May 6, 2011
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) Feathers, clear vinyl, circus figures, superhero imagery, dyed fabrics, trash bags—seven student fashion designers are burning the midnight oil using these and other materials to complete their own lines of unique clothing in time to hit the runway on May 15.
Their broader goal reaches far beyond the realm of fashion ingenuity, however. The students have designs on helping mitigate human trafficking occurring half a world away, ultimately helping those forced into a downward spiral pull out and put on a new life.
La Sierra University’s second annual REVO fundraiser will be held May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Alumni Pavillion and will feature its popular fashion show of creative clothing lines designed by students. The event will include auctions and raffles, for which REVO organizers are seeking baked goods, restaurant gift cards and other items to sell. The fashion show will include an auction of clothing pieces created by the designers. All told, the event aims to raise $20,000 to benefit International Justice Mission, a faith-based human rights agency in Washington D.C. The organization operates in 12 countries to aid in the prosecution of human traffickers and to help rescue and rehabilitate their victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.
Funds from the REVO event will assist IJM’s efforts in Southeast Asia where much of the trafficking activity occurs. A $250 donation will pay for the aftercare of one individual.
REVO, based in Hilo, Hawaii, is a movement that helps individuals find ways of raising money for their charitable causes. Its motto is “start a revolution, start with love.” REVO has branches around the United States and in Guam and Canada. La Sierra sister institutions Pacific Union College and Andrews University both have REVO chapters.
Jaylene Chung, a graduate business student at La Sierra, founded the campus’s REVO chapter last year and brought in $24,000 through its kickoff fundraiser. The money benefitted the Gakoni Orphanage in Rwanda.
“With all the glitz and glamour of this event, it can be easy to forget why we’re doing this,” said Chung. “But as lighthearted as the event is, we really want people to realize and remember the gravity of the situation that millions of people out there are victims of human trafficking, even in America, and as close to home as the Inland Empire (http://www.pe.com/localnews/publicsafety/stories/PE_News_Local_D_trafficking26.b71c57.html). It is important that we are aware of those in need around us, and to do whatever we can to help. That’s what REVO is all about.”
The student designers for this year’s REVO fashion show have each created a collection of six to 12 pieces. They include a line titled “Clarity” by senior business management/pre-med major Joshua Yap. His 10 pieces are made entirely of transparent PVC vinyl and includes an ‘aquarium dress’ with a bubble-shaped skirt that will hold water and fish during the show. The line is designed for people of all ages and intended to accent clothing worn underneath that reveals individual personalities. “The whole idea is to stop looking at the outside and look at the inside,” Yap said.
“It’s really an avant garde line which is totally Josh,” sophomore accounting major Kendall Trood said. She is coordinating the fashion event. “It’s mind-blowing how much work he has put into it.”
Yap estimates he has worked a minimum of 200 hours on his designs. He purchased most of his PVC material from WalMart for $1 a yard and acquired some from the Los Angeles clothing district. He hand-stitched all his pieces using a modified cross-stitch. On Thursday he was finishing a clear, plastic clutch with artistically disorganized grunt stitching.
The future orthopedic surgeon has experience making costumes for musicals at his church. He said the REVO fundraiser allows him to use his abilities and interests for a good cause. Yap participated in last year’s show with a line made blankets and dresses and shaped in various square patterns.
Yap’s work is one example of ways student designers are pulling out the creative stops in for the REVO fashion extravaganza. Student designer Alejandra Najarro’s “Fly Away” theme is based on birds. “I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s lots of feathers,” said Trood.
Designer Jacqueline Flores is creating fashions inspired by ballerinas with elements from the movie “Black Swan” incorporated into her line by the same name. Flores will show 12 pieces with two models on the runway at once, one model’s clothing intended to portray the alter ego of the other.
Designer Joseph Doukmetzian’s line of unique men’s wear is titled “Every Day Super Heroes,” a look bound to interest male audience members, according to Trood. “I think the guys are going to go crazy for this collection,” she said.
Student Meagan Miller is returning to this year’s REVO fashion show with a yet untitled line based on a circus theme. “She is literally putting together a circus on stage. You can expect to see a complete show,” stated Trood. Last year Miller debuted a line of creatively enhanced denim wear.
For student designer Dalila Ruiz, REVO’s fashion show presented an opportunity to truly get down to the business of creativity with her Mediterranean-styled women’s and men’s line—she dyed most of her materials, made her own patterns and sewed everything herself. “One of the most fabulous things about her line, it really is ready to wear,” Trood said. “These are one of a kind pieces, designed and created by her from start to finish.”
And lastly, environmentally conscious audience members may appreciate the recyclable materials collection by Jonathan Finau. He concocted his fashion line using trash bags, newspapers, water bottles and additional other-use objects. “My favorite piece is a dress,” enthused Trood. “It’s fantastic that he made it out of trash bags.”
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University