Apr 13, 2010

Lights, camera, catwalk

by Tiffany Edwards

Unlike Giselle, in Enchanted, Liberty students do not need curtains to make beautiful clothing. This time around, they needed cotton. The fourth annual Fashion and Consumer Sciences (FACS) fashion show, entitled Timeless: The Cotton Collection, was held Friday, April 9 at 8 p.m. in the Schilling Center.

Student designers showcased single and multi-piece collections that they created themselves. Designers were required to use 60 to 100 percent cotton fiber content in their modeled clothing designs.

“With support of Cotton Inc. and the Cotton Student Sponsorship Program, events leading up to and including the show will make our participants and show attendees more aware of the timeless benefits of durability, sustainability, versatility and wearability that cotton contributes to the fashion industry,” FACS professor Matalie Howard said.

The collections featured at the show featured spring and summer wear, and many women’s collections. The Skittels collection, by Lynne van der Stelt, also featured men’s and children’s summer wear.

After the models displayed the collections, designers were given awards based on their creativity, innovation and skill. The top four award winners were senior Oronde Vassell, freshman Katelyn Johnson, junior Molly Neff and senior Tshering Pamu Sherpa, with the prize for Best in Show going to Molly Neff.

The winners were then invited onto the stage and asked questions about their lives, designing and what they learned while at Liberty. Sherpa’s answer about what she learned at Liberty garnered the most applause — she became a Christian at Liberty in 2008, and is currently witnessing to her family in Nepal.

The designers were also asked about their inspirations and the people who supported them. Vassell, the only male designer and a communications major, had titled his collection “Virtuous Woman” after reading a Bible passage about the Proverbs 31 woman. His pieces featured in the fashion show were his first attempts at designing women’s clothing.

“I actually started designing in high school. I always had sketches and ideas on how to make clothes, but I never knew how to sew. But then I came to Liberty and had the opportunity to take a sewing class,” Vassell said. “I love the opportunity to just put things together.”

In preparation for this year’s fashion show, students were required to perform individual research into their personally selected cotton fabrics as well as research abstracts and presentation display boards, according to Howard. Students also attended a cotton fabric purchasing trip, went on a tour of Cotton Incorporated’s world headquarters and participated in a “cotton exposure workshop.”

Tickets to the show cost $5 in advance, $7 at the door, and proceeds were donated to the Blue Ridge Crisis Pregnancy Center and the Liberty Godparent Home.

Contact Tiffany Edwards at

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