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Yoon Bahar
Palomar College Adjunct Professor Yoon Bahar prepares her collection for Fashion Week San Diego. Courtesy photo
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Fashion Week San Diego features Palomar faculty member, former student

SAN MARCOS — A Palomar College faculty member and a former Palomar student had their work exhibited Oct. 17 during the virtual Fashion Week San Diego event.

Adjunct Professor Yoon Bahar and alumnus Koran Fields-Cameron both had collections featured in this year’s show.

“It is a fantastic honor to be selected,” said Rita Campo Griggs, associate professor of Fashion Merchandising and Design. “I’m really proud to see Palomar College being featured like this. We have tremendous talent here. Koran was actually one of Yoon’s students, so to see the development, the talent being shared, and then to see it reflected in our students — I think that’s really striking.”

Fields-Cameron studied at Palomar through 2018, when his work was featured at Palomar’s annual MODA Fashion Show at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. His brand, Win Victories Stay Humble (WVSH), grew out of his experience in Palomar’s Fashion Merchandising and Design program.

Bahar’s collection includes 10 handmade pieces that were created entirely with recycled material, in keeping with her focus on sustainable fashion.

She recalled visiting a bridal gown retail store that was going out of business, where she took possession of a number of old dresses that would have otherwise been thrown out.

“I’ve always been interested in sustainable fashion, and I wanted to show the students we could reuse these wedding dresses,” she said.

Working from her Carlsbad home during the COVID-19 health crisis, Bahar created a line of clothing from castoffs and scraps.

“Because the material was sitting in the retail shop so long, I was trying to decide what I could do with it,” Bahar said. “I had a lot of leftover material from my Fashion Design classes, and so I combined that with this wedding dress material, and that’s how I came up with the design. The leftover fabric became zero-waste fashion.

“I think it’s important to demonstrate to our students that we can still use the scraps and leftovers that usually go into the trash. They always say, ‘I want to, but I don’t know how.’ Instead of lecturing them about it, I wanted to show them how it’s done.”

Campo Griggs said Bahar’s work “is absolutely incredible. She’s very, very talented. She teaches digital design and computer work, but she can teach anything, from beginning sewing all the way up to the most advanced classes we have.”

For Fashion Week San Diego, said Campo Griggs, “You have to apply to be one of the designers, they usually limit the show to 10 designers, and they get applications from all over the world.”