Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Fashion Capstone Projects showcases senior undergraduate designs

Manoo Sirivelu
Textile and apparel senior Ginger Hudson stands for a portrait on April 17, 2024 at Mary E. Gearing Hall. Before her is an outfit she designed and presented at the 2024 Austin Fashion Week for her capstone project.

On the runway, models display collections inspired by hand-woven techniques in Morocco, colors seen in Austin, highways that run through Texas and different structures and shapes in geometry. 

The Capstone Collections course offers senior textiles and apparel (TXA) undergraduates the opportunity to showcase what they have learned throughout their college career. At the end of the semester, students unveil their products at the University Fashion Group’s annual Capstone Collection show on April 28.

“You are given the task of creating a collection, and not only are you designing all the pieces, you’re sourcing materials, creating patterns and fitting models,” TXA senior Ginger Hudson said. “You’re taking all the skills you’ve learned and everything you know and combining them into something you can show people to represent you.” 

According to Gail Chovan, assistant TXA professor who teaches the course, students gain time management skills, confidence and become part of a creative “hive” with their peers. 

“One of the big things they get out of (this course) is being a part of this really close-knit group that they can trust,” Chovan said. “(The other students are) going through the same torturous schedule. It’s a semester-long, everyday check-in that hopefully prepares them for the rigors of going into an industry that’s not just nine to five.”

At the beginning of the spring semester, the 15-student class began bringing their projects to life. For some students, like TXA senior Jillian LaConti, the design process began with sketching out ideas.

“I pulled inspiration from art around the world, like from France to Italy to Spain,” LaConti said. “I would pull colors, patterns and the movement and intricate lines of sculptures and freehand sketch. I produced probably 70 plus sketches and broke it down into the four final looks.”

Students had the chance to show their work at the Austin Fashion Week Discover Runway on April 20. Since her sophomore year, TXA senior Elizabeth Moctezuma-Manzanero volunteered behind the scenes of the show, but this year, she worked until the very last minute and got to see her hard work on that runway. 

“It was surreal,” Moctezuma-Manzanero said. “I couldn’t believe it wasn’t a dream. It’s strange to be on the other side like, ‘Whoa, it’s me now,’ and it’s a bit of a shock.”

For LaConti, Discover Runway gave a taste of what her future could look like and, unlike the Capstone Collection Runway, provided her with experience working in an unfamiliar situation.

“The University Fashion Group has been tirelessly working on the (Capstone Collection),” LaConti said. “For us designers, it’s our first breakthrough into the fashion industry and a chance to show our identities.”

Each student has their own reason people should see the Capstone Collection, including gaining a better understanding of the major, the 100% handmade items, learning about each person through their collection, supporting the seniors and more. 

“So many university students go through (college) and don’t have the opportunity to actually show the work they’ve done,” Chovan said. “Because clothing and fashion is a very visual and creative industry, it’s like a moving art show. See what’s happening in their brains. This is the next generation, hopefully, of who’s going to be creating.”

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