FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Debut Runway Show

Nine emerging designers debuted their couture collections

Photo by Gerry Maceda

A standing-room-only crowd cheered in the Toscana Country Club Runway Tent during Fashion Week El Paseo as nine graduates of California’s FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising’s debut class presented their final couture collections on the runway Monday night. Bold colors, simple shapes, sharp tailoring, and feminine accents were the prominent themes. Each designer spent a year creating his or her collection for the show. Display graphics and film introductions that accompanied each collection were also created by FIDM students.

First on the catwalk was Ahmad Murtaza, whose Maharajah collection worked sumptuous ruby, acid-green, and sky-blue silks into modern silhouettes enlivened by touches of transparency and beading.

Katie Chick employed hand, machine, and industrial knitting and a soothing palette of neutrals, corals, and aquas inspired by the island of Mykonos, to create a soft, form-fitting line of separates and dresses.

More crowd-pleasers included Kelly Knaggs’ winter action sports collection for both sexes, inspired by Southern California’s casual snowboarder culture, and Octavius Terry’s “British Invasion” rock ’n’ roll/gangster-influenced sportswear for men and women in sharp black and white. Black, white, and red also figured prominently in the collections from Benny Dam, Britt Luttio, and Jordan Blake Service, while Christine Ko employed soft taupes and plums inspired by traditional British hunting clothes.

Bradon McDonald, a major hit, had the distinction of taking his eveningwear collection to the runway last. His exquisitely worked silk jacquard, silk gazar, and silk georgette in a limited palette engineered cloud-like gowns and sleek trousers.

This is the fourth year that FIDM has brought student designers to Fashion Week El Paseo. Presenting sponsors Victoria and John Hill have also have underwritten a scholarship to a FIDM student in this year’s class.

Katie ChickKatie Chick was born and raised in West Hills, Calif. Her Debut Show collection was inspired by the Greek island of Mykonos, as well as song by the same name (Fleet Foxes)...

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Benny DamA native of Vietnam, Benny Dam has spent most of his life in his current hometown of Westminster, Calif. When designing his debut collection, he was inspired by effortlessly-dressed women with a minimalist attitude...

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Kelly KnaggsA resident of Riverside, Calif., Kelly Knaggs’ first collection is comprised of winter action sports attire for both men and women. Appealing to snowboarding enthusiasts, she was inspired by electronic music and...

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Christine Ko Christine Ko’s inspiration for her debut collection is the “idea of time.” The Houston, Texas native seeks to bridge the gap between memories and realities with her garments, featuring both practical and whimsical features...

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Britt Luttio Britt Luttio comes from Bellevue, Wash. — and a very creative family. Her mother is a stylist and her father an artist, so her aspirations of being a fashion designer only seem natural. For her Debut Show womens wear collection....

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Bradon McDonald Bradon McDonald, a Lowville, N.Y. native, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in dance from the Julliard School, and had a 14-year career as a professional modern dancer before enrolling in FIDM...

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Ahmad Murtaza Ahmad Murtaza, a resident of Irvine, Calif., was born in Bangladesh, and has lived in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Dubai, and Canada. His worldly background heavily influenced his womenswear collection...

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Jordan Blake ServiceJordan Blake Service grew up in Lake Zurich, Ill. before attending FIDM. Inspired by the song “Under Pressure” by Queen, Service’s collection shows a balance between deconstruction and reconstruction...

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Octavius TerryOctavius Terry, originally from Atlanta, Ga., had a diverse career prior to attending FIDM. A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology, he was a 2006 Georgia Tech Hall of Fame Inductee for Track and Field...

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