Mesa College Designers Create Historical Outfits for 5th Annual Fashion Redux

New Designers Show Us Their Inspirations at Mesa College.

Mesa College - Dress by Cherry Duong

This year, the San Diego History Center and the Fashion Program at San Diego Mesa College presented their 5th Annual Fashion Redux. The garments followed a historical theme and were designed from the time period of 1895. Gabe Selak of the history center was the main instigator of this event.


5th Annual Fashion Redux San Diego  
Dress by Lina Mills


The competition involved designers displaying their garments, inspired by authentic period pieces, for the audience. Students first drew their preparatory sketch and began the construction. After months of work, they finished their fashion pieces. The judging of the garments was based on four parts: the relationship the artist had to the original piece, the creativity of the design, the workmanship and the overall wearability.


The fashion professors of Mesa College, Siobhan Gazar and Diana Cavagnaro, launched this initiative to spotlight the History Center's clothing and textile collection. At the museum itself, there is a collection of exhibits that chronicle San Diego’s history with 45 million pieces of paper and 2.5 million images that document the people, places and events of San Diego’s past.


Mesa College San Diego
Dress by Megan Sheffield


But what really makes this an exhibit worth seeing are the designers. Each one is as unique as their individual designs. Lina Mills, for example, was born in Lithuania where she studied various disciplines. She then moved to the United States in 2013, where she discovered her passion for design. She earned the Rising Star award her first year at Mesa College for her workmanship and innovative creative skills.


Nada Zein grew up in Beirut, Lebanon. There, people celebrate life through food and fashion, rooting her to the world and work of fashion. Her mother had a keen sense of style and is a talented seamstress. Per her mother's wishes, she obtained a Master's Degree in Industrial Chemical Engineering in France. There, she saw beautiful fashion while working, and then continued her education in the United States, where she received a Ph.D in Chemistry. As her two daughters went into elementary school, she made a career transition. She went back to school and became a marriage and family therapist, then pursued cooking and fashion.


Megan Sheffield’s design philosophy is geared towards San Diego comfort and style, specifically for those that are over 50 years old. She focuses on cool clothing that has enough support and camouflage to allow for less layers and undergarments. She is a native San Diegan who lives in Ocean Beach with her wife, pets and a large extended family. Her wife is the one who inspired her to return to school and use her enjoyment of sewing to make her own masterpieces.  


Cherry Duong watched her mother work as a seamstress growing up. but was never taught how to sew herself. She did not touch the sewing machine, but she made many of her creations with a simple needle and thread. Once she became financially independent, she took her first sewing class in 2011. The passion she remembered from her childhood reemerged while working on the machine, and her dreams of pursuing fashion started to come to a head. She started with making party apparel, then started a full line the following year called Cherry Topping. In 2015, she enrolled in Mesa College’s fashion program. She loves to experiment and provide new perspectives while working with different materials.


San Diego Mesa College fashion
Dress by Nada Zein


After being scored, the designers that had the highest score became chosen as finalists. The four winners of the Fashion Redux competition are Lina Mills, Nada Zein, Megan Sheffield and Cherry Duong. Their garments will be installed at the San Diego History Center, Casa de Balboa, Balboa Park Museum from February 23, 2016 to Sunday March 5, 2016 from 10 am to 5pm.


Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, military and students and $6 for children ages 6–17. The finale party will be on Friday March 4th, 2016 from 6–8 pm. Admission cost to the party is $10 per person. Guests can meet the finalists, discuss their inspiration for their ensembles and learn about the project and its history. There will be light hors d'oeuvres and libations for guests. The final winner will be announced there. The clothing is modeled live while the public views it and votes on their favorites. It is a great opportunity for the fashion students and the public to see how history recycles itself in new ways!


Earlier this week, the winners of the Mesa College Fashion Redux participated in a photoshoot! The shoot was inspired by a Victorian Tea Party, and it was at the beautiful Glorietta Bay Inn in Coronado. The photographer for the event was Siobhan Gazur. Check out our gallery down below for some exclusive behind-the-scenes pictures of the photoshoot.