Zyla Adds a Pop of Color to GCC

David Zyla pictured with GCC Fashion Students
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On Wednesday September 17th, GCC had the pleasure of hosting Emmy-award-winning stylist and author, David Zyla, as a guest speaker. When he walked into the room, Zyla had this energy about him. There’s something special about having a guest speaker who is just as excited to be in attendance as the audience. David Zyla kept listeners intrigued with his relatable anecdotes and fashion-industry insights.

A very accomplished individual, it is clear that David Zyla has worked hard to achieve everything that he has earned. He is an author of two books (Color Your Style and How to Win At Shopping) and a 2010 Emmy Award recipient in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design for All My Children. Raised in New Hartford, New York, and a student of the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, Zyla has always been a man who is motivated by style. David revealed to the audience that one experience he had in particular at a young age was a defining moment in the beginnings of his fashion career. His parents had been getting ready for a dinner party, and Zyla told his mother to wear a certain necklace. He then continued to advise his father to put together a not-so-obvious outfit combination. It was this seemingly small moment in which David Zyla had discovered his aptitude for design. David pursued his interest in fashion by studying costume design at NYU. It was there that he demonstrated his natural eye for stylistic expression. However, he soon discovered that he needed to learn the reason why behind things would appear to look well together. Zyla credits a friend for what made him pursue the study of color theory stating that, “someone being completely straightforward with you can change your life.” That is exactly what happened in David Zyla’s case; from there he “fell” into his own fashion label, and his since progressed into multiple realms of the fashion industry.

David Zyla speaking at GCC

David Zyla speaking at GCC

Zyla went on to discuss what he knows best: color. He advised the audience by saying, “Think about color as a raw material to showcase you.” David warned against following blindly and flaunting the pantone color palettes released seasonally. Alternatively he told listeners to, “illuminate yourself with your true colors.” He taught the audience how to find their specific color combinations by observing different parts of their bodies, such as the eyes, hair, and skin. One specific color tip Zyla gave was to wear your “dramatic color” on an interview in order to leave a lasting impression. This can be found by observing the vein color on your inner wrist.

David Zyla was a charismatic and personable speaker; he took the opportunity to point out many of the audience members’ outfits and why they fit their color personas. He pointed me out in particular as well and complimented my jacket stating that it was my “essence color”. Zyla also answered a variety of questions posed by audience members and GCC students. Sophomore Fashion Merchandising student, Arianna, asked, “do you have an end-all-be-all favorite color?” Zyla responded by saying, “I can’t have color bias, I am open to all colors.” But when considering further, he stated that he loves the connotation of sunshine yellow and everything it stands for. Sophomore design student, Amber, asked David if he had any advice for students involved with the production of the 34th annual fashion show at GCC. Zyla responded by saying, “Lady Gaga performs,” the audience had a burst of intermittent laughter, “ the concept is great; for the concepts within the show find ten words to describe your theme, find a touchstone. The minute you say to yourself that I need to be more [blank] then you’re in trouble.”

David Zyla signing a student's program.

David Zyla signing a student’s program.

Zyla offered a versatile depth of advice for both fashion students and anyone interested in the science behind color and style. I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who was involved in the planning of this event, and David Zyla himself for taking the time out of his busy schedule to come speak at GCC; it was truly a colorful experience.

You can follow David on Twitter @DavidZylaStyle as well as Facebook.

Emmy Winning Stylist Coming to GCC

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Ever wonder what color red looks best on you? David Zyla can help you know. Don’t miss a chance to hear the Emmy-winning stylist and author speak at Genesee Community College on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. in Room T102 of the Conable Technology Building on the GCC Batavia campus. His talk is part of The Fall Fashion Speakers Series at GCC. Zyla will be available for press interviews and photographs 30 minutes prior to his presentation in the Rosalie “Roz” Steiner Art Gallery in the Genesee Center for the Arts.

Zyla believes “every person has the right to feel empowered and look fantastic.” He helps people discover their individual palette of flattering colors found by looking at tones in the eyes, hair and skin. “By honoring and wearing these colors…we not only illuminate ourselves, but we build the confidence needed to attract love, enhance our power, restore our energy, make a lasting impression and show the world who we really are,” he writes on his website, www.davidzyla.com.

Zyla started out in fashion design, launching his own Seventh Avenue label at the age of 22. In 2001, ABC hired him to reinvigorate the visual quality of daytime television. He was head costume designer for General Hospital, Port Charles and All My Children for which he received an Emmy Award in 2010 for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design. He has also designed for commercials and film as well as Broadway shows and regional theatre productions. He has worked with well-known personalities, including Susan Lucci, Carol Burnett, Tom Hanks and Hillary Clinton.

Zyla is the author of “The Color of Style” and “Color Your Style.” His new book “How to Win at Shopping” is due out in January.

For further information, contact Donna Rae Sutherland, associate director of Marketing Communications at (585) 343-0055 x 6616 or dsutherland@genesee.edu.

Ten Reasons Why I’m Excited for Fall 2014 at GCC

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I have to admit. I’m going through GCC withdrawal. I go to the store to pick up some pool supplies and I find myself battling through the back-to-school supplies to find the clearance pool floaties. Part of me gets mad because we haven’t even gotten through July yet, but another part of me becomes nostalgic and I suddenly can’t wait to get back in the swing of things. So I thought I would share a list with the top ten things that I am excited about for the Fall 2014 semester.

10. The GCC Child Care Center

This one is for my daughter. She talks about her classroom, teachers, and friends daily. It is such a relief to know that my daughter is well taken care of at the GCC Child Care Center and she loves every minute of it. Last fall I was beyond nervous about putting her in school but I really had no other choice. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my little lady.

The center has structured schedules, wonderful teachers, and spotless classrooms. Their services are available to children ages six weeks to preschool aged children. Children of students, staff, faculty, and the community are able to use the facility. Visit their website to learn more and to find the contact information for Staci Williams, Director of the Child Care Center, to see if they have openings.

9. Seeing Old Friends and Making New Friends

When I came back to GCC I decided that I would not be a wallflower and that I would force myself to socialize. I encourage everyone to do this. I have made some great friends at GCC and I cannot wait to see everyone. I am also excited to meet a whole new round of friends.

I think everyone should have that genuine college experience. You won’t keep the same circle of friends from high school forever. This is the time to get used to the unknown and learn to put yourself out there. You may not make friends right away but before you know it, you will find a great group of friends.

8. The Student Union

The Student Union is a great place to relax and hang out with friends between classes. My personal favorite thing about the union is the smoothies in the cafe. The cafe also offers subs, pizza and other great food. While you’re hanging out in the union with friends there is usually a few games of pool and ping-pong being played. I’ve never played but I do enjoy watching the seemingly endless games!

The Student Union is also home to the Student Activities Office. Student Activities plans a wide variety of fun events throughout the year like movie nights, dances, and pizza parties. They also run a Leadership Certificate Program to help students develop their leadership skills. This is a great program that is open to any student. To learn more about the Student Activities Office and the Leadership Program please visit the Student Activities website.

7. Clubs!

Fall 2014 Club Fair

There is a wide variety of clubs and organizations at GCC. There is something for everyone and joining one of the clubs is an awesome way to make great friends and memories. Each semester during WOW (Week Of Welcome) Week Student Activities holds a club fair where you can learn more about the clubs from their representatives in the Forum. You can find a list of all the clubs here. Some of the clubs are for certain majors and others are open to the public. All of these wonderful clubs are welcoming new members so feel free to contact the club advisors or meet them in person at the WOW Week Club Fair.

6. Stress

I guess it’s a personal preference. I feel kind of lost without the challenges and stress that comes along with my coursework and extracurricular activities. This is my last semester before I graduate and I cannot wait for the challenges that are ahead of me. I’ve found that as long I keep my work life planned then life is good. One way I do this is by going through all of my schedules and combine them on my Google Calendar. I usually sit down and put about a month’s worth of appointments, exams, and homework into this online calendar. I even set email reminders so I don’t forget about an upcoming event.

5. The T-207 Computer Lab

The T-207 Computer Lab

Whenever I need to buckle down and get a ton of work done I go here. There are usually a lot of computers available and if you’re working on a project that needs a pop of color then you can use their color printer. Don’t go crazy with the color printing. There is most definitely a page limit. This computer lab is on the second floor of the T Building on main campus and their schedule can be found here. Staff at this lab can also help you find or reset your GCC username and/or password as well as help you with your Blackboard account.

 

4. Campus Centers and Online Learning

GCC Campus Center Locations

GCC offers a wide variety of courses online, at the main campus and at six additional campuses across the area. I’m taking full advantage of these conveniences this semester by taking a few online classes, classes at the main campus, and one class at the Medina Campus. If you’re considering taking all or some classes at one of our campus centers please take a look at the Campus Center website.

Did you know that you can earn some degrees with GCC completely online? Yup. It’s true! There are over a dozen degrees that can be completed online, plus another thirty can be completed almost entirely online. Check out this list to see which program fits your schedule.

3. The Alfred C. O’Connell Library

The library at GCC is basically awesome. There are four banks of computer stations, a technology classroom in the back of the library, quiet study rooms for groups, and an endless amount of resources. The librarians are friendly and are more than willing to help you find the proper resources you need to complete your coursework. The library will allow you to check out laptops and textbooks but you cannot take them out of the library. I like borrowing textbooks from the library because it helps me focus and get a lot of work done. One of the newest online resources available to students with a GCC username and password is Mango Languages. Thanks to the Alfred C. O’Connell Library students can now learn over 60 different languages. Check out a recent blog post about Mango Languages to learn more.

2. The City of Batavia 

Over the years I’ve become very impressed with Batavia’s growth. When I started attending GCC for the first time in 2005 there wasn’t much to do. Now the city is booming and there is a better variety of shops, restaurants, and fun times. The Batavia Business Improvement District has set up a great website and Facebook page with information on upcoming events and local businesses. Check out these websites to learn about the Batavia Farmers Market, Jackson Square Concerts, and more.

1.  Student Success Driven Professors, Faculty, and Staff

I truly believe that the biggest reason why I succeed here at GCC is because of the amazing professors and staff. They want to see their students succeed and are more than willing to give their students the tools for success. You can always find help on the Student OneStop website. This is a huge resource that is available to students that need help finding their advisors, learn how to get involved with clubs or sports, and even request your diploma.

photo-1Honorable Mention: The Spring 2015 Fashion Show Although I won’t be a student in the Spring of 2015 I am looking forward to attending the 34th annual fashion show. The talented students and designers work very hard to put together WNY’s longest running fashion show and they never disappoint. Check out our website to learn more about previous GCC Fashion Shows.

Dress Form Contest

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Those enrolled in the Fashion Design and Fashion Business programs at Genesee Community College were given the amazing opportunity to win dress forms donated to the school by PGM Dress Forms, the leading dress form manufacturer in the United States, based out of California.154836_580970075263689_1180436399_n The winners of these dress forms are career-driven, hardworking students, who are also extremely talented designers at GCC. The dress forms will make a large impact on these three creative women, and surely help them to accomplish future career goals, which they hold dearly and consider with upmost seriousness.

Accomplished students Candace Cooper, Alaina Shannon, and Natalie Brown are the winners of the 2014 Dress Form Contest! All of the girls wrote entry essays entailing what they would do if they won a PGM dress form, and how this award would help to accomplish their career goals. Candace Cooper writes, “When Professor Ehrhart initially notified me of the amazing opportunity of the dress form competition, I was overly thrilled at the news! Being that I am a design student I would love to own a dress form. I’ve always wanted to invest into one, but looking online, the prices were a little intimidating with them ranging from $1,500 to $2,000.” Candace’s collection entitled “ÉCLAT” will be featured in the upcoming GCC 33rd Annual Fashion Show entitled Ethereal. Alaina addresses why she would love to win a PGM dress form and how it would help her to achieve her artistic vision. In her contest essay, she states that, “By winning a dress form I would be capable of anything. As an artist, often times I conjure up creativity at the most random and unexpected times as my mind begins to soar into a new and exciting realm. When I visualize an idea in my head, I feel the urgency to get right to work. I sketch my ideas, gather and cut fabric, and begin to layout the image that is in my head. However, tedious measurements, and the annoyance of making a human stand shivering cold for forty minutes while being draped and pinned is a nuisance. I often find myself wishing I could constantly have access to a dress form so that I could put my creative, crazy mind at ease.”  Alaina’s designs will be featured in the upcoming GCC Fashion Show as well, in a scene entitled “Americana”. Natalie Brown envisions what it would be like to own a personal dress form in her contest essay; writing that, “If I had my own dress form, I could create my own design studio space in my room at my house. I currently have my very own sewing machine that I bought myself, so having my own dress form would complete my own personal working space.” Natalie Brown’s designs will also be featured in the upcoming GCC Ethereal Fashion Show. Her scene is called “Revival”, the featured clothing is previously owned and repurposed in order to be transformed from an old garment into a piece that is new and exciting. These dress forms are certainly in good hands; Congratulations Candace, Alaina, and Natalie, we can’t wait to see what amazing designs you all create for the upcoming fashion show and in the near future!

Also, on behalf of everyone in the fashion program at Genesee Community College I’d like to give a big thank you to PGM Dress Forms for donating three dress forms to these well-deserving girls, and to Professor Ehrhart and Professor Dudkowski for continuing to offer this amazing opportunity to GCC’s wonderfully talented design students.

-Ami Cornell

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Candace Cooper’s Resilient Ambition

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The Fashion Design students at Genesee Community College are hard at work developing their clothing lines for the upcoming 33rd Annual Fashion show at GCC, entitled Ethereal. All of the scenes will feature pieces designed or reimagined by students at GCC; with their skills at work creativity is sure to ensue. securedownload (1)Candace Cooper is one of the many students who is a part of this extremely challenging, yet rewarding creative process. With help from Arianna Snead, who is serving as Candace’s assistant and brand representative, Candace is creating a line that is unlike anything you have ever seen before. As the creator and designer of ÉCLAT XXIIV, an ‘up and coming fashion empire’, Candace is creating designs that are classic, with a chic and sophisticated approach, while simultaneously studying in the design program at GCC. Candace connects directly to the meaning of her brand, ÉCLAT,securedownload (2) meaning “brilliant display or effect”, and XXIIV representing a significant date for her family and herself; the date on which her sister, Jakera, and her were adopted. Candace plans to continue pursuing her degree in Fashion in NYC next year; it is clear that she has high expectations for herself, Candace will not stop until she has achieved her goals and established her empire. Candace’s vigor for hard-work and constantly evolving and innovative designs are easily supported with evidence by simply stepping foot into the sewing room at GCC, she is a constant fixture there and a reminder of what it means to fight for your dream.  Candace’s awe-inspired designs will strut the runway at Genesee Community College on Saturday, April 26th, 2014 with the assistance of Arianna Snead. securedownloadOther happenings in the world of Candace Cooper include: an upcoming photo-shoot with a well-known photographer, news of her spring collection in April, and an anticipated website launch for ÉCLAT XXIIV next month as well. Most likely this will not be the last you hear of Candace Cooper, so keep an eye out for her designs at Fashion Week in a few years, for she is surely headed straight to the top.

-Ami Cornell

Blushing Brides

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On Friday March 28th, the GCC fashion students hosted an opportune visit from the Genesee County YWCA Executive Director Jeanne Walton. Walton joined a group of seven of these students in a photoshoot for the Batavia Daily promoting an upcoming fashion Show at the YWCA. This fashion show will serve as a preview for GCC’s own 33rd annual fashion show entitled, Ethereal. The girls posed in beautiful wedding gowns that were generously donated to GCC for the Ethereal fashion show by M.A. Carr bridal.

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The final look of the gowns and other clothing collections created by the Fashion Design students at Genesee Community College will be revealed at GCC’s Ethereal fashion show which will take place on Saturday, April 26, 2014.

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-Ami Cornell

“Ambiance” features unique bridalwear

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One of the most anticipated scenes of the fashion show—the bridal scene—will be featuring some breathtaking designs this year, with custom touches and alterations!  Sophomore Kelly Weatherby and freshmen Lekha Anderson will be partnering to coordinate “Ambience,” the title given to the bridal scene for Ethereal.  The pair hoped to touch upon the heavenly side of the theme Ethereal, while also revealing the mysterious and seductive side.  According to Kelly, “We wanted the romantic, traditional wedding styles, but also want to incorporate the darker, more dramatic side that people aren’t used to seeing in bridal”

Original sketch of Angelique’s design

M.A. Carr Bridal was generous enough to donate gowns for the show.  While some gowns will be used as-is, others will be altered.  Angelique Porey, a freshmen fashion student, has created one of the designs to be used for a gown.  Her vision involves shortening the dress and giving it a waterfall hemline.  Accent colors and ribbon details will also be added to give the gown a unique look, and it might even be dyed. Angelique wanted to “Give the dress a little bit of an edge while still having a feminine touch.” This gown is sure to be a refreshing and exciting look, far from the traditional wedding gowns that we have grown accustomed to–be sure to come and see it at Ethereal on April 26th!

Anybody interested in redesigning a gown that would fit into “Ambiance” can share their ideas and sketches with Kelly at Kwether1@my.genesee.edu, and could be featured in the fashion show!