Posted on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 by Jim Norrena
Learn more about the following designers' senior collections, as they appeared on the runway at the 2010 Senior Fashion Show.
2010 Senior Fashion Show Designers
Drew Thornton Kleiner
Amy Austin Nelson
Jessica Massiel Ventura
About the Designers
Collection title: Le Monstre Dans (The Monster Within)
Kaylin grew up in Sacramento and has been sewing for most of her life. She considers the "art of dress" her ultimate form of creative expression. Just days before her senior year, Kaylin was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer. Now, a year later, she is in remission and completing her long-awaited thesis collection. Le Monstre Dans is partially inspired by Kaylin's experience with the deadly disease.
In this collection, the soft girlish appeal of pastels and supple fabric have been hijacked by lethal spikes and overgrown fabric manipulations, transforming the female body from precious to perilous.
What is considered good and virtuous can, in excess, become a lethal element that overtakes the mental and physical self. Dreams can become nightmares; life can become malignant.
Kaylin is also inspired by the works of Hans Bellmer (a German artist, best known for the life-sized pubescent female dolls he produced in the mid-1930s), perversion of the human form, and the late-1970s punk and glam era.
Collection title: Ortenzia Caviglia Cruised the Adriatic
Caitlin was born in Portland, Oregon, but grew up in Orange County, California, where she studied sewing instruction at Orange Coast College, as part of the college’s production program. Upon completion, she knew she had to keep sewing and draping and slaving in front of “that machine.”
Caitlin wanted to remain in California, and she liked the atmosphere at CCA—all the different programs and facilities working together. She knew she could further her skills and be creative.
Today she would love to pursue pattern making or sewing . . . or even knitting she admits would also be fantastic. She aspires to be challenged everyday by something new and different.
Collection title: Treasures of the Sea
Originally from Walnut Creek, California, Nicole has lived in and continues to be influenced by the fashion design in Paris. While studying in Paris, Nicole learned to mix history, fine arts, and other design mediums.
She has traveled extensively throughout Europe and enjoys discovering new cultures.
Today her designs are driven by figural inspiration, conceptual ideas, history, nature, and fine arts. Nicole enjoys working with unique textiles and interesting color stories
Collection title: 53 Miles West of Venus
Sam is a Bay Area native who spent the better part of the 1980s and 1990s in New York.
The punk and new wave scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s sparked his interest in fashion design.
Sam’s education in fashion design education began in 1999 at City College of San Francisco under the guidance of the ever-so-knowledgeable Sandra Ericson. He enrolled at CCA because of the college’s approach to sustainable and conceptual design. In fact, his senior collection is inspired by zero-waste practices as well as counterculture and the increasing visibility of a gender-variant population.
Sam’s aesthetic is vintage-punk rock queen from outer space here on holiday. His collection is constructed out of recycled materials as well as a mixture of high-performance and high-tech textiles and natural fibers.
This young designer hopes to pursue working for an established designer who practices sustainable and ethical design and he wishes to eventually establish a line that embodies his sustainable concepts and social services commitments.
It is also Sam’s dream to have his designs be part of gallery installations or museum collections. And he’s well on his way: his NO-Waste Pattern Design (for cutting garments without creating scraps of fabric) earned him the notable distinction of Next-Gen Notable by Metropolis magazine in its 2009 Next Generation Design Competition; and he was also a finalist in the Fashioning the Future competition, the leading international student competition for design and innovation in sustainable fashion, which is put on by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion / London College of Fashion.
Collection title: Foreign-Made Clothing
Gina was born and raised in Sacramento. Her older brother is her biggest role model. She loves spending time with her family and friends, traveling, eating all types of food, urban/street fashion, making prints, watching movies, custom-made things, riding her bike, listening to slow jams, taking photos, and making memories.
Gina’s design aesthetic unites the following elements: tomboy, modern, sexy, simple, and detailed.
Ji-Hae Kim Kim
Collection title: Uncanny Sleep
Ji-Hae is from Seoul. She loves arts, design, colors, and paintings. Other interests include traveling and visiting trendy places.
Drew Thornton Kleiner
Collection title: Éthéré
Drew grew up in Minneapolis. She’s the oldest of three children. Her family has no shortage of artists: Her mother is a painter/textiles person, and her dad is a photographer. Her younger brother, James, is printmaker and her youngest brother, William, is a painter. Additionally, her grandfather was a well-known piano player/photographer and her uncle is a furniture designer.
Drew attended a Walforf–based high school while taking art classes at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Initially she thought she wanted to go to school for architecture. (Her favorite architect is Frank Gehry.)
Drew loves traveling, lived abroad in Costa Rica for a year during high school, and traveled to New Zealand for the World of Wearable Art show.
One of her favorite things to do is get up early and go to estate sales and thrift stores back home in search of cool vintage items. She also loves attending the ballet, knitting on the knitting machine, biking, cats, vintage necklaces, Audrey Hepburn movies, lacy things, and plants and gardening.
Despite a wide assortment of passions, Drew is drawn to fashion design because it combines her love of textiles and the 3D form.
As for the future, Drew admits someday she’d like to live and work in London, travel everywhere, and knit endlessly.
Collection title: Bedouin of the Sun
Janine lived in 9 states before entering college. She attended Norwich Free Academy in Norwich. Connecticut, and enrolled in the fine art department with an emphasis in painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture.
Janine started making beaded jewelry with her father when she was six years old and continued through high school, where she was also involved in a variety of sports from an early age.
She discovered her love and passion for art and traveled to Australia before entering high school.
She loves being with friends and family, road trips, the beach, the Southwest, thrifting, cheeseburgers, nail time, cooking, and baking. She also loves knitting, embroidering, crafting, and painting
Collection title: Indulgence
Jessie grew up in Potomac, Maryland, and attended Idyllwild Arts Academy, an arts boarding school in Idyllwild, California, as a visual arts major (sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, installation arts).
The middle child (older sister, younger brother), Jessie comes from an artistic family, including a musician (brother), photographer (mother), painter (aunt), and sculptor (grandmother).
Among Jessie’s loves are knitting, hand-crafting, braiding, soft, rich, and luxurious fabrics. Other favorites include potato latkes, cheese, traveling, reading biographies, adventurous things (such as skydiving and bungee jumping), yoga and Pilates, and animals (puppies, in particular).
Jessie recalls creating things as soon as was physically possible: sculptures and 3D crafts, and even hand-sewn pillows by age six.
What inspires Jessie? Things that are contemporary, young, feminine, quirky, and fun.
Collection title: The Constant Traveler
Megan grew up in the Bay Area as an only child. She is the daughter of an engineer and a textiles artist. She loves to craft, watch movies, and read graphic novels. Her design aesthetic includes mixing fabric patterns and textures and incorporating small details in each garment.
Megan draws much of her design inspiration from her travels.
Amy Austin Nelson
Collection title: Vamp
Amy is the youngest in a multiethnic family; she is an adopted Mexican American, whose military family (Army and Navy) gave her the opportunity to travel all over the world and experience different cultures.
When she was little her older sister lived in San Francisco, and she always dreamed of moving to the Bay Area where she could become a hippie.
She learned sewing from her mother and grandmother, and was always known by her classmates as having the most over-the-top Halloween costumes. (For example, she recalls one year in particular when she dressed as a furry, pink, jewel-encrusted cat.)
After high school, Amy took a couple years off and worked at a motorcycle shop. It was then she began to pursue a career in the performing arts. She was a backup singer and dancer for The Buddy Holly Story and played Janet in the stage version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
After spending her due time on stage in her underwear, Any realized she truly wanted to design lingerie. Her designs are almost always inspired by strong, independent women whom she admires (Betty Page, Louise Brooks, Rita Hayworth, Kat Von D, Dita Von Tease).
She also tries to capture a sense of fantasy and allure in her designs. She loves the idea that with lingerie and its behind-closed-doors showcase, one can be whomever one chooses—without being confined to society’s restrictions.
Amy’s collection is a tribute to femme fatales. The vamp is wicked, seductive, glamorous—yet irresistible.
Amy spends her free time reading graphic novels and writing autobiographical comics. She currently lives in the outer Mission near McLaren Park, where she loves taking her dog, Zoey, on walks.
Collection title: Shadow
Jeanette was born and raised in Richmond, California. When in the eighth grade she designed and created the costumes for her school production of A Mid-Summer Night's Dream.
As a scholarship recipient to CCA's Pre-College Program in the summer of 2005, Jeanette was able to study fashion here at the college. She also earned a CCA First Year Launch award, placed first in the 2009 CCA Math and Science Fair, and received honorable mention in CCA’s Fashion Design Junior Review.
She loves fashion design because it “blends the rational and pragmatic with the beautiful and emotional.”
Outside of fashion, Jeanette loves history and art, traveling, swimming, cooking and eating, and television and movies.
Collection title: Illusion
Emily grew up in East Jordan, Michigan. She has three brothers; one older and younger twin brothers.
She has loved fashion and costumes since being a child. She also played the flute, violin, and saxophone, and involved herself in theater. Additionally, Emily loved the culinary arts, particularly baking.
In terms of what influences her designs, Emily is interested in movement and materiality and how they can affect each other.
Collection title: Tordu
Noël was born in Berkeley, California, to Lebanese parents who are from Zahle, where much of her huge family resides. She is the middle of five children, all quite creative. She attended Pinole Valley High School and graduated with a specialization in theater arts (she used to do professional stage makeup). Noël went on to earn an associates degree in French and another one in liberal arts.
Later she lived in Paris for two months, which she loved, and took a summer course at Parsons Paris to see how she liked the school. She chose to return and then attended California State San Francisco, which also didn’t live up to her expectations. Finally, Noël applied to CCA and has loved being here ever since.
Noël definitely has wanderlust; she loves to travel anywhere. She also likes to try new activities: scuba, surfing, zip lines, paddle boarding, kayaking, rafting, snow boarding (or snow falling, in my case) among others. Noël plans to try skydiving after graduation.
Noël also loves to cook, which she admits to being pretty good at, although she doesn’t enjoy doing dishes. She loves knitting and is really good at mixing prints due to her good sense of color.
Collection title: Mortifera
Laura grew up in Overland Park and Lenexa, Kansas, and went to public high school, taking as many art classes as possible. Each parent is a teacher who is smart and supportive and caring. She considers herself lucky to have them.
Neither parent can remember a time when Laura wasn't interested in art and design; she’s been sketching outfits since in elementary school, always interested in learning new techniques and ways to be creative.
She also has an older sister who is a beautiful and funny scientist described as supportive and who loves to travel and have new experiences. Laura’s grandmother is inspirational and lives life to the fullest.
Laura loves textiles, crafting, knitting, historical fashion, textures, sculptural shapes, tailoring, construction, illustrating, natural fibers, life, inside jokes, mustaches, cafes, wine, museums, traveling, photography, You Tube, and Fashion Design chair Amy Williams.
Laura’s design aesthetic is to create sculptural designs that use volume and construction to visually change and distort the proportions of the body, supplemented with textile manipulation and tailoring.
Jessica Massiel Ventura
Collection title: Mille Hojas
Jessica was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in a small village called Las Charcas de Maria Nova. She was surrounded by nature in her everyday life, which shaped and built the ground rules on which she stands today.
She moved to the United States when he was 12 to live with her mother and have a better life.
Jessica loves to eat, dance and be active. Her favorite food is called locrio, which is made from rice, chicken, and vegetables. Her favorite sport is running—she “can’t live without it”—and she loves Latin music: merengue and Bachata. She also has a deep interest in philosophy and psychology.
Jessica’s work is inspired by nature’s organic lines and shapes. Color is essential, as it expresses life, happiness, and beauty.
The persons who inspire her the most and make her work to her full potential are her family. “Every time I want to give up on things, I remind myself that my work is not made only for me, but that it is also for them too, because I want to give them a better life in thanks for the kindness and education they have given me.”
Collection title: Traverse
Narisa grew up in Northern California’s Silicon Valley and attended Cupertino High School. She is the oldest of three children, with a younger sister and younger brother, and she’s used to looking after them.
Narisa started drawing on furniture when she was three years old with the help of crayons and colored pencils. She took her first sewing lesson at age nine and has never stopped sewing since.
Her original goals had been set on writing and perhaps even law school some day. She changed course by her junior year, and by the time of her senior year she had turned her attention to the arts and developed a portfolio.
Narisa would like more free time to travel internationally, enjoy nightlife in every major city, bake more desserts, have a spotless home, and read newspapers. She loves Rottweilers, hair dyeing, learning new languages (currently she’s studying Thai and Spanish), exercising (running, gymnastics, yoga, swimming, rock climbing), discovering new musicians, and contact lenses.
A career in the arts and design was unusual in my traditional-minded family, though eventually they came to support and respect my decision.
She describes her design aesthetic as sleek, elegant, structured, and with an edge.
Collection title: It's a Hoot!
Srira was born and lived in Strasbourg, France, until almost ten years old, when she moved to San Francisco. She attended the Lycée Français La Pérouse until the second semester of tenth grade, when she was transferred to School of the Arts High School, where she developed her painting and drawing skills.
I got into fashion designing when I was attending the Lycée Français. I was constantly drawing in class (horses and garments) and received a lot of detention for that.
Srira is the youngest in her family, with two older brothers; two sisters-in-law; and an awesome one-year-old niece, who loves to empty her cubes on the floor, throw the tray over her head while giggling, put the blocks back into the tray, and start all over.
When I was a child, my mother sewed garments for herself and me, including all my Halloween costumes. I liked to sit at her machine and use all the different stitches, but I did not learn how to construct garments until I was a sophomore at CCA.
Besides school Srira enjoys practicing stained glass, glass fusing, ceramics and sculpture, drawing, and painting, martial arts, horseback riding, and biking in Golden Gate Park. She also likes cats; she has a neighborhood of cats living in her kitchen—four belonging to her and one is a passerby.
She has been living in the Lower Haight since December 1998.
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