Dressed in a leopard-flecked top, alligator green sleeves, and coral trousers, Tolliver Shearn knows a thing or two when it comes to “makeover” on a fashion runway.
“You always think about your next step,” he says with a smile. “You also spend a lot of time looking at yourself in the bedroom and perfecting the perfect pose.”
That’s because Shearn is not a professional Zoolander. Instead, he’s a student at Western Iowa Tech Community College who attended the Sound & Style Fashion Show on Saturday at the Warrior Hotel, 525 Sixth St.
It’s a fundraiser for the Sioux City Conservatory of Music and begins with a matinee before the symphony from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. a DJ dance party from 9 p.m.
What does fashion have to do with music? According to Conservatory of Music co-founder Gia Emory, there has always been a connection between musicians and designers.
“When you think of David Bowie and Prince, how they look is as important as their sound,” she explains.
Emory was a West Coast stylist for fashionable women like Britney Spears and Priscilla Presley for many years.
People also read …
Grace Emory is just as stylish as her mother. In fact, North High School 11th grade is considering a career as a fashion designer.
“You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look good,” she says. “You can take old clothes, make a few changes and turn them into something really eye-catching.”
Grace Emory was an example of her “upcycle” style, wearing an old cardigan, vintage concert t-shirt, wrap skirt, and leggings.
East High School 10th grade Chloie Roupe sported a similar look with a cardigan, animal print leggings, and a flowing dress.
“My style is a little retro and at the same time a little futuristic,” explains Roupe, who names both singer Lady Gaga and designer Betsey Johnson as style icons.
Like Grace Emory, Roupe is an aspiring fashion designer who will be showing fashion during the Sound & Style Show.
“My grandmother taught me to sew,” says Roupe. “I’ve been experimenting with fabrics ever since.
In addition to Roupe and Grace Emory, clothing by Rachel Anne Rainwater from Los Angeles and Sean Bolte from Minneapolis will also be shown on the catwalk. So is Paul Chelstad, a Sioux City-based artist who will be exhibiting some of his graffiti-inspired fashions.
Surely Miguel “Nasty” Almaraz-Castaneda, the 21-year-old owner of the graphic design collective Nasty Collective, will take a lot of high fashion photos.
“I take photos, make videos, do graphic design and even do a little podcasts whenever I get the chance,” he says. “Have to do whatever you can to get through.”
Almaraz-Casteneda has been homeless for much of the past five years.
“My mother turned me away when I was 16,” he says. “Since then I’ve been alone.”
That didn’t stifle Almaraz-Castaneda’s ambitions and creativity.
He names Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur and Quentin Tarantino as unlikely muses.
“There’s style in both hip-hop and filmmaking,” he says. “I like it.”
So who is Rebecca Ericksen’s fashion hero? Probably not her father.
“I’ve seen Becca buy old goodwill men’s jeans, change a few things, and wear them to school,” says Tim Ericksen as his Sergeant Bluff-Luton Community High School daughter walks the Sound & Style runway. “I’ll tell her I have a lot of old jeans that she can ‘upcycle’. So far, Becca has not accepted my offer. “
Fashion is a creative outlet, says Rebecca Ericksen.
“I just like to take something used and make it new again,” says the first-time model.
While Rebecca Ericksen is still working out the kinks in her model poses, Zoe Belk already feels at home in front of an audience.
“I’ve never modeled before, but I’m also a singer,” says the Western Iowa Tech Community College student who modeled for one night. “A catwalk is just another type of stage.”
Which is a good attitude. After all, fashion creates trust.
“I started looking into fashion to express myself creatively,” says Grace Emory. “I show the world who I am when I dress the way I do.”
Chloie Roupe nods her head in agreement.
“Fashion should show your personality,” she says. “It’s a reflection of who you are.”
In fashionable destroyed jeans, cool kicks and a white shirt, photographer “Nasty” Almaraz-Castanada is just as trendy as everyone on the catwalk.
“Confidence in yourself is the key,” he says. “That’s true no matter what you do.”
Get Local News in Your Inbox!