UCI’S ‘Top Re-Model’

At the Top Re-Model show put on by the Anteaters for Recycling and Conservation at the Crystal Cove Auditorium June 2, the message was clear that reused clothing is not only practical but also quite fashionable.
‘It was really a group idea, to bring conservation and fashion together,’ said Kim Pham, a second-year sociology and environmental analysis and design major who is also the president of ARC. ‘We made a list of criteria that required each contestant involved to work with used or secondhand clothing and accessories from stores such as Buffalo Exchange.’
Judging alongside Pham were UCI alumna and fashion industry insider Vani Kumar, CEO of True Love and False Idols’ men’s clothing line Alex Vaz, and Professor Richard Matthew from the Department of Planning, Policy and Design.
After judges announced three judging categories (‘campus casual,’ ‘funky fresh’ and ‘high maintenance’), the lights dimmed and the song ‘I’m Too Sexy’ by Right Said Fred resonated as the first model in a blue shirt with the London Underground insignia strutted the stage.
Members of the audience gave resounding approval that the students looked stylish in their own unique way.
The models came from various groups, supporting not only ARC but also various sororities, Circle K, Asociated Students of UC Irvine, Kaba Modern and more.
‘I’m from ASUCI and I wanted to know how I could get more involved [with ARC],’ said third-year political science major Enny Van. ‘I came up to support my friend and just basically made my own style at the last minute. It was a really good opportunity to be creative.’
‘I was asked through Facebook if I wanted to model, and I said yes,’ said fourth-year social ecology major Wendy Lucas. ‘I was able to come up with an outfit from Buffalo Exchange in Costa Mesa and put it together at the last minute. There are some really cute clothes and high-end fashion. I’d recommend it to other people.’
The Kaba Modern dance team also performed during the intermission to support the cause.
Fourth-year criminology and environmental analysis and design double-major Ryan Kennedy won Next Top Re-Model. His stylist was fourth-year biological sciences major Ila Nguyen. The outfit, including shirt, jacket and jeans, were all silk-screened by Nguyen.
‘I’m into reconstruction and I do silk-screen all the time,’ Nguyen said. ‘It’s really messy, with a 40 percent failure rate.’
For ‘campus casual,’ fourth-year environmental analysis and design and general social ecology double-major Jennifer Wang took the prize with her yellow bathing-suit top, grey tights, and tan-colored heels.
Third-year economics and digital arts double-major Lydia Chen won for the ‘funky fresh’ category with a jean vest and white t-shirt combo topped with a belt.
In the ‘high maintenance’ category, third-year neurobiology and psychology and social behavior double-major Nina Reyes wowed the crowd with a belted yellow, polka-dotted dress. Her stylist was third-year sociology major Nathalie Interiano.
Most of the students who were involved with the show were already familiar with secondhand shopping and encouraged other students to look in thrift stores to find bargains and be creative with their clothing.
Even the UCI professor judging the event was once a regular thrift store shopper.
‘Of course I’ve shopped at thrift stores many times as a student,’ Matthew said.
‘I shop at vintage stores every week,’ Vaz said. ‘You see ideas that are from the past and reinterpret them for future styles. The screen printings done back then were more basic, yet better than the ones you see today.’