Fashion Files August 2016

Posted: August 5th, 2016 | Columnists, Fashion Files, Featured | No Comments

By Diana Cavagnaro

Her Universe

The third annual Her Universe fashion show was held during San Diego Comic-Con on July 21. The event drew a huge crowd that gathered in the Harbor Ballroom at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Host for the evening was actress and entrepreneur, Ashley Eckstein, who began Her Universe within The Araca Group — her entertainment and production company — because she saw a huge need to tap into the ever-increasing female sci-fi and fantasy fans.

Actress Ashley Eckstein shows off her LEGO® Couture Gown

Actress Ashley Eckstein shows off her Lego couture gown

Eckstein was wearing a dress made of Lego. Instead of having the “little black dress,” Ashley Eckstein was wearing the “little block dress” made from 10,000 Lego blocks and weighing 25 pounds. This phenomenal, one-of-a-kind item was an Ahsoka Tano Lego couture dress, designed by the 2014 audience award-winner Andrew MacLaine and made by artist Nathan Sawaya.

Judges for the show consisted of a celebrity panel including Cindy Levitt (senior vice president, merchandise and marketing, Hot Topic), Nathan Sawaya (world renowned Lego artist), Brinton Parker (assistant editor of trending and viral features at POPSUGAR) and last year’s fashion show winners and designers Leetal Platt and Kelly Cercone.

The show began with designs from the retail chain, Hot Topic, which creates brand-related apparel and accessories that are influenced by pop culture. They were also one of the sponsors of the fashion show and will give the winners a chance to design a collection for them in the future.

Judges Pic was Hannah “Hanime Kent”

Judge’s pick was Hannah “Hanime Kent”

The event showcased 27 designers that created “geek couture” fashions for the catwalk. Designers created haute couture designs that were inspired by “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter,” “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Wonder Woman,” to name a few. A video of each designer was shown with their preference for fabrications and inspiration.

Winning contestants were chosen to design a fashion collection, which will be sold exclusively at Hot Topic. During the show, Hannah “Hanime” Kent was named the judge’s winner. Kent’s winning design was inspired by “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Camille Falciola was the audience winner, whose geek couture was inspired by Marander’s Map from “Harry Potter.”

This fashion show was taped for a brand new docu-series, “The Her Universe Fashion Show: Fashion Meets Fandom,” shown on Comic-Con HQ, beginning July 28. The series finale was produced by Blondie Girl Productions and followed the contestants from the very beginning to the finale on the runway.

Audience Winner was Camille Falciola

Audience winner was Camille Falciola

Viewers are encouraged to watch this docu-series on iOS and Android devices, Amazon Prime and on Roku and vote for a third contestant. Voting will last two weeks, ending at midnight (PST) Aug. 11. If you would like to watch and vote for your favorite, go to

Upcoming events

Aug. 13 | Haute with Heart — This fashion show and luncheon is produced by Leonard Simpson and benefits St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center. Event takes place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, located Downtown at 1 Park Blvd. For more information call Neil Fullerton at 619-442-5129. 

Aug. 22 | Celebrating Couture 2016 — Presented by Neiman Marcus and the Globe Guilders, this event will be at Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information visit:

—Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner based in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about our hat designer, teacher and blogger at

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