Fashion show embodies diversity

On May 5, the fashion department at American River College presented its diverse Annual Fashion Show, “Fluent” where a diverse body of fashion students created varying and unique garments that represent their style and backgrounds.

The designers, Melek Uluk, Tetyanna Shevelenko, Rhalinda Sonnemivang, Alexandria Dowty, Olga Komlyk, Rebeka Verhoog, Kaysy Xaynhalath, Speiden Hassani, Yoon Soo Cho, and Kelsey Lightfoot each come from different and diverse backgrounds such as Ukraine, Turkey, Ireland, Laos and other countries as well as the United States.

Presenting at the fashion show was also Rebeka Garn, an alumni designer who presented “Honey,”  a collection that celebrates bees and all that they do.

“Floral details and waspie silhouettes mirror the organic beauty of bees, and the range of colors symbolize not only the way bees color our world, but how colorless a world without them would bee,” according to Garn.

Likewise, Garn explains that honey, through its complex embroidery, intricate details, and dedication to craft, “honors quality over quantity.”

The judges in the fashion show were blogger Samantha Furno, designer Theresa Truong, store manager at Crossroads Trading, Linda Phocuk, owner of Krazy Mary’s and Sugar Shack, Mary Kawano, and Ann Dieu, professor and liaison to judges.

The winner in the fashion show was Melek Uluk, who was first to present her garment and fashion design “Anatolia”.

The models selected to present and wear her designs were Taylor Stathos, Lauryn Roy, Tiffany Sampson, Amaris Lebron and Jihad Bensebahi.

Uluk, who’s from Turkey, came to America three years ago with the dream of becoming a fashion designer and someday owning her own boutique.

Her interest in fashion came from the helping her mother quilt together blankets, according to her artist statement.

Fashion design created by designer Olga Komlyk, whose inspiration is bohemian styles and oragami shapes. (photo by Lidiya Grib)

Uluk came to American River College to study in the Fashion Design program, and the fashion designs she created for the fashion show are an expression of her background as well as herself, inspired by her heritage as well as designs from around the world.

Melek explained that although she was expecting to get an award for her design presentation, she didn’t expect to get the award for “Best of Show”.

Her inspirations in creating the designs are her culture and heritage background and Gucci maxi dresses.

By crossing these two types of cultural designs together, Meleks goal was to keep things simple and elegant, and traditional and modern.

Melek Uluk’s fashion design, winner of the “Best of show” award, is inspired by modern as well as traditional styles. (photo by Lidiya Grib)

“They liked what I have, my fabric collection, and the style,” said Melek. “They were happy with the quality of the design and the color selection I used.”

Melek explained that the different color selection she used is meant to represent the 4 seasonal colors. She used a fabric she bought from her homeland, Turkey, on a recent trip she took.
Other designers who won awards in the show were Olga Komlyck for “most creative”, Yoon Soo Cho for “Most Marketable”, and Sepideh Hassani for “Best Construction”.

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