Students in Woodbury University's couture class have taken various roads to describe infinity in their senior design projects.
Their four-piece collections will hit the runway May 1 at the annual Fashion Show Benefit 2011 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles to raise scholarship funds.
The theme this year is "Mobius: Infinite History" and combines the ideas of the Mobius Strip — going continuously around without going off the circle — and the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Fashion Design Department at the university.
"When you turn the figure 8 on its side, it becomes the symbol for infinity," said Suzanne Fessler, senior couture instructor. "The theme is expansive. They could do whatever they wanted to do. It allowed them a lot of creativity."
Marquise C. Brown chose "Carnal Infrastructure" as the title for her quartet of designs. Her interpretation was comparing women's attributes and freeway junctions. One of her designs represents a freeway overpass, featuring a dome that surrounds the head.
"I'm trying to show the beauty of architecture and lines, like in freeways and overpasses, and women who are soft beings but also have great strength," Brown said.
Tiara Coban named her collection "No End" in keeping with the "infinity" theme.
"It says fashion is limitless and has been with us and will always be with us," she said. "I wanted to get the attributes of the theme and apply it to the woman's silhouette, where it's flattering or hiding a woman's body."
The colors in Coban's designs are tints and shades or whites and blacks. But the one color included in all four pieces is gray. She has integrated the Mobius Strip symbol in a pop color in each. One dress has a purple strip entwined in the dress and wrapping around the arms of the person wearing it.
Kristen Jessica Pasterczyk, also known as Kayjay, takes a gothic approach to her four-piece collection titled "Escape."
"My inspirations were mythical creatures," she said. "It relates to the theme as the collection shows the continuation of our emotions."
She's labeled the four designs Werewolf, Zombie, Vampire and Ghost.
For the Zombie, she's created a wedding gown suitable for Kelly Osbourne, she said.
The long white satin train has cutouts of zombie hands in black velvet rayon.
"The colored thread and crystals sewn onto the hands shows that the bride doesn't let her problems take over," she said.
Senior students' designs are what instructor Fessler refers to as California Couture.
The students are taught how to design for couture level, and that prepares them for all kinds of fashion jobs, Fessler said.
"They can design for boutiques selling selectively reproduced designs — 10 to 15 copies of each garment — or for a celebrity like Kelly Osbourne, whose style is dark but has a feminine quality to it."
What: Woodbury University Fashion Show Benefit 2011
When: May 1; 5:30 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. fashion show, 7:30 p.m. sponsor dinner
Where: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
Cost: $150. Proceeds go to student scholarships
Contact: (818) 767-0888