Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Student Pays Tribute to Renowned Clothing Collection

Jenae Fleming

March 10, 2016

Donny Guerra awarded honorable mention for 1980s-inspired design.

Donny Guerra

Donny Guerra, an apparel design and manufacturing student at Texas Tech University, was awarded honorable mention in Gerber Technology's 2015 Ideation design competition.

The competition paid tribute to the fashion of Charlotte Smith's Darnell Collection, a famous compilation of vintage clothing. With more than 8,000 pieces of clothing representing 32 different countries, it is considered to be the largest private collection of vintage clothing in Australia.

The competition was open to a short list of schools to participate, including Texas Tech. Students picked a piece from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s or 1980s from which to draw inspiration and base their design. Guerra's piece was inspired by an unknown designer from the 1980s. From there, Guerra constructed his own sketch and technical flats to submit to Gerber Technology.

“I loved the basic silhouette and waves throughout the detailing and hemlines,” Guerra said. “I conveyed this through a knee-length, yellow, flared evening dress.”

Donny Guerra

Guerra's final design had laser-cut leather sleeves, a bodice with princess style lines, a keyhole back and a four-tiered bottom with extravagant ruffles.

Throughout the five-week competition, the designers were expected to update Gerber Technology and other audience members on their design progress through sketches and photos on social media. The process of each student's garment could be followed online, from the first sketches to the final piece.

“It was very interesting seeing other designers work on their garments and having them come to life through our social media updates,” Guerra said. “It was like you were there with them competing through the rigorous five-week process.”

Donny Guerra

Rachel Anderson, an assistant professor for apparel design and manufacturing in the College of Human Sciences, reached out to her students to participate in the competition. Guerra was one of her students to enter the competition.

“Donny is a very creative and focused student,” Anderson said. “He always has a lot of ideas and brings great energy into the classroom.”

Anderson believes through Guerra's active involvement in fashion design and the Texas Tech Hi Tech Fashion Group, he is on his way to building an impressive portfolio for the future.

“Donny is continually being active in seeking out opportunity and building his resume,” Anderson said. “If he keeps this up, his resume and portfolio will be fierce upon graduation.”