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Student-made designs take the runway at charity fashion show

April 14, 2010 : Elizabeth Mayhew

The Liberty University Department of Family and Consumer Sciences sponsored its fourth annual student-initiated and directed fashion runway show on April 9 in the Schilling Center.

This year’s show, titled “Timeless, the Cotton Collection,” was funded by a $15,000 grant from Cotton Incorporated, a research and promotion company based in Cary, N.C. More than 1,800 people attended the event, which raised more than $3,600 for the Liberty Godparent Home and the Blue Ridge Crisis Pregnancy Center.

Modeled after the hit TV show Project Runway, the fashion show included the work of 17 students who researched and selected cotton fabrics for their designs and were involved in all aspects of the event. Styles ranged from children’s sundresses to fashion-forward cocktail dresses and professional attire. The models were fellow students and friends of designers. Each student was required to use materials consisting of at least 60 percent cotton fiber per garment. They were also required to do a research abstract and presentation board, as well as participate in a special workshop.

Freshman Katie Johnson won the Best of Show top prize — a Project Runway sewing machine — for her design line  (one of her designs is the floral sundress with yellow sash in the photo below). The three other featured Judges’ Choice award winners are: first runner-up Tshaerng Sherpa, second runner-up Molly Neff, third runner-up Oronde Vassell. Neff also won the Designers’ Choice Award, where the student designers cast a silent ballot for their favorite line.

Johnson said the show was not so much about the competition as it was the experience gained.

“I honestly forgot that it was a competition until the night before when they were going over details and mentioned awards … it gives us the experience we need by preparing us for how fashion shows are put on.”

  • Liberty University’s FACS Department seeks to help students learn the values, knowledge and skills necessary to be proactive in strengthening the contemporary family. Graduates from this program can go into a variety of fields, including interior design, human development, food and nutrition and clothing.