A senior at the University of Alabama, she and several other apparel-design students competed in the Rising Stars competition. They all worked hard, spending whatever free time they had since November hand-sewing the designs they had drawn.
Even on the final day of the competition, Faulk was in a whirlwind to finish sewing her outfits, as she had had to switch out a zipper in one due to a substitute model.
Faulk said she was tired and somewhat cold that evening at Birmingham’s Pepper Place, where the event was held. She sat down with friends as the models paraded down the runway. In fact, she settled in and pulled a blanket over her to warm up. Then, the crowd started screaming and clapping, and someone pulled her onto the stage. She had won.
“I think it was the sequined shorts with a fur coat that did it,” said Faulk. The unique combination had been labor intensive — she had sewn sequins on the patterned fabric of the shorts for weeks. Looking back, she calculates the shorts alone took her 48 hours to make. Her other outfits included a royal blue, fitted gown; a black dress with a faux fur bolero; and an outfit of black, accordian-pleated chiffon pants with a sequined crop top.
Thanks to the win, she received $1,000; an upcoming feature story in “B-Metro” magazine, an upscale publication in Birmingham; and the designation of “featured designer” at next year’s Fashion Week.
Now that the competition is over, Faulk is excited about the recognition, which may help her reach her goal of becoming a professional fashion designer. “There are so many fashion designers,” said Faulk recently, talking on the telephone from her dorm room, “and just to get my name out there is huge. There are thousands of designers no one has heard of. It’s a hard industry.”
Faulk remembered how, from the time she was a third-grader in school at Oxford, she always played “dress shop.” She would hang her clothes all around the room and pretend to sell them. “I started designing clothes in the fifth grade,” said Faulk
She is working on another fashion show in Tuscaloosa called Tee Time. She and other members of Fashion Inc., a designers’ club on the UA campus, are hosting a fashion show where they will each make garments from T-shirt knits and other recycled materials. Also, she is involved with a project called “Operation Prom Dress,” that supplies prom gowns to under-privileged girls.
Contact Sherry Kughn at 256-235-3533 or firstname.lastname@example.org