Over the years, I have kept in touch with former grads of UrbanCouture, UC. Being a ‘senior designer’ is an intense and powerful experience for them and for me. We, parents included, go through so much emotion, stress and excitement as our fashion rock stars are busy creating looks for the runway and producing big events. ts a bonding experience for all.
This summer, I had lunch with Sarah Darrow and her mom Melissa. We talked about moving away for college and fashion careers. I’ve also stayed in contact with Taylor, Savanna, Shelby, Sarah C. and Kelsi, who stopped by to visit this week before she leaves for college next week.
As an educator, it is incredibly rewarding to feel that perhaps you’ve had an impact or made a difference in these young lives – to the point that they want to stay in contact with you.
Yesterday, I met up with UC Designer Claire Buyens and her mom, Jenny, for lunch at Rosebud, in Virginia Highlands. We reminisced about the amazing year in UC fashion, from Doggies on the Catwalk to the National Black Arts’ Fine Art + Fashion to the acclaimed Senior Collections.
Claire and Catherine Dyer (The Blind Side) discuss the design for Doggies on the Catwalk. Claire, as well as all my designers, had an initial meeting with their celebrity client where they got to know one another and take measurements.
About two fittings later, Claire created looks that were as classic and stylish as her clients. Catherine wore a sleeveless suede dress with front pleats and a thin, black leather hand-made belt. The tweed trenchcoat, paired with a Mel Boteri designer bag, completed the runway look. Gracie wore a similar dress with footies! They were a smash hit at Doggies on the Catwalk which broadcasted statewide on Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Two strong looks by Claire Buyens from the recent UrbanCouture Senior Collections.
A highlight of the year was meeting Project Runway’s Tim Gunn. (L-R) Aziza Sheppard, Jhari Ponder, Destine Rhone, Taylor Alford, Shelby Rudd, Tim Gunn, Kelsi Eccles, Lindy Menefe, Sarah Collins and Claire Buyens.
Claire, and I, at the National Black Arts Festival’s Fine Art + Fashion event. Claire and fellow UC designer, Jhari Ponder, were recipients of the prestigious Emerging Talent Award. It was as much of an honor for me, personally, as it was for them. I sat with tears rolling down my face as my kids accepted their awards. A truly proud moment.
As school resumes tomorrow with three major fashion events slated for the Senior Designers this year, they have some pretty big stilettos to fill!
As for Claire Buyens, she is ready and very excited for a future at the Savannah College of Art & Design. She is split between a major in photography or fashion design. Regardless, we haven’t heard the last of this very talented young artist.