic ballerina tutu from Kara Lechtenberger was very sweet, and the “lifeguard on duty” jacket by Shelby Smith was a great modern take on a classic design.  Shelby Smith also designed one of my favorite evening gowns of the night.

Shelby Smith, Honorable Mention best evening gown

Tina Tran, Best Sportswear Winner

Sandy Jungmin An, Winner Best Collection

Kara Lechtenberger, Winer Most Marketable Collection

Sandy Jungman An, Winner Best Bridal Gown

photos by Waytao Shing

 Congrats to all the designers and students who help put together this show. It was another great year for the UT fashion department.


Joanna Wilkinson
keep austin stylish