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An article featuring Smith from The Crimson White:
Students debut fashion lines
Published: Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tonight at 8, University Programs will host Rock the Runway, a student fashion show that will showcase original clothing made by students majoring in apparel and textile design.
Based off New York Fashion Week, the event will feature models, a film crew, a professional photographer and a DJ in order to transform the Ferguson Plaza into a microcosm of the real-world fashion industry.
The featured clothing includes couture and ready-wear pieces for men, women and children. The designers have specific themes for their clothing, which range from the Louisiana landscape and architecture to the stages of a female’s life. Of the 14 designers participating, 11 have produced a full line consisting of five to 12 pieces of clothing. Due to time constraints, the other three could not produce a full line but will still be allowed to display their work in the preshow.
Jessica Hess, a senior designer in the preshow, was surprised by how much work and time she invested in the event.
“It’s so much more than I thought it would be — finding a model, being more prepared, having fittings, having a loyal model who will come. Everything is so detail-oriented,” she said.
Hess explained that the design process involves creating a mental picture, illustrating that picture, choosing or creating a pattern, constructing the garment and fitting it to a model — all within a specific timeline. But she said she feels the designers have maintained variety, despite the time.
“I go out there and work with these girls all the time, and I look at their line and I’m impressed. I just think, ‘How did you whip that out? That’s amazing,’” she said.
The designers hope this variety will positively shape students’ perceptions of the apparel and textile design major. “I feel like people don’t think it’s as hard as it is. It’s not just a joke. People do have talent,” senior designer Smith Sinrod said.
But designers also hope to direct attention to their own work. To become a design assistant, visual merchandiser or independent designer after graduation, students need a strong portfolio and real-world experience, both of which the event will provide.
“The one good way to establish yourself is word of mouth and actually have proof that your work exists. [Rock the Runway] gives me an idea as to what a real fashion show could be like, what to expect, what not to expect,” senior Charley Nichole Wood said.
Lashara Barnes, fine arts director for University Programs, said she thinks the show’s professionalism and elegance compare to real-world shows and will not only help to prepare the designers, but also astonish students. Barnes decided to host the event in the plaza this year to give everybody the opportunity to attend.
“We really do have a good design program. It will be like nothing you have ever seen on campus,” she said.
Also sharing Barnes’ enthusiasm is Denee Mills, a senior designer with a line based off black and white photography.
“I am so proud of everybody,” Mills said. “It’s just going to be a wonderful, glorious show. I’m blown away, but I think someone on the outside looking in will be blown away as well.