NEW YORK — The concept of fashion as entertainment was prevalent at the High School of Fashion Industries’ “Stretch to the Future” scholarship competition last week, an event that also honored designer Dana Buchman.Spun around a patriotic theme, the 18 participating juniors and seniors presented their self-made creations of red, white and blue apparel — splashed with stars and stripes — in a choreographed, music-filled runway show in the school’s theater. Categories that were judged included women’s sportswear, lingerie, swimwear, dresses and eveningwear, fantasy designs, children’s wear and men’s wear.Buchman, who has worked in the fashion industry for 26 years, told students after the show that she was “blown away” by their creativity, energy and passion.“It takes a while until [designing clothes] gets fun, but it’s worth it. The passion and creativity will get you partly there, the rest is hard work,” said Buchman, who also served as guest judge. “And I’ve never been bored. Each day when I come up the subway steps, my heart starts pounding.”It was the fourth year that RadiciSpandex sponsored the event, and fabric was donated to the school for students to use.Student winners included Sherry McNeil, grand prize for eveningwear; Caroline Jose, first runner up swimwear; Tiffany Dominguez, second runner up; Bobbette Austin, fantasy; Kimberly Cudjoe, lingerie; Viviana Duque, men’s wear and children’s wear; and Ping Lin, women’s sportswear.Senior Veronica Morales, who designed dresses for the show, said the experience left her inspired.“It was a great opportunity and we really have an advantage here,” said Morales, who cited Tom Ford, Donatella Versace and John Galliano as her top favorites. “Because of this, I have garments that I’ve constructed and meeting designers like Dana Buchman helps to see how far you can go.”

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