Woodbury University presented the 53rd annual fashion show “Timeless” on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at The Reef in downtown Los Angeles. Celebrating 85 years of Woodbury fashion, the show started with a video presentation by President Dr. David Steele-Figueredo, Trustee Judith Tamkin, Dean Sue Vessella, and Fashion Design Chair Anna Leiker. Beauty blogger and honoree Sazan Hendrix presented the Judith Tamkin Fashion Award for most innovative senior collection to Haibert Keshishi.
The runway show was the highlight of the evening, starting with pieces from Woodbury University’s Fashion Study Collection, followed by sophomore and junior class projects, and finished with the senior collections by Alejandra Rodriguez, Ariana Nazarian, Emily Buelow, Haibert Keshishi, Lucy Ochoa, and Rachel Hwang.
While all the fashion collections were impressive, the line of children’s wear was particularly interesting because designer Emily Buelow created the clothes for special needs of children. Cancer has been a part of Buelow's life ever since she was very little. As a cancer survivor herself, Buelow has experienced the struggles that children and parents go through simply trying to get dressed for the day. "Designing clothes for children with life-limiting illness not only lets me do something I love, but it gives me a chance to change someone's day for the better," said Buelow.
Her line of children's wear design is heavily inspired by Emily Strange as Buelow explained that "we both share the same thoughts and feelings about the world around us. Emily has a very dark personality for a child. She hates the light and is overwhelmed when there is too much color around her. She ‘sees the world through a tangled web’ (Emily’s Book of Strange), and listens to what the flowers have to say. I was also inspired by kids diagnosed with cancer. When you go through cancer it changes your perspective on everything. Those going through treatment often experience a large amount of darkness and light at the same time, which is why I chose to clash a darker version of Emily with a lighter one. During any hard time in life all people want is for life to be simple again. This is why I decided to throw a simple soft, gentle and familiar creature in to my line; and why I chose to make fully functional and comfortable clothes.”
Buelow's functional design lends itself to the future of smart fashion where we would embed electronics in garments and clothes to provide added value to the wearers. Children diagnosed with cancer or other illnesses will not only feel more normal and comfortable but will also be more engaged and empowered.