University Fashion Group in their ‘Elements’ for upcoming fashion show

A feature on the University of Texas’ University Fashion Group. The UFG is putting on their annual fashion show,
titled Elements in 2016, on April 14.

By J.D. Harris, Lauren Florence and Fatima Puri

After four years of designing unique clothing and countless all-nighters spent sewing together their collections, 23 senior apparel designs students will display the culmination of all their hard work in front of an audience of thousands.

“Elements” is the title and theme of this year’s annual student fashion show which will premiere each student’s five-piece collection at the Frank Erwin Center on April 14. Last year, the show brought in an attendance of 5,000 people, but planners of the show estimate the audience to exceed that this year.

The annual fashion show, which is organized by students of the University Fashion Group, will feature 120 original designs to be judged in various categories, such as best evening wear or best active wear, by a panel of local industry professionals.

A model wearing an outfit designed by student Aaron Kuback. Photo courtesy of The Statesman/Ed Lehmann.

A model wearing an outfit designed by student Aaron Kuback. Photo courtesy of the Statesman/Ed Lehmann.

Ockhee Bego, professor of textiles and apparel who is supervising the senior collections and directing the show, said she teaches classes from the freshman to senior level and that the most difficult part of the fashion show for her students is time management.

“[When] they started out some of them never knew how to sew any garments to now they are designing and producing all the garments,” Bego said. “The main part is the time management because our students, they are not only learning for design but as you can imagine they do business, they do chemistry, they do biology and they do accounting—all those things, plus, they are creating and producing the garments.”

While the hair and makeup of the models will be kept consistent among all the designers to emphasize the clothing collections, Bego said designers could request models that had a certain type of look that complimented their collection.

Tré Miles, president of the University Fashion Group and a designer in the Elements show, said his collection stemmed from conversations on gender presentation and he requested both male and female models to wear his pieces.

Miles, who took 19 credit hours this semester and has a part-time job, said he’s not the first senior designer to take on the double duty of also being president of the University Fashion group, though it’s usually highly recommended that designers don’t.

Tasneem Saifee model

A model wearing a bridal gown designed by student Tasneem Saifee. Photo courtesy of the Statesman/Ed Lehmann.

“It’s definitely interesting how to balance it,” Miles said. “It came to a point where obviously better organizational skills—I’ve challenged myself so much on that, and being very open and accessible. One of the funniest things I think in learning to balance everything was learning to be as objective and straightforward as you can be—not allowing anyone to get too emotional, not allowing people to get angry at me.”

Mary Urban, marketing sophomore and assistant director of development of the University Fashion Group, said although she is not a textiles and apparel major she joined the University Fashion Group with the hope of pursuing a career in the fashion-tech industry.

“I definitely think it works very well because I’m a very creative mind but I’m also an analytical mind because I’m good at math, so it’s a really good balance, and honestly I think if I only did one I’d go crazy,” Urban said.

The fashion show will be held April 14 at 7:15 p.m. in the Frank Erwin Center, and admission is free and open to the public.

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