University of Cincinnati fashion students have fared well in the Young Fashion Designers Competition over the years. UC students, who have participated almost every year since 1987, have been selected twice as the U.S. winner (international runner-up).
Again, this year's competition focuses on the theme "Love and Fashion." Accordingly, the six finalists from the University of Cincinnati are fashioning the following designs:
The mysterious shifts and changing facets of love inspire this skirt-and-jacket ensemble of brown, black and amber. Exposure and concealment vie in Chudnovsky's design where the right side of the tailored jacket is sleeveless with a sculptural cutout exposing the arm and shoulder. The left side of the jacket supports a long sleeve ending in amber-colored cufflinks. The right side of the jacket also sports a very high, dramatic collar. The long, wrap skirt is slit up the left side. A mask that sweeps up to a point high above the head also conceals the left side of the face. "The jacket is brown on the outside and black on the inside. The skirt has an amber lining. Both flash forth the unexpected colors of their interior sides. The colors are part of the sides and mysteries of love," explained Chudnovsky who added that the inspiration for her ensemble came from summer study in Italy and a visit to Venice.
Kitsch and humor are the hallmarks of Dawson's design consisting of a very short, tulle skirt studded with small, flocked hearts. A lime-green leather waistband with circular designs punched out of the fabric segue way to a bodice of sheer, pink netting offset by a pink, striped bra. The tongue-in-cheek design is offset by a rhinestone-studded, vinyl baseball cap. "The best part about participating is the competition's high profile," said Dawson, who spent her cooperative education quarters in New York and Europe .
The ties that bind are evident in the long, flowing silk and chiffon dress by Dusold. Straps of batik silk weave back and forth over the hand-painted silk and chiffon layers of maroon, olive green, hot pink and tan. Each strap and layer emerge from a central tie ring in the shape of a stylized heart at the left breast. Dusold is also designing an accessory for the competition. It is comprised of an oversheath that echoes her dress design. The oversheath, to fit over a slim, body-hugging dress, is comprised of knotted strands of earth-toned leather, beads, shells and buttons.
Hartman has created a dress of dip-dyed muslin with a deep v-necked bodice of dark pink, rose pink and cream that plunges to the waistline. The short, very full skirt also consists of shades of deep pink, pink rose and cream muslin with a bright, red underlining and underskirt layers of red and pink tulle. It's capped by an overskirt of pink tulle as well. A deep pink, satin bow sets off the dress as does 160 dip-dyed petals of muslin. Each red dyed petal is attached to the skirt, creating an organic feel. "They're like crinkled rose petals upon the skirt," said Hartman who added that her cooperative education quarters in New York - working with stylists of HBO's "Sex in the City" and with celebrities' stylists - have taught her the importance of detail and dedication. "On co-op or in class, we're always on deadline. You get it done even when it means 18 hour days," added Hartman who plans to head for Europe whether she's selected as a U.S. finalist or not. This coming summer, she'll co-op with Stella McCartney of the Gucci group in London.
Seanglai titled his one-piece, red-and-pink ball gown "Amata," which is the Thai word for eternal. The dress is full, with a beaded halter neck and a bell-shaped skirt. Incorporated onto the surface of the dress are overlapping, diamond-shaped pieces of silk organza and jacquard. Said Seanglai, the dress is designed to recall the link between diamonds and love. Both are solid and eternal.
Romance colors the design by Swartzel which consists close-fitting satin pants striped by pink, red, maroon and blue ribbons running from the waistband to ankle. A form-fitting corset bodice is set off by bell-shaped sleeves. Both the bodice and sleeves are covered by red, satin flowers appliquéd to the surface of the shirt. Experience from working, cooperative education quarters with a Hollywood costume designer, and in New York with Ellen Tracy and American Eagle are helping Swartzel prepare under the pressure of the Oct. 31 event.