UCSB Fashion Club Spring Runway Show, May 6, 2023 | Photo: Brigid McCay

The oh so fashionable evening of May 6 brought a plethora of platform shoes (heels, boots, sneakers, Doc Martens — you name it, it was there), quilted pants, eclectic jackets, and fur (a whole bunch of fur) to Isla Vista’s Community Center in celebration of the first annual UC Santa Barbara Fashion Club Spring Runway Show. The club, which was formed mid-pandemic in 2020 and found its place at the school in Fall of 2023, showcased a variety of student-designed looks on student models, who put their strutting skills to use on the runway. And it wasn’t just about the fashion — funky student artwork lined both walls paralleling the catwalk — colorful oil paintings on one side and black and white sketches on the other. Amidst the creativity pulsing through the audience, it seemed as though everyone was waiting in anticipation for the models to make their debut.

To the background sounds of house music, By Soltana’s models came out first. Reminiscent of fairies and mermaids, the models displayed feminine beauty within nature (as mentioned by the designer), and pearls, shells, waist chains, and belts hung off of their bodies. The crocheted green dress with pastel flowers was a stunning finale to the line.

Next came an all-men’s line representing a collaboration between Greetings x DJD, all one of one, handcrafted in Los Angeles. The male models looked chic and very put-together, bringing together the concepts of streetwear and business casual.

All things fur and denim strutted the runway next, all giving an unforgettable pose at the end of the catwalk to the multitude of cameras snapping their photos and capturing the magic of the night. Christy Knudson brought a colorful string of outfits to the fashion show, and the fur crocheted jacket was undoubtedly an unforgettable moment of the night.

And what would a fashion show be without formal wear? The models were stunning — in both long and short dresses in shining satin and colorful heels — they looked as though they were ready to attend a very, very fashionable prom. Designer Claire Laurey brought a sense of elegance to the night, and her line was perfect for right in the middle of the show.

The pandemic sparked all of our creative sides — what else was there to do? Embroidery, knitting, sewing, and crocheting surrounded me as all my friends started to pick up their own projects and make an attempt at creating some of their own clothes. But when the pandemic ended, a lot of these projects were abandoned. Not in the case of designer Jasmine Cline. Over the pandemic she began to knit and crochet, and now has an entire spring collection to show for it. Her models — dressed in knit, backless, pastel and neutral colored dresses — rocked the runway. Their looks, complemented by heavy blush as part of their makeup, looked beautiful and integrated a beachy feel (essential in a UCSB fashion show) to the night.

Last, but definitely not least, was a mix of looks designed by a variety of fashion club members. The line was the most diverse of all as it wasn’t a singular line — both men and women walked, and some highlights were the pink pants and pastel scarf outfit, the blue puffer paired with the kilt and white fur hat, and to finish off, a model wearing pill bottles tied to the waist of her pants and a pair of orange sunglasses. Every model’s outfit was a definite statement.

After the show was over and as the audience was quietly chattering about each look, the five designers took the catwalk and thanked each and every person for coming out to catch a glimpse of their new lines. Post-show they mingled with audience members and brought out their models so people could get a better look at the brilliant outfits. It was an unforgettable show; keep an eye out next spring for the second annual show to see the Fashion Club’s skills in action.


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