The International Academy of Design & Technology, located at 2450 Del Paso Road in Sacramento, hosted a model boot camp and a style workshop for designers, models and fashion industry representatives Wednesday evening as part of Sacramento Fashion Week. Day 2 of the event was well attended with both free workshops filled to capacity.
IADT students were well represented at the workshops, although the public was welcome as well. One of the 2012 Sacramento Fashion Week featured designers is an IADT student, Janelle Cardenas.
Gerry Simpson, who has been a model, fashion choreographer, organizer of model boot camps, merchandising manager and stylist for Nordstrom in Arden Fair and serves on the IADT Advisory Board, conducted the boot camp and gave great modeling and designing advice. Simpson’s demeanor and delivery grasped everyone’s attention and his advice was inspirational.
Simpson’s workshop was standing room-only, following a theme he wrote on the whiteboard at the front of the class: “Do not allow your personal taste to get in the way of your professional growth.” He talked about the walking down the runway and how to present themselves and the designs they wear.
Simpson described his background and noted how much the industry has grown in Sacramento. He asked the audience to look within themselves to find their driving force.
“If there’s something that you love more than this, then you probably should be doing that,” he said to the models and designers. “You have to also believe in yourself. Never give up trusting yourself.”
At times Simpson seemed like a stand-up comedian as he had the audience laughing during a narrative about embarrassing moments while modeling in a fashion show. The anecdote about walking the runway with something hanging out of his shoe served to illustrate that things can happen that are out of your control but to trust that you can prevail and that the show must go on no matter what happens.
“Many folks pay a lot of money to hear what I’m trying to tell you,” he said referring to other model boot camps he conducts.
He talked about the placement of the models hands and stance. Models should look straight ahead and move their hands in a relaxed manner as they walk down the runway, he said. One of the major points was to use a mirror. Simpson said it should be one of their best friends, practicing posture, poses and walking in front of it.
Models were given a chance to practice their walks down a short runway. Simpson used the walk to illustrate movement, poise and delivery. Models were reminded that the show is a tool to sell the fashion created by the designers, and that should be the primary function as they walk the runway, proud to wear their designs.
Sabrina Piatt will be modeling for Casey Sue Douglass on Friday. She was accompanied by her dad and she said she enjoyed the workshop. When asked about her runway experience and what she thought of the workshop she said,
“This is actually my first show,” she said. “I’ve done a couple of salons in the area, most recently the Hair Garage in Folsom, but nothing this big.”
Simpson was once an instructor of Sacramento Fashion Week executive director and producer Duane Ram.
“I met him when all this began for him,” he said, pointing to Ram. “I’m proud to see he’s had a working career in fashion. To see him after all these years still involved and still have a passion for it, then that says all the years I spent with him were not in vain. That makes me feel good.”
“And you made it fun,“ Ram added.
“And that’s what it’s supposed to be,” Simpson replied. “If you can’t make it fun or you’re not having fun, you have to reevaluate. I think tonight the people had fun.”
Amy Brown Wister and Simone Vianna conducted an interactive styling workshop based on personal styling basics from The Stylist Online.
The workshop addressed different body types and how designers can gear their designs and use accessories to accentuate a specific type. Attendees were shown how dress for their particular body type and what to look for, using a “style dial.”
Part of the workshop dealt with five trends that should be in today’s closet as well as tips on personal accessory selections using the latest styles for the season. Some of the trends mentioned included jeans that could be worn with bright colors, navy and/or black blazers, non iron shirts, bright color trends such as yellow accessories, and the use of universal positive colors that can be worn by people of all skin tones. They also discussed integrating the seasons’ hot colors and how colors fit different fashion styles.
The workshops were very popular, with knowledgeable, interesting and amusing presenters. IADT hosted a great event, and their presence in the Sacramento fashion industry through their graduates is praiseworthy.
Sacramento Fashion Week continues through Saturday.