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Functionality grounds glamour in student’s clothing line inspired by Met Gala outfits

First-year biology student Sabrina Costa aimed to design a clothing line meant to appeal to students through functionality while incorporating bold touches. Her designs were inspired by the 2018 Met Gala theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” and more specifically by Kim Kardashian’s shimmery gold dress. The outfits will be featured at the 2019 Fashion and Student Trends at UCLA Runway Show on Thursday. (Xuxin Zhang/Daily Bruin)

By Jordan Holman

May 29, 2019 11:12 pm

Sabrina Costa is bringing fashion from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Pauley Pavilion.

The first-year biology student’s clothing line for the 2019 Fashion and Student Trends at UCLA runway show was inspired by the 2018 Met Gala theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” Costa’s collection consists of dresses, skirts and a pair of shorts, with the main source of inspiration being Kim Kardashian’s shimmery gold dress. Costa said she struggled to find a happy medium between functional and eye-catching – she wanted her looks to be bold, while still appealing to college students’ interests.

“My individual style is pretty simple – I mostly wear black and denim. I wanted to take on a completely new style with my designs for the show,” she said. “I fell in love with the pieces from the Met Gala, and I wanted to see if I could replicate it myself.”

Drawn to gold and silver for the FAST show, Costa said she wanted to create a metallic theme that would give her pieces a sophisticated and intricate look. In her pieces, she uses sparkles and sequins as well as mesh and tulle fabrics, creating a semitransparent yet elegant look, said Costa’s roommate and first-year pre-economics student Vivian Wong.

First-year psychobiology student and FAST model Meghan He will be donning an iridescent, off-the-shoulder gold unitard studded with small jewels and a train-like skirt that extends down the back. Even though this particular design is elaborate, Costa said she didn’t want to make all of her designs as glitzy.

“A lot of the times people think Met Gala looks are very flashy, which they often are,” she said. “But that’s not their only defining characteristic.”

Even though she often finds herself drawn to upscale outfits seen at red carpet premieres and exclusive events, Costa said she understands that students face a choice between wanting to dress fashionably and staying comfortable. She said she wanted to bridge that gap by creating pieces that are visually bold but functional in their design.

Costa uses more elaborate fabrics to make simpler pieces. One example of such a design is an off-the-shoulder bodysuit and maxi skirt that appeals to student interests because of its comfort and trendiness, she said. But she covered the outfit in sparkly gold fabric and added ribbons of sequins to make the functional piece more glamorous.

Because her pieces require a variety of fabrics and small embellishments, they can be difficult to assemble in a dorm room, said first-year psychology student and Costa’s roommate Layla Morsi. Despite having to make use of less-than-ideal spaces, Costa tried to adapt to her surroundings while creating the clothing line. Morsi said Costa stores supplies in her drawers and sits at her desk to create her designs. If the space felt too cramped she would often rent out a study room to work on her projects.

Costa said her interest in Met Gala looks and celebrity outfits has always been mere admiration but seeing her visions come to life has inspired a newfound dedication to her craft. As a biology student, Costa still isn’t sure if she’d like to pursue fashion as a full-time career after graduation. But the opportunity to create something tangible has made her realize that design can be more than just a pipe dream or side hobby, she said.

“I didn’t know if I was good enough when I first started. I didn’t know how the process worked, I didn’t even really know how to draw,” Costa said. “But if someone with limited experience like me can create a line inspired by the hugely popular Met Gala, I think that’s pretty cool.”

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Jordan Holman
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