Page 5 - MidWeek Kauai - May 5, 2021
P. 5

O’Neill: Teaching The Ways Of The Runway
MAY 5, 2021
    Road To Runway: The Fashion Show serves as the crowning achievement for student designers and fash- ion promotion students at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. The telecast pre- mieres at 6 p.m. May 10 on ‘Ōlelo 53 and 8:30 p.m. on KFVE 6 with a livestream on
This year marks the show’s 55th anniversary, and it’s especially poignant due to its virtual setting and because of the opportunity to attract new audiences. Additionally, this marks the last show with the school for three seniors:
• Aaron Jay Guillermo, whose collection is titled “After School Special” and is inspired by the women in his life.
• Helen Park, who was motivated by the 2020 stay-at-home order and the desire for the outdoors for her collection, “Under the Sun.”
• Jade Young, a fanta- sy aesthetic and designer whose favorite color, pink, informed her collection, “Dazzling Affairs.”
“In my segment, you will see that I played with what it means to be feminine or masculine and made vul- garity and sensuality into something tasteful,” Guill- ermo (below left) explains.
“Overall, I’m very excit- ed to see how the presen- tation and production turn out!”
   a real-life fashion show production experience, highlighting the creative process, communication, or- ganization and team work,” she says. “Also there are no mistakes or bad ideas — learn from everything.”
pointing out she wasn’t the only one. The pandemic had forced productions to change, and many went to a virtual platform. So, too, did FDM 430.
The class typically culmi- nates in an end-of-semester fashion show. Last year, due to coronavirus restrictions,
“When we found out that (co-teacher from last spring) Aly Ishikuni Sasaki would not be teaching this semes- ter, and that the class would be online, I immediately
    the show was canceled. “Last spring ... midway through the semester, the stay-at-home orders were issued and right after spring break, we went 100% vir- tual,” recalls Stevens, who co-taught the class for the first time last year. “It was heartbreaking for the stu- dents but we ... knew that our students’ safety was the most important thing. Keeping them engaged and letting them know that we were there for them was so
reached out to Lynne be- cause I knew that was some- thing she had mentioned wanting to do, sometime in the future to give back to the local community and future fashion show producers,” Stevens explains.
“(She) said something along the lines of, ‘If you do not have the informa- tion, you cannot direct,’ ” says lead student producer Melanie Simmons.
“Between Lynne and I, the virtual fashion show was the plan from the start,” Stevens explains. “We knew that the students deserved to have a show and that we were not going to teach a ‘conceptual’ fashion show production class.”
In addition to the 55th an- nual fashion show displaying the work of the students, the broadcast will feature guest speakers such as UH presi- dent David Lassner, cameos by Hawai‘i-based fashion designers, a behind-the- scenes look at the fashion show and more.
Meanwhile, O’ Neill was
“Hawai‘i has a great wealth of talent and we are very lucky to have Lynne O’Neill and Amanda Ste- vens teach this year’s class on Fashion Show Produc- tion,” states Andy Reilly, Ph.D., FDM program co- ordinator. “Both have enor- mous skills sets and talents and come with a background of producing top-level fash- ion shows.”
That uncertainty is some- thing that almost everyone is familiar with by now, and the FDM 430 teachers and students tackled it head-on.
The docuseries is made up of two segments. First, Road to Runway: Meet the Senior Fashion Design Stu- dents includes interviews with the program’s three seniors, and it premieres on Tuesday, April 27 at 5:30 p.m. on ʻŌlelo 53.
“I can’t wait to indulge in all my favorite local foods like Liliha Bakery’s Coco Puffs, Leonard’s malasa- das, Zippy’s — or the new Papa Kurt’s — for saimin, Waiola Shave Ice, Helena’s Hawaiian Food and the ubiquitous Spam musubi,” she says. “(Husband) Bobby and I usually go to Hawai‘i twice a year, but haven’t been (back) since February 2020. I’ m looking forward to seeing my mom, ‘ohana and friends — and just being home.”
dealing with something she hadn’t encountered in de- cades.
“For the first time in 30 years, I didn’t do any shows at NYFW,” she says,
So, from her home in upstate New York, O’Neill co-teaches Zoom classes
Because the fashion show is celebrating its 55th year, co-teachers wanted to hon-
The second part, Road to Runway: The Fashion Show premieres May 10 at 6 p.m.
(Above) Lynne O’Neill is a veteran of more than 30 years’ worth of New York Fashion Weeks.
(Left) O’Neill at the Son Jung Wan show with fashion stylist Deborah Watson. PHOTOS COURTESY LYNNE O’NEILL
with Stevens and the students here in Ha- wai‘i. She is able to re- lay knowledge gleaned from her time working with design houses such as Hervé Leger, Becca Swimwear, Shay Todd, Duckie Brown, Vivi- enne Tam and more.
or this milestone while also teaching students how to adapt to new ways of show- casing their work.
on ʻŌlelo 53 and 8:30 p.m. on KFVE 6 with a livestream on
 “This stuck with me be- cause it is a fundamental lesson that you can apply to all aspects of life, but it is very important in the work- place. This taught me to val- ue clarity in communication because uncertainty hinders productivity when working on a project.”
“The silver lining is that I was able to co-teach with Amanda Stevens and we were able to connect with the students remotely and produce a PSA and a two- part docuseries that included the virtual 55th annual fash- ion show,” O’Neill explains.
Silver linings aside, O’ Neill is eager to be in Hawai‘i in person, not just virtually.

   3   4   5   6   7