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Producers Spotlight: Grace Kao, Gilly Johnson, and Jarret Lin
February 17, 2018

Without producers Grace Kao, Gilly Johnson, and Jarret Lin, LG: FEROX would not be happening today. The producers establish, organize, and coordinate the executive board, which consist of the entertainment, modeling, design, public relations, and creative teams. This year, the producers started new LG initiatives, which included getting funding for the designers, establishing local partnerships, and reaching out to the Pittsburgh fashion community.

Senior Grace Kao is from Okemos, Michigan, and is a Computer Science major minoring in Human Computer Interaction. After she graduates, she will be going into software engineering, but is interested in product management in the future. It is important to her that her future career allows her to work with all sorts of people on a daily basis. In her free time, Grace likes crafting and making jewelry. Grace modeled in LG during both her sophomore and junior years. She says that if she wasn’t a producer this year, she would have wanted to try being a designer because she has always loved sketching and imagining different types of clothes. Grace loves that LG gives students of all majors the opportunity to try their hand at fashion design.

Gilly Johnson is a senior Environments Design major minoring in Gender Studies and is from Silver Spring, Maryland. She hopes to work in the museum industry after graduation because she really loves creating enjoyable and memorable learning experiences for people. She is in Infra Dance company at CMU, and describes dance as a “lifestyle” for her. She says she loves dance more than anything and hopes she never has to give it up. Gilly has been an LG dancer since her freshman year. Last year, she joined the board as the Entertainment Director for LG: SONDER, which eventually led her to her role as producer.

Jarret Lin is a senior double majoring in Music Performance and Human-Computer Interaction with a minor in Media Design. He hopes to work in the themed entertainment industry where he can design the experiences people have as they walk through an immersive space. Even though he is from Honolulu, Hawaii, he’s actually only surfed once. Jarret’s hobbies include listening to music, finding new food places, and traveling. As a sophomore, Jarret joined LG as a model and dancer. Last year, he became the videographer for LG while being a model, and then finally this year he became a producer. He first joined LG because he thought a fashion show would be a unique extra-curricular, but he never imagined he would be putting on a production that houses over 1000 people.

The producers have nothing but words of praise for each other. Grace says “I can’t imagine doing everything without them. We’re so different, yet so similar at the same time and I love that about us”. Gilly says that “we have such a great working and personal relationships and I couldn’t’ be happier that they are the ones I get to share this experience with”. To future producers, Grace, Gilly, and Jarret have a few words of advice. They say that as leaders, it is very important to always appear calm and composed, no matter how stressed you may feel. They also say it is important to get organized early, and have a good understanding of how your co-producers work.

For the producers, communication was one of the most challenging parts of their LG experience. They had to manage five different teams – a total of 120 individuals – for almost ten months. However, they agree that the most rewarding part of their high-pressure role was the experience of working on such a large scale event, and gaining invaluable leadership skills. They are most excited to show their friends and family what they’ve been working on for the last year, and see their efforts materialize into an incredible show. They hope that FEROX is talked about for many years to come and that the initiatives and changes they’ve made this year will help next year’s producers create an even more successful production.

Models of the Month: Cheyenne Shankle and Alan Hodge
February 15, 2018

Tech week is in full swing, and LG models, designers, dancers, and board members are certainly feeling all the pressure and excitement that comes along with it. However, Models of the Month Cheyenne Shankle and Alan Hodge are not letting the stress of tech week get to them.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Cheyenne Shankle is a senior from Pittsburgh majoring in Chemical Engineering with a double major in Public Policy and a minor in Business. Her favorite place to be is Palm Island in St. Vincent and the Grenandines, which is a 135- acre island that you have to take a plane, jet, and boat to get to. Next year, Cheyenne is starting her career in a commercial rotation position at Covestro, a materials company. Looking forward, she hopes to hold a business job in a tech company and obtain an MBA.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Cheyenne has found many communities within CMU to motivate her, including her Chemical Engineering major, her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, and of course, Lunar Gala. She has wise words that all CMU students should remember: “no matter what you’re working on or worrying about, you’re certainly not doing it alone”. She also says that she can always rely on the promise of a couple episodes of Friends to get her through the day.


Photo by Wilson Chan

One of Cheyenne’s hobbies is tennis, which she played consistently in high school and now continues to play for fun. She also enjoys traveling, modeling, painting on canvas, planning hypothetical vacations, and filling out hypothetical online shopping carts. A very impressive fun fact about her is that between kindergarten and senior year of high school, she only missed one day of school.


Photo by Wilson Chan

This year is Cheyenne’s third as a LG model. She joined LG because she loves modeling and fashion, and enjoys the 4-hour-a-week study break. Cheyenne loves the community that LG becomes each year, and says “it’s awesome to be able to watch the designs come to fruition and the show come together from September until February”. She is most looking forward to dressing up on Saturday and having the satisfaction of reflecting back on the months of work that went into making the show into the spectacle it will be.


Photo by Wilson Chan

As for her personal style, Cheyenne hits every end of the spectrum: “basically, half of my closet contains black clothes and half contains obnoxiously colorful Lilly Pulitzer – my winter inspiration is monotone, off-duty streetstyle and my summer inspiration is Palm Beach”. Jumpsuits are a staple in her closet because of their versatile nature.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Alan Hodge was born in Mexico City, but grew up in Los Angeles. He holds a dual citizenship of Mexico and the United States, and identifies himself a “proud Mexican”. Mexican and Latin food are his favorite cuisines, and he feels very close to Latin culture. His most loved place to be is in the water at El Porto, Manhattan Beach, California. The most interesting place he has ever visited is Exmouth, a town on the North West Cape of Western Australia where he was able to swim with whale sharks.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Alan is a senior Materials Science and Engineering major with an additional major in Biomedical Engineering. Coming to CMU gave Alan a huge sense of freedom, and he feels that this freedom and control over his life has motivated him over the last four years. After graduation, he plans to work for Accenture as a business management consultant out of their Boston office.


Photo by Wilson Chan

After attending LG: Sonder last year, Alan knew he had to be a part of LG. He has enjoyed the social and interactive nature of practices, and has especially enjoyed the designer-model relationships that have formed throughout the process. Alan is looking forward to showcasing and celebrating everyone’s hard work on the runway this Saturday.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Alan’s most embarrassing moment happened during his junior year in high school when he got sent home for violating the dress code with a pair of Five Finger Vibrams (a more identifiable description for these would be “toe shoes” – we’ve all seen them). The next day, he learned that the disciplinary dean who sent him home did it as a prank!


Photo by Wilson Chan

In his spare time, Alan likes to strength train and practice yoga, and has huge interest in films and cinematography. Alan is also a self-professed “concert junkie” who loves exploring new music. His love for music has taken him to all sorts of different venues, environments, and locations around the world. Music also influences his sartorial choices: he loves the rock and metal scene in Los Angeles, and his vintage Levi’s Sherpa lined jean jacket is a piece he could not live without.

 


Photo by Wilson Chan

Get excited to see Cheyenne and Alan on the runway this Saturday! COUNTDOWN TO LG: FEROX — 2 DAYS!

LG Spotlight: Local Designers
February 13, 2018

After many years of support from local Pittsburgh residents and artists, Lunar Gala decided to focus on giving back to the Pittsburgh fashion community. This year, Lunar Gala started the local designer initiative – the goal of which was to promote local designers by featuring them in the 2018 Lunar Gala show.


Photo by Andrew Lee

One of the local designers, Krista Wilhelm, designed the line Nightmare. The idea behind this line is pure, bold, virtuous angels being pulled into the dark side of their own imagination. The basic concept is understanding that we as humans all have an angelic side, but with that angelic side also comes a darkness we can’t ever truly escape. The line is entirely black, incorporating silk sateen fabric, head bead work, and hand crafted floral cutouts, along with feathered fabric. Krista’s goal was to make the entire line “sexy yet still elegant”.


Photo by Andrew Lee

Krista grew up in a small farming town in northern Ohio. She attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where she received her bachelor’s degree in fashion design. Amazingly, she was able to achieve the 4 year degree in a little under 2.5 years thanks to hard work and dedication. In the future, Krista would love to be able to look back and know that she has accomplished everything she possibly could have as a designer. Her dream is to one day have her own clothing line and eventually own a store selling her own brand. Krista wants to change the way people see fashion and view it as an art form.


Photo by Andrew Lee

Krista is most looking forward to seeing all of the time and effort she has put into her collection come to life onstage. The biggest challenge in the LG process has been incorporating new techniques in her line. Also, finding the time to accomplish everything she has wanted to has been a challenge. However, Krista says that she designs better under pressure: “it’s like this adrenaline comes over me when I’m extremely stressed and that specific type of adrenaline creates my best work!”


Photo by Andrew Lee

This year’s other local designer, Briana Green, has a personal story behind her line, Tambora. It was inspired from the time in her life where she was graduating from college and found out that she was having a baby. Briana says that her daughter taught her how to make beautiful things during a time of madness: “things that seem to not make sense end up working, and that is what birthed this collection”.


Photo by Andrew Lee

Briana’s mom works in the art department at Carnegie Mellon and has always dreamed of Briana being part of the show. When she heard that LG was accepting applications from non-CMU student she knew she couldn’t say no. She is proud to be making one of her mom’s dreams come true. The biggest challenge in her LG experience has been trying to balance designing the line while being a mother and expecting another baby.


Photo by Andrew Lee

Briana’s ultimate career goal is to design for all people of all sizes, and specifically wants to master the plus sized woman. She is also currently starting an online store, which she plans to have up and running by the end of next year. In her spare time, Briana enjoys hanging out with her daughter, sewing knitting, and cooking.

LG Designer Spotlight: Chinoiserie
February 5, 2018

Amongst the many innovative and creative lines that will be featured in LG: Ferox is Chinoiserie, designed by Architecture majors Gunn Chaiyapatranun, Kornrat Euchukanonchai, and Shariwa Sharada.


Photo by Wilson Chan

The theme of the line is the merging of East and West, as well as old and new. The line combines traditional Asian garments and costumes fused with Western influences and modern materials. The inspiration comes from the Chinoiserie art movement in Europe, in which imitations of oriental objects and art were made. Especially prominent in this movement is blue and white porcelain, which is the line’s color theme – the blue will be represented by denim and other indigo toned textiles.


Photo by Wilson Chan

The designers all joined LG as an opportunity to expand their knowledge in design. Gunn decided to design for LG to explore a side of design that was different from architecture. Shariwa was interested in textile design, but hadn’t been able to find any courses that could teach her more in Pittsburgh. Since she taught herself how to sew, she thought LG could be another opportunity to teach herself more about different textiles and the way they work.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Taking their design concept and creating something physical has been the most daunting and challenging part of the designers’ LG experience. Shariwa says that the “almost all the time when you put the outfit on the model you have to make changes and that can be very frustrating”. However, seeing their drawings successfully come to life on a model has the most rewarding part of the process.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Remember to get your ticket to LG: Ferox to see Chinoiserie and the many other incredible lines created by hardworking LG designers!

Models of the Month: Elijah King and Ugne Ziausyte
January 27, 2018

Models of the Month Elijah King and Ugne Ziausyte are perfect representations of what LG is all about.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Elijah is a Freshman from Bloomington, Illinois majoring in Architecture. He says his favorite place to be is Chicago because there is always something “intriguing” to do there. In the future, Eli hopes to teach architecture related courses and run his own firm. Last summer, Eli interned at Matt Faikus Architecture.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Eli says that his most embarrassing moments come from his clumsiness. “I’m always tripping over nothing, falling up stairs and running into things” he says. With that in mind, it may come as a surprise that Eli has cleared the hardest song on Dance Dance Revolution Extreme US!


Photo by Wilson Chan

Ever since Eli learned about LG from a friend two years ago, he says “I knew I had to join”. Eli loves how at this point, models are now able to wear their looks during practice and he thinks that the amount of work the designers put into the show is “astonishing”. Eli is most looking forward to the day of the show, when “we can finally show what we’ve been working on with the rest of the school”.


Photo by Wilson Chan

As for his personal style, Eli draws fashion inspiration from Instagram, and an AllSaints shearling coat is a staple in his closet. In his spare time, Eli enjoys working with photographers and photographing his friends.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Sophomore Biological Sciences major Ugne was born in Lithuania but has lived in New Jersey for almost her entire life. Ugne is thinking about switching her major to Neurobiology because of her recent interest in brain-machine interfaces and how they might help treat disabilities. Ugne’s favorite place to be is an amusement park because she is an “adrenaline junkie”.


Photo by Wilson Chan

This year is Ugne’s second as a model for LG. She describes LG as “one big family” and loves how everyone is friendly and encouraging. Ugne loves seeing what designers come up with and getting the chance to wear their creations. This year, Ugne is extra excited for the show because some of her friends from home CMU are coming to Pittsburgh to watch the show.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Ugne’s biggest fashion inspiration is her mom. “She has such a refined yet playful sense of style that I just love. It’s really lively without being flashy. It also has this elegance that just reminds me of royalty. I would love to be able to nail that someday”, she says. Ugne’s favorite item in her closet is a long green fall jacket that matches everything and most importantly has pockets (if you know Ugne, you’d know that she hates carrying bags and would much prefer to stuff everything into pockets).


Photo by Wilson Chan

Ugne draws motivation from her peers, “especially girls in science”. She says that seeing her friends and classmates excel inspires her to strive to inspire others the way they inspire her. “I really want to set a good example with my life for anyone that comes after me”, she says.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Countdown Until LG 2018: 21 Days!

LG Spotlight: PR Team
December 3, 2017

LG’s PR team has been hard at work promoting the 2018 show. The team is made up of an array of versatile individuals who play a critical role in solidifying LG’s branding and legacy.


Photo by Jeffrey Li

The team is headed by AJ Jeffs, the PR Strategy Coordinator. AJ coordinates with the members of her team to set timelines and run meetings. She also works closely with producers to ensure that the PR team is on track with the rest of the board. Now a senior majoring in Business Technology with a minor in IDeATe: Media Design, AJ has been involved with LG throughout her four years at CMU. She modeled in both the 2015 and 2016 shows, and designed a line for the 2017 show. This year, AJ will be modeling again and is most excited to see the final production layout. In her spare time, AJ loves watching movies and reading Science Fiction.


Photo by Jeffrey Li

Senior Business Major Amy Chen has also been involved with LG for four years. Amy was a model for the past three shows, so 2018 will be her first year off the runway. She is most looking forward to viewing the show as an audience member. This year is Amy’s second time on the LG board – last year she was a Model Coordinator and this year she is our PR Liaison. Her main role is gaining exposure for LG outside of the CMU Community and her responsibilities include reaching out to media and press to make contacts and invite them to cover the show. Amy works closely with fellow Press Liaison Yutong Han. Outside of LG and school, she enjoys eating, shopping, exploring Pittsburgh, and watching movies.


Photo by Jeffrey Li

Yutong Han is LG’s Local Press Liaison and is primarily responsible for connecting to local media companies and fashion bloggers to feature Lunar Gala in their magazines. She says the most challenging part of her job is getting companies to take notice of LG, but it is also incredibly rewarding when companies are receptive. Yutong joined the LG board because she wanted to get involved in a capacity besides modeling, dancing, or designing. Her major is Business Administration (Finance), Statistics, and Machine Learning. Her hobbies include Netflix, eating good food, reading, and working out.


Photo by Jeffrey Li

Social Media Chair Allysa Dong is responsible for LG’s Instagram and Facebook posts. Allysa is a Junior majoring in Economics and Statistics who enjoys swimming in her spare time. This year will be Allysa’s third and final year of modeling for LG because she is graduating early! Allysa joined the LG board to be able to contribute firsthand to improving the show and spread LG love across campus through social media. She is excited to be modeling in one of her childhood friend’s lines this year and says it will be a “star-crossed reunion” since their schedules don’t usually align.


Photo by Jeffrey Li

Sophomore Jumana Akoad is this year’s Sponsor Liaison. Her role entails expanding and developing the organization’s sponsorship efforts through communications with local and national businesses. For her, the most challenging part of her role is staying positive when certain deals and agreements don’t go through, and the most rewarding part of her role is getting to learn about the inner workings of a big production. She joined LG because she has always had interest in fashion and wanted an opportunity to meet new friends, learn new skills, and try something different. Jumana is majoring in Neuroscience and likes to online shop, play tennis, and read when she has time.


Photo by Jeffrey Li

Jumana works closely with fellow Sponsor Liaison Sihan Dong, a Decision Science and HCI double major. Like Jumana, Sihan finds the most challenging part of the Sponsor Liaison role to be dealing with organizations that don’t communicate well. She finds the most rewarding part of her role the opportunities she has to meet in-person with people from great local organizations. Sihan decided to join the PR team because she has been a fan of the show in past years and wanted to experience the inner-workings of LG. In her free time, Sihan enjoys exploring new places.

Models of the Month: Graham Arthur and Leah Ettensohn
November 18, 2017

It’s already mid-November which means Lunar Gala’s models are 30 hours of practice closer to the February show! This year’s fantastic group can always count on new models Graham Arthur and Leah Ettensohn to bring energy and positivity to every practice.


Photo by Wilson Chan

Graham is a senior from Jersey City double majoring in Economics and Statistics with an International Relations minor.  His favorite place to be is Haywoods Beach in Barbados, which may have something to do with the fact his family is from Barbados!  In the future, Graham hopes to go into some form of policy consulting, but for next year, he has plans for graduate school.  


Photo by Wilson Chan

Graham is very involved with multiple organizations on campus.  He dances for SoulStylz and Dancer’s Symposium, is a Camp Kesem counselor, and is a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.  Graham’s “one prized possession” in his closet is a black pea coat that he purchased in London. “That saw me through some dope times” he says.  


Photo by Wilson Chan

Graham decided to audition for LG this year because he has always been impressed by the production value of the show and wanted to be a part of it before he graduated.  He has been enjoying his LG modeling career so far and reflects that it has helped him learn how to exercise self control in his face, strides, and movements.  “On the flip side”, he says, “to have all that self control, you really have to relax and be silly in your down time”.  His favorite moments have been “goofing off with fellow models during breaks”.  Graham can’t wait to get to wear his designers “one-of-a kind” creations soon. 


Photo by Wilson Chan

Pittsburgh native Leah is a sophomore working towards a major in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience.  In the future, she hopes to contribute to psychology research in order to “improve people’s quality of life”.  Her favorite place to be is Frick Park in the Fall and Spring – she loves the foliage and feels relaxed there.


Photo by Wilson Chan

In her spare time, Leah enjoys Pilates, yoga, dance, thrift shopping, watching movies, photography, and spending time with her family, friends, and cat.  One cute fun fact about her is that when she was 8 years old, she had her first kiss with Hunter the sea lion at the Cape Cod aquarium!  Leah’s ideal day is a Saturday when she doesn’t have to study and can spend the day working out, eating good food, and spending time with her friends. 


Photo by Wilson Chan

Leah knew she wanted to join LG after attending last year’s show.  She has a background in ballet and finds that modeling and ballet have a lot of similarities when it comes to posture and body control. Her favorite part of LG has been meeting the other LG models and she says that “everyone is so encouraging and fun”.  Leah is looking forward to seeing the designers’ sketches come to life and is “pumped to show off their hard work on the runway”.  


Photo by Wilson Chan

Fashion has always been one of Leah’s interests.  She is an avid Project Runway fan and had the opportunity to visit Mood Fabric Store in New York where the show is filmed.  She says “it was crazy for me to stand where Tim Gunn does”.  As for her personal style, Leah can’t live without her favorite skinny jeans.  She has a unique personal style and doesn’t draw fashion inspiration from only one person.  Some of her celebrity fashion icons are Amanda Seyfried, Kendall Jenner, and Zendaya.  Her non-celebrity fashion icon? Her roommate!


Photo by Wilson Chan

***A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to Lunar Gala Crowdfunding thus far.  We have met 80% of our goal with only one week left! Please consider donating at https://www.gofundme.com/lunargala 

The Birth of Lunar Gala
November 4, 2017

Lunar Gala was started in 1997 by Jimmy Chiang, who was both the founder and first-ever producer of the show. The theme of the first Lunar Gala show was high fashion, featuring retailers such as Moda and other Luxury Brands like Hugo Boss and Armani.

Today’s CMU students probably cannot imagine the show being anywhere besides Weigand Gym, but the first LG show was in the hallway of the CFA building alongside its beautiful marble and sculptures. Jimmy and the first LG crew (made up of a mix of several student organizations on campus) transformed the place with lighting and drapery to mimic the look of a NYC fashion show. The next year, they made LG into an exclusive event and it became the most highly anticipated event of the year. For this show, the theme was “chic and panache”, and it was also the first show to incorporate student designs. Not only did models walk the runway, they even incorporated some acting into the show to keep it interesting.

Jimmy’s vision was to put on an event that brought the CMU community together to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Part of Lunar New Year tradition is wearing new clothes, so “what better way to celebrate than having a fashion show and party?” says Jimmy. He also drew inspiration from his love of “fashion, design, Europe, and Euro Music”.

Jimmy’s greatest desire for the first Lunar Gala show was to bring the CMU community together. “It was kind of a reason for us to reach out beyond our comfortable circles of friends and student organizations. Lunar Gala gave us that ability to extend ourselves through music, fashion, and a common love for celebration”. Jimmy’s legacy has certainly been honored: Lunar Gala has continued to be one of the most diverse and celebrated student organizations on campus.

LG Spotlight: Entertainment Team
October 22, 2017

Why is entertainment such an important part of the Lunar Gala show? In the words of Entertainment Director Daniel See Yongxin, “it provides a different artistic form for the audience to connect to, and it allows [the dancers] to use [their] creativity and bodies to build on the theme and emotions that the lines and models convey”.

Daniel See Yongxin

Daniel and his co-director, Serris Lew, have been hard at work choreographing cohesive performances that help portray the LG theme. The talented group of twenty-three LG dancers meet twice a week. At these rehearsals, the group likes to throw in dance exercises and games to keep the practices fun and engaging. Daniel and Serris also enjoy incorporating improv exercises in order to get to know the dancers’ styles – they like to use their dancers’ personal styles as inspiration for their choreography. Later in the semester, Daniel and Serris will be implementing more theatrical training to help the dancers better convey emotion and expression while performing. Daniel “really can’t wait to showcase [the dancers’] skills and talents”, while Serris is “looking forward to learning from the dancers”.

Serris Lew

At the show in February, the LG dancers will be performing one hip-hop piece and another contemporary piece. There will also be performances from Carnegie Mellon organizations Soulstylz and Infra Dance Company, who Daniel and Serris coordinate performances with to make sure that the narrative of the show is consistent.

See below for some behind the scene photos from practice: