BRI~JHN

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A Fashion Show, an event at which collections of newly designed clothing are modeled for an audience. “Fata Morgana,” the theme for this year ‘s 34th Annual fashion show at Genesee Community College, is set for April 25th, 2015. As a fashion Design Student, I will take part in the vogue show presenting my own scene. This will be my second year participating in the event; last year I was a model in another design student’s scene. Last year’s show was such an engaging experience for me that I decided to create a vision for my own exclusive line.

This year I will produce my own scene entitled, “BRI~JHN,” which is a collaboration of my name, “Brittany,” and my little sister’s name, “Jhnae”. My little sister also served as an inspiration for my ideas; her personality is a mix of cool and unique and she has a style similar to the Olsen Twins, Rita Ora, and the fashions of the 1970’s era. The concept of my scene is Bohemian Baja, which includes garments with flowy elements, fringe, and loose fitting clothing with spunk. The fabrics that will be featured in my scene are lace, cotton, and jacquard, which are the top picks for the looks I’m going for in my show. The color palette I will be using will feature neutral tones with a pop of color. An example of this would be a navy blue garment with a hot pink accessory to give it a unique quality.

The image I want my audience to capture from my collection is “Dress Out Loud,” which is freedom of clothing, colors, and being true to you. I hope to have a successful show with my Design team. My goal is to show the world what “Beebe” has to offer, a fresh unique sense of self, and style.

This blog was contributed by Fashion Design Student Brittany Breedlove.

Dress Form Contest

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Those enrolled in the Fashion Design and Fashion Business programs at Genesee Community College were given the amazing opportunity to win dress forms donated to the school by PGM Dress Forms, the leading dress form manufacturer in the United States, based out of California.154836_580970075263689_1180436399_n The winners of these dress forms are career-driven, hardworking students, who are also extremely talented designers at GCC. The dress forms will make a large impact on these three creative women, and surely help them to accomplish future career goals, which they hold dearly and consider with upmost seriousness.

Accomplished students Candace Cooper, Alaina Shannon, and Natalie Brown are the winners of the 2014 Dress Form Contest! All of the girls wrote entry essays entailing what they would do if they won a PGM dress form, and how this award would help to accomplish their career goals. Candace Cooper writes, “When Professor Ehrhart initially notified me of the amazing opportunity of the dress form competition, I was overly thrilled at the news! Being that I am a design student I would love to own a dress form. I’ve always wanted to invest into one, but looking online, the prices were a little intimidating with them ranging from $1,500 to $2,000.” Candace’s collection entitled “ÉCLAT” will be featured in the upcoming GCC 33rd Annual Fashion Show entitled Ethereal. Alaina addresses why she would love to win a PGM dress form and how it would help her to achieve her artistic vision. In her contest essay, she states that, “By winning a dress form I would be capable of anything. As an artist, often times I conjure up creativity at the most random and unexpected times as my mind begins to soar into a new and exciting realm. When I visualize an idea in my head, I feel the urgency to get right to work. I sketch my ideas, gather and cut fabric, and begin to layout the image that is in my head. However, tedious measurements, and the annoyance of making a human stand shivering cold for forty minutes while being draped and pinned is a nuisance. I often find myself wishing I could constantly have access to a dress form so that I could put my creative, crazy mind at ease.”  Alaina’s designs will be featured in the upcoming GCC Fashion Show as well, in a scene entitled “Americana”. Natalie Brown envisions what it would be like to own a personal dress form in her contest essay; writing that, “If I had my own dress form, I could create my own design studio space in my room at my house. I currently have my very own sewing machine that I bought myself, so having my own dress form would complete my own personal working space.” Natalie Brown’s designs will also be featured in the upcoming GCC Ethereal Fashion Show. Her scene is called “Revival”, the featured clothing is previously owned and repurposed in order to be transformed from an old garment into a piece that is new and exciting. These dress forms are certainly in good hands; Congratulations Candace, Alaina, and Natalie, we can’t wait to see what amazing designs you all create for the upcoming fashion show and in the near future!

Also, on behalf of everyone in the fashion program at Genesee Community College I’d like to give a big thank you to PGM Dress Forms for donating three dress forms to these well-deserving girls, and to Professor Ehrhart and Professor Dudkowski for continuing to offer this amazing opportunity to GCC’s wonderfully talented design students.

-Ami Cornell

Donation aids Creation

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This blog post contributed by Amber Coan, Fashion Design student

GCC’s Fashion Design students are thrilled about a recent donation of two brand new dress forms from PGM Incorporated representative, Andrea Quintana! If you walk into the sewing room, you’ll find about eleven handmade dress forms in a wide variety of sizes from 2 through 24. The forms are a huge part of our design and draping class, one of the most significant classes for fashion design majors. While some of us strive to master the creation of plus-size garments, there are many, myself included, who would rather work with smaller sizes; to fit this demand, we were absolutely in need of more narrow-bodied mannequins–I speak for all of the design majors when I say that we are very thankful for Andrea and PGM’s donation!

Outside of class, many students use the PGM dress forms for our own personal projects for clients, to build our portfolio, and to aid in creating garments for GCC’s annual fashion show–which is now the largest in Western New York!

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PGM dress form with student draping

I, personally, am using one of the forms to fit an evening gown of my own design for next year’s fashion show. The dress will consist of a black leotard base and a very long flowing skirt. My inspiration for my scene proposal next year is fierce, dark, and strong–contrasting this year’s “Ethereal” theme. Bringing my inspiration to life has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is the blank canvases that Andrea Quintana and PGM so generously donated to us.

I would highly recommend that design majors–or anyone interested in pursuing fashion design–check out the wide range of beautiful, top-of-the-line dress forms (including customizable and colored!!!) at PGM’s website, http://www.pgmdressform.com.

Once again, I’d like to publicly thank Andrea and PGM for their contribution to our fashion program!!

New Year, New Job, New View

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As I begin my second year of the Fashion Design program at GCC, I also began a new job. As required by the Fashion program, each student needs experience working in the area of fashion, either over the summer or throughout the school year. For me, my recent new job was something completely new to me: men’s wear.

My job experience throughout this school year will be at Charles Men’s Shop. It is located at 200 E Main Street right in Batavia. While at the Men’s Shop, I will be setting the window displays. Showing the all of the amazing merchandise the store has to offer, while creating a theme and telling a story, keeping in mind the latest trends for fall was a challenge at first. I haven’t taken the Visual Display class with Ms. Ehrhart (the fashion design professor at GCC) because it begins in October, so trying to accomplish that goal made my first few window attempts difficult. I had a hard time finding inspiration and translating it through men’s wear. Until that time, I had only acquired experience with women’s retail. I had received some advice from the Men’s Shop’s helpful staff, Kristen, Don, and Dave. I also asked both of my professors, Mr. Dudkowski (the fashion merchandising professor at GCC) and Ms. Ehrhart for some advice. I’m very glad i decided to ask for some much-needed tips. After getting a better understanding of the window displays and finding my inspiration, I created a window that i was truly proud of. My vision for the window was the New York City pop up sales, since I, along with all other fashion students, will be attending a field trip to the Big Apple next month. Don Brown (Charles Men’s Shop VP) was recently showing me some pictures from the past trips to the city. He told me of the pop up retail stores that would be selling men’s wear, which made me think of trunk shows. I combined the two ideas with my inspiration of the city and created my window.

Business Wear

Business Wear

I really have enjoyed my time so far at the Men’s Shop. If i hadn’t attended GCC I wouldn’t receive an opportunity like this, nor would I have the always available professors ready to guide me with expert advice. Getting hands on training from such an accomplished and well-known store is great experience. Just as Don Brown had said, along with having fun, learning is the most important part of working at the Men’s Shop. After I have had more experience completing some windows and in-store displays, I could move on to learning new sewing techniques along with more planning and customer service skills.

As I look at window displays, men’s magazines and online articles, I see more now than I would have before this job. I wonder about what the message is that they are sending, what story they are telling, why they made certain choices. This ongoing experience will always make me think more about the way a display is shown than I would have ever thought. There is always room to grow and enhance skills with GCC and job opportunities.

Come down to Charles Men’s Shop and join me on the Wine Walk, October 5, 2013!

Learning Fashion Design with Raul Siro Ferreira

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As the bus turns on to East Main Street in Rochester, New York, we catch a glimpse of Raul Siro Ferreirra, fast at work completing a custom Civil War inspired suit jacket for a clients upcoming nuptials. Raul is not only a world renowned designer; he is the owner of a hidden fashion gem, tucked away in one of Roc City’s most creative and eclectic locations, The Village Gate. Each 1 Stitch 1 is a sewing house that provides everything from sewing machines to t-shirt presses for use by anyone—including the designing rookie or the seasoned seamstress. As we entered the facility, we were warmly welcomed by Raul and invited to take in the atmosphere of a designer. One wall donned racks of designs that were not only created by Raul but also by up and coming hopefuls and students.

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Raul was an open book and candid about his modest beginnings in the fashion industry. A native of Queens, he began sewing at the age of 9 making his own clothing but found there were not enough patterns available for boys. This prompted him as a preteen to begin creating his own patterns. Another fact is his original career path was that of a veterinarian. He graduated from Cornell University and along with a friend opened up a practice which was short lived for Raul as he found his allergy to cats was too much to manage. This gave way to reigniting the designer’s spark.

Back to NYC he went, where he studied and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). He went on to design all over the world including for Calvin Klein, Broadway and the costumes for Spiderman 2!! In 2007 he decided to begin his own business as he believed Rochester had a talent pool and a market for manufacturing along with tax incentives. Unfortunately the business fell prey to the recession but Raul did not give way to defeat.

Lemons? No way! He turned these circumstances into a tall glass of lemonade, creating, Each 1 Stitch 1.  As he shared his journey with my fellow students and me, he would at times give way to a slight chuckle which would follow his words of fashion business truths. He advised us to stay true to ourselves and business comes first.  Friends and associates will try to monopolize your time but you must insist on taking care of your customers first as it is business not personal. Also, know your niche as a designer, as you should only be making a limited amount of merchandise until you have a profitable client base. His hope is to continuing growing his business and paving the way for all who want to learn construction and design, especially the youth who otherwise would not be afforded the opportunity to explore their creativity.  As a parting sentiment of inspiration, he let the students take remnants from his material collection. Raul’s love for fashion is evident. A veteran of Rochester’s Fashion Week, he still has a lot of designs left to share. Stay tuned as we are sure to see more fabulous fashions in the very near future.

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Interested in broadening your sewing technique?  Each 1 Stitch 1 located at 1115 East Main Street, Rochester, New York. The facilities are available for a low nominal fee; $10 per hr, $50 for 20 visits and $100.00 per month for unlimited visits. Private instruction available upon request. www.each1stitch1.com

Written by Raquel Goff