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FAST’s virtual catwalk brings new life to annual fashion show

FAST at UCLA’s annual Spring Showcase will remain virtual for another year. Regardless of the medium, the show will be an opportunity for its designers to showcase collections after several months of work. (Lauren Man/Assistant Photo editor)

"FAST at UCLA Spring Showcase"

May 28 at 6:30pm



By Yasmin Madjidi

May 27, 2021 7:08 p.m.

Despite this year’s virtual catwalk, Fashion and Student Trends at UCLA’s annual fashion show will never go out of style.

Airing live on YouTube and Zoom, the club will be hosting its Spring Showcase on Friday. FAST’s annual runway show is typically held in Pauley Pavilion but has since shifted to a virtual format that will include live speeches from designers followed by a prerecorded fashion show. Hannah Sacker, a fourth-year public affairs student and FAST events director, said the show is meant to highlight each of the 12 designers’ lines through one central club event.

“It’s not often – really, never actually – that the designers get their work shown besides the fashion show,” Sacker said. “It’s special to showcase them and honor them in that way because their work is one of the uniting things that bring all of FAST together.”

[Related: Design media arts student debuts latest collection at New York Fashion Week]

Maintaining the same industry-level production as the in-person fashion show, Sacker said each committee within FAST worked together to put on the showcase. She said many forms of art – including fashion design, video and photography – were combined to underscore the team’s talents and draw in audiences despite the virtual barrier. Through a collaborative effort, she said designers first created and distributed their clothes for models to film in, and then the models sent their clips back for the video team to edit together.

In conjunction with the showcase, FAST will also be releasing its spring magazine, which includes editorial work by the blog and photography committees, Sacker said. While the magazine will provide details about the designers and their lines, she said it primarily functions as a synopsis of the entire year’s work.

“It’s really great to see how the same level of art and professionalism that we see in the in-person fashion show can really be translated into this online format,” Sacker said.

Although the team had additional time to prepare for a digital format compared to last year’s sudden shift, Sacker said the delay accompanying virtual communication still posed logistical challenges. Isabella Mattina, a third-year psychology student and FAST director of public relations, said she filled the communication gap behind the scenes by collecting and distributing information between the committees.

“Not only (is the showcase) virtual obviously for our audience, but it has been remote for a lot of our members,” Mattina said. “Our models and our designers are scattered across the world … so fitting the design process, fitting processes, filming and modeling into the quarter timeline has been a challenge just across physical distances.”

While each collection will have its own theme established by the designers, Sacker said FAST’s overarching concentration this year has revolved around change, matching the spring season. With the club increasing its focus on the intersections between social justice, environmentalism and the fashion industry, she said she anticipates that some of the collections will echo similar sentiments.

Fulfilling this hypothesis, alumna and FAST design director, Suchita Kumar, said she drew inspiration for her designs from the bleaching of corals in the ocean as a result of climate change. As her line moves forward, the bright and textured pieces will transition to more uniform monochromatic outfits. Kumar used fabric such as tulle and pom-poms to mimic the shape of corals on her garments, and 3D-printed brain corals to add more detail.

While Kumar directed the models to highlight these elements when filming, she said she still left much of the creative freedom up to them. The video team also slowed down portions of the video – an addition that would have been impossible with the in-person show – to give the audience a moment to reflect on the activism inspired by the line, she said.

“I really wanted to take this idea that is … talked about or written about, but isn’t showcased as much,” Kumar said. “I wanted to see whether I could take that idea and depict it through clothing.”

[Related: Alum highlights disappearing line between fashion and fine art in art exhibition]

Making the most of the online format, Kumar said teaser clips will be played for each line during the showcase, allowing designers to directly interact with the audience and describe the inspiration behind their work. While the traditional fashion show demonstrated the high level of in-person production the club is capable of, Sacker said the adapted virtual components provide more space for all members of FAST to collaborate on a creative project.

“(The virtual showcase is) a completely different type of work, seeing a video pieced together, be edited so well and executed so perfectly,” Sacker said. “It showcases a different kind of talent that otherwise wouldn’t have been shown.”

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Yasmin Madjidi | Alumna
Madjidi served as the Lifestyle editor at the Daily Bruin from 2020-2021. She was previously an Arts & Entertainment contributor from 2019-2020.
Madjidi served as the Lifestyle editor at the Daily Bruin from 2020-2021. She was previously an Arts & Entertainment contributor from 2019-2020.
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