Designer: Tanya Apuya
Title: Ohana Means Fashion – Lilo and Stitch
Costume designer and creator, Tanya Apuya, is originally from San Pedro, California but now resides in West Hollywood. Most of Tanya’s previous experience has been in costume design and fabrication. After studying design in college she went on to work in a costume shop building various garments for a multitude of shows and musicals. Since she was a child she has loved expressing herself through fashion. Forced into a mandatory uniform while attending a Catholic school, she expressed herself in little bouts of “fashion rebellion” – accessorizing her uniform in ways that was uniquely her and yet still adhering to the dress code.
This kind of creativity and her love to tell a good story led her to theater and costume design. “I love expressing who a person is through their clothing,” she says, “what they value and what they want from life. Even their plans for the day can all be spoken loud-and-clear by what they choose to put on their bodies without saying a word.” Her design this year for The Her Universe Fashion Show is a special one. “As we learn in Lilo and Stitch, ‘ohana’ means family, and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. As a tribute to my own ohana, I wanted to combine the rich history and traditions from my immigrant family from the Philippines alongside those of Hawaiian culture into a modernized couture gown.”