Brittney Castillo, a student at Art Institute of California in Hollywood, won first place in Gerber Technology’s student fashion design competition at ideation2015, the company’s annual software conference for the fashion, apparel, accessories and footwear industries. ideation highlighted the technology and new developments that have dramatically changed the fashion industry, as well as brought together a community of industry leaders to discuss and explore Gerber’s innovative solutions.
The iconic Darnell Collection was the inspiration for students pursuing a degree in fashion as they were instructed to recreate an original garment inspired by one of five decades from the Collection. One finalist design for each of the five decades was chosen from among the student entries. All five finalists received a one year subscription to AccuMark® 2D and YuniquePLM™, and Castillo, the winner, also received a one year subscription to AccuMark 3D. Castillo chose to recreate a Balenciaga dress from the 1940s, and her winning creation was unveiled in a fashion show hosted by Charlotte Smith, owner of the Darnell Collection.
The Darnell Collection is one of the largest private fashion collections of its type in existence today, containing over 8,000 pieces from 32 different countries. Smith explains that her main goal of the competition was to showcase the creativity of talented new designers by allowing the Collection to serve as an inspirational and educational tool. Student designers were able to travel into the past and bring the current audience a deeper understanding and appreciation for the art of fashion.
In order to design her garment, Castillo used Gerber’s AccuMark. She used the software to digitize and make adjustments, stating that Gerber’s solutions eliminated certain steps in her process that normally would have been tedious and time consuming. Castillo usually has a hard time with flat pattern making, and said that when she learned to use Gerber’s technologies, she instantly understood the flat pattern making process better than ever before.
“I identify with simplicity, femininity and luxury,” said Castillo. “I wanted to delve into the mind of the woman from the 1940s who may have worn this dress, and create something that she would wear comfortably and stylistically if she lived in this time period.”
Castillo was especially surprised that she was able to accurately pull so many style lines from the original dress, and that they were not lost in translation due to the dark color. She used neoprene and mesh to bring the dress into the now, and felt that it fully embodied who she is as a designer.
“Because my aesthetic can easily be seen as timeless or classic, it was important for me to remember modernity. I played with sexy lines and a midi length,” said Castillo.
Castillo is currently focusing on graduation and creating her senior collection. It will include a variety of garments including ready to wear styles, as well as eveningwear.
“I am so thankful to the entire Gerber team for treating me and all of the other students who participated with so much respect and making sure that we felt like our talents were appreciated. The entire experience was a dream come true, and one that has helped me grow even more as a designer,” said Castillo.