You would not think that the senior capstone fashion show, sponsored by the Department of Design and Merchandising, would have a zoology major and an applied math major as its MCs.
But that was only one of the ways that this year’s CSU fashion show embodied the theme of confluence, which is simply defined as the act of merging – merging merchandising students with design students, and merging the department with other majors on campus.
The show was produced solely by students taking DM 474, Fashion Show Production and Event Planning. Students in the class worked the entire semester to put on the show, alongside directors Grayden Roper and Kelly Allen, and supervised of Carol Engel-Enright.
Antony Brown and Claire Eades kicked off the show, which featured 13 senior capstone collections and designs by the junior draping class, and took place at the Lincoln Center in downtown Fort Collins.
The capstone collections were shown in three sections. Each showcasing a variety of different clothing ranging, from maternity wear, children’s wear, athletic wear, couture corsets, and transformative attire.
Kicking off the show was the draping class, which produced looks following the autumn/winter 2016/2017 trend of “offbeat.” This trend is characterized by edgy, street-style worthy looks in bright colors with texture-heavy fabrics and unique pattern combinations.
After the draping section, came the senior capstone collections. The first section featured designers Nicole Leicht, Kacey Sutherlin, David Russon and Kelly Allen.
Leicht’s children’s wear collection kicked off the show with sweet and sassy child models, wearing trendy and stylish clothes that mainly focused on little girls. Sutherlin’s collection was aimed at functional and stylish clothing that women would wear while rock climbing. Russon’s maternity collection was meant to give moms-to-be a modest, yet fashionable, approach to maternity wear in their third trimester. Finally, Allen’s yoga wear was a fun way to end the first section with the models actually doing yoga poses on the runway to show their effectiveness and just how comfortable they are.
After the first section of senior collections, came an intermission where guests were asked to view clothing from Crimson Oak Clothing in the lobby and vote for the best designs. That design would then be put into production. Crimson Oak Clothing is a web-based business that allows the public to vote for designs from recent graduates of four-year apparel design universities. The website currently features eight designs by CSU students.
The second section featured clothing that leaned more towards ready-to-wear. It featured a variety of different inspirations from designers Kristen Davis, Hannah Mentch, Hannah Morris, Joan Walker and Kevin Ness.
Kristen Davis’s collection was inspired by Coachella, but in this case, a more tasteful interpretation of the boho style that the annual music festival is known for. Hannah Mentch’s collection took us back in time for her vintage lingerie line. Hannah Morris transformed the girly and delicate aesthetic of ballerinas into an ultra feminine collection. Joan Walker’s collection was perfect for women on the go, for the focus of the line as on clothing that could easily be transformed from day to night. Lastly, Kevin Ness showed the audience impeccably tailored men’s and women’s wear, the first and only menswear collection featured in the show.
The last sections showcased garments that were inventive, both in terms of inspiration and execution. This section featured designers Christina Kidney, Lucy Horrall, Melissa Karsh and Maya McGowan.
Christina Kidney’s collection was inspired by urban Europe, more specifically, London. It featured pieces that a true Londoner would definitely wear. Lucy Horrall’s collection was incredible, as all of the pieces had some sort of transformative element. Melissa Karsh’s collection was probably the most avant-garde collection of the entire show. It used a variety of different materials to create couture costumes that also featured her own line of couture corsets. The last collection was designed Maya McGowan, who stunned the audience in her glamorous evening gowns. Much of the audience was unable to believe that a design student had created something that looked like what an A-list celebrity would wear on the red carpet.
The sold-out audience showed the designers and designs love throughout the entire show. This created an uplifting and energetic atmosphere.
The urban, industrial set stood as a non-distracting backdrop for each collection and gave it that professional feel.
The show ended by awarding winners in the categories of best draping, most marketable, best construction, outstanding designer and most creative. The winners were:
Best Draping: James Arnold
Most Marketable: Nicole Leicht
Best Construction: Kevin Ness
Outstanding Designer: Lucy Horrall
Most Creative: Melissa Karsh
We wish these seniors the best of luck as they embark on their next phase of their design career!