Bigornia conquers ‘Discomfort’ of fashion

Junior Katherine Custodio, junior Jolene Anderson, freshman Diana Verduzco and senior Stacey Williams represent mannequins that are uncomfortable wearing women's fashions. Discomfort in fashion was the theme of Jamie Bigornia's senior art thesis exhibition which was presented Wednesday evening in the Art Building. / photo by Veero Der-Karabetian
Junior Katherine Custodio, junior Jolene Anderson, freshman Diana Verduzco and senior Stacey Williams represent mannequins that are uncomfortable wearing women’s fashions. Discomfort in fashion was the theme of Jamie Bigornia’s senior art thesis exhibition which was presented Wednesday evening in the Art Building. / photo by Veero Der-Karabetian

by Amy M. Boyle
Staff Writer

As dim lights glowed, seductive music enveloped the space where 10 models expressively traveled through dangling sheets of metal. The metal was hung sporadically in the University of La Verne’s Art Building Wednesday evening as senior art major Jamie Bigornia displayed his senior art thesis exhibit in a fashion show entitled “Discomfort.”

Bigornia, a graduate of Glendora High School, first became interested in fashion while taking art classes there. While at La Verne, Bigornia has been able to major in art with an emphasis in design to further his passion for the fashion world. He has also successfully completed two other fashion shows at ULV.

Bigornia’s initial intention with his senior project was to have a fashion show that had different elements, depth and symbolism, unlike his previous two shows which included runway models and wardrobe collections.

This show’s difference was that it emphasized the discomfort often caused by women’s fashion.

“This show is not about girls walking down the runway; it’s about the body language of women. A lot of women are dictated to wear uncomfortable things created by men. I pushed myself to go further and make this show good,”said Bigornia.

“This has been an evolution of a project, from an idea to a really strong realization which was in line with his thesis,” said George Stone, associate professor of art. Stone is who Bigornia claims as his mentor.

All of the planning and preparation for the show finally took center stage when seniors Stacey Williams and Rose Newell stepped through the dangling metal wearing nothing but latex molds of a woman’s back and a man’s front torso.

“This is how women are judged by society, they are perceived stronger but are not allowed to be naked in society,”said Bigornia.

Bigornia’s other works in the exhibition included the use of neck braces to accentuate the neck. There was a contrast between flowing fabrics and spikes which, “played along with what people think is uncomfortable clothing,” he said.

“It was post-nuclear fashion with hope and spirit. It was subdued, but I felt alive. I know we will be hearing more from Mr. Bigornia in the future,” said Craig Vanderbrook, a close friend of Bigornia’s.

“I enjoyed getting to know my artistic side and realizing how fashion for women is uncomfortable. If women don’t dress feminine then they are looked down upon,” said freshman Jared Ellis, who portrayed the designer in the show.

The grand finale of the show happened when the 10 models were stripped of their symbolic coverings and wrapped in plastic so they could be stored as mannequins.

Senior biology major Rich Quesada hopes that this show “changes the conservatism of ULV.”

Many other students who attended the show seemed to enjoy what Bigornia had produced.

As for the future of Bigornia’s fashion, it does not end in La Verne’s Art Building. Bigornia has applied to the Parson’s School of Design in New York and is in the process of finishing his portfolio to continue his studying there. As for what he hopes everyone got out of his show, Bigornia replied, “It’s what you perceive the art is.”

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