Fashion Tribe

HCC presents "The Gallery"

May 3rd, 2016


One of Edmar Villa's models walked the runway during the designer's "Fleur Connections" segment that closed "The Gallery," Honolulu Community College's annual student fashion show.

Students of Honolulu Community College's Fashion Technology program presented their annual senior fashion show, this year titled "The Gallery," at the school's Marine Education and Training Center on April 30.

The event showcased the work of junior and senior designers, with 11 graduating students presenting individual collections.

The show is also a collaborative effort involving students throughout the campus, including the art department, design center, carpentry and cosmetology students who help with everything from makeup and hair to stage design.

A model shows the opening look from Matt Batulayan's "Mask4Masc" collection.

A model in a swimsuit from Rose Saludares' "Stained Glass" collection.

A model in a swimsuit from Rose Saludares' "Stained Glass" collection.

One of the look's from Ashley Kaminaga's "Blush" collection.

The students take their bows at the show's finale. From left are Dinah Swords, Rose Saludares, Matt Batulayan, Edmar Villa, Ashley Kaminaga, Hilda Howell, Samara Keuma, Lory Wong, Liko Fukumoto and Jessica Nguyen.

From left are Matt Batulayan, Edmar Villa, Ashley Kaminaga, Hilda Howell, Samara Keuma, Lory Wong, Liko Fukumoto, Jessica Nguyen and Kimberly Kaai.

Here's a look at the senior showcases, in order of their presentations:

DINAH SWORDS: “Love Today”

With a love of country and prairie looks, bluegrass and folk grass movie and vintage Americana, Swords celebrates retro feminine looks with a collection of dresses and tops inspired by small town diners and cafes, thrift shops and book stores. Soft cream and peachy colors delivered a sense of innocence missing on big city streets, and though inspired in part by little old ladies, manage to look fresh, young and flirty.


Kaai is a fan of the carefree bohemian look which she interprets for resort and Hawaii’s warm weather by creating dresses, rompers and separates in clean cool whites. Her pieces allow for easy mixing and matching, making it a breeze to pack up and go anywhere.

ROSE SALUDARES: “Stained Glass”

Saludares entered the fashion program with the aim of creating casual wear but after taking a course in swimwear she fell in love with the fabric and fit and now focuses solely on designing for the beach life. Her designs feature high-cut legs to create the illusion of length, and details that allow transition to the street when worn like a bodysuit. The irony is, she said, “I used to go to the beach, but I don’t have time anymore. I’m too busy sewing.”

JESSICA NGUYEN: “Adrenaline”
Nguyen identifies with the athlete and the hard work and determination they bring to their sport. She wants to bring the same energy to her sportswear and athleisure apparel. She initially started out wanting to create a girly line and still brings feminine touches to her designs, such as heart cutouts on cropped tops. Pieces can also be mixed and matched with streetwear.


Social media has given everyone access to the inner lives of celebrities and CEOs, and it’s the young, stylish female CEOS who have inspired Wong’s collection. She created her line to appeal to the successful entrepreneur who knows how to be a professional in business dealings, “but knows how to have a good time too.”
Working with edgy, minimalist designs in black, she delivers a color pop of royal blue for separates that would work well with pieces women already have in their closets.
Believing that less is more in fashion, her designs have a timeless quality that will make her garments mainstays, even as the rest of fashion remains in flux.

LIKO FUKUMOTO: "The Most" by LikoLove

Fukumoto is a combination of beauty plus classic tomboy, who practices judo and took up wrestling at Moanalua High School. She originally planned to take up Auto Tech at HCC, but when her parents weren’t thrilled, she found her way into the fashion program where she embraced the yin-yang aspect of her personality to liberate women who feel confined by society’s expectations of perfection at all times.
Her multi-functional pieces start with swimsuits for an active, outdoorsy life, that can be dressed up for an evening out.
“There’s a lot of work involved in being so put together all the time,” she said. “I feel like girls need an outlet to be the tomboy once in a while because it’s cute if you’re messy sometimes. I think girls should be able to wrestle and kick butt, and look cute doing it.”

SAMARA KEUMA: “Electric Siren”

Keuma’s life outside of fashion revolves around music and attending as many festivals as she can. Taking inspiration from the Electric Daisy Carnival and Paradiso Festival, she’s created swimsuit-inspired festival apparel created to help revelers keep their cool while dancing into the wee hours.
Electric blues and a touch of sparkle and shine reflect an equal obsession with the ocean and mermaids. “I love the ocean, I love to swim, I love to be at the beach all the time.”
She’s already making plans to wear some of her garments to the next EDC at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in June.


Howell takes inspiration from the Greek goddess of the moon and the hunt to create a collection both strong and feminine, that grew out of her love of stretch knit fabrics that glide over the body, delivering a combination of fit and flow.
“I’ve been dancing since I was a child so I love movement, things that are fluid and elegant,” she said. “Some of the designs are made for dancing, with flowy circular ruffles, and mermaid silhouettes.
“When I looked at everything together, it reminded me of a fierce Greek goddess, who could be strong but still look sexy on the hunt.”


In our information society, people are no longer boxed in by old ideas and Batulayan feels we’ve entered a period in which people, armed with Internet-taught know-how, are able to try their hand at anything that piques their interest.
As an art lover, he found himself drawing parallels between today's Renaissance men and those of 14th to 17th century Europe in creating his menswear collection. He looked to the color and extravagance of the Venetian carnival to create designs for men who want to be the center of attention.
With bondage-influenced cut-outs and a bold print he designed himself, the looks were created for club-goers, but with side-slit shirts, also happen to be comfortable in the heat of the day.


In Kaminaga’s eyes, glamour shouldn’t be restricted to evening wear or red carpets, and she strives to bring more stardust to women’s every day lives at affordable prices. Not one to shy away from risk, she’s taking a chance that there are other women like herself, who want to break from the norm by opting for daytime separates and dresses in sheer and silk fabrics in the color pink. And, for those who don’t have time in the morning to think about jewelry, she’s providing that too by stringing sparkling beads and stones that work as necklaces at the front and back of dresses, or as skirt overlays.

EDMAR VILLA: “Fleur Connections”

Villa grew up in the Philippines where, even as a child, he knew he wanted to be a designer. “Pageants are a big thing so I had fantasies of making ballgowns,” he said. But a decade later, his taste more refined, out came the sparkles and in came menswear details to define his womenswear collection.
Nevertheless, some childhood memories stuck. “I remember playing in the grass near bamboo and flowers, and being so close to nature, and here, I don’t see it.”
He went online shopping at Mood, the New York dry goods store featured in “Project Runway” and found a gray-and-white floral print with spots of color that now grace separates of pants, tops and kimono-style jackets.
And you wonder why “Project Runway” designers never used fabric this beautiful?
“I bought all of it,” Villa said.

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her fashion coverage is in print on Saturdays. Contact her via email at and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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