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Liberty News

Students present annual fashion show, redesign missionary home

April 10, 2009 : Dominique McKay

Student models walked the runway at Liberty University’s third annual Fashion Show on April 3, hosted by the Family and Consumer Sciences Department. With a “Garden Party” theme, the designs ranged from hand-made evening gowns to floral skirts and shirts.

Designers were required to create at least one garment, in line with the Liberty Way, depicting their interpretation of the theme. Designers included students majoring in fashion merchandising, business marketing, communications, math and biblical studies.

The show raised close to $2,700, which went toward paying for the redecoration of Thomas Road Baptist Church’s (TRBC) Missionary Furlough Home (see story below).

A panel of judges critiqued the designs. Following a four-way tie, first place went to sophomore Carolyn Marcelo; second place went to senior Lesley Vannoy, and third place went to sophomore Hannah Swanson. Katie Fath received the People’s Choice Award. Other designers included Isaiah Clemmons, Regina Eng, Amanda McKinney, Natalie Patino, Leslie Wood and Briana La’Cole Young.

Judges included Jessica Alexander, FACS Association’s public relations officer; Justin Kintzel, band member of Liberty’s Campus Praise Band; Sharon Wheeler, Liberty professor in the Department of Theatre Arts, and Erica Peak, communications director for J.Crew’s Distribution and Call Center located in Lynchburg, Va.

Becki Falwell, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s wife, was the guest judge and tie-breaking vote.

“I really encouraged designers to design what they wanted and not to feel limited,” said Erika Sheffer, vice president of the FACS Association.

“Each designer really enjoys creating garments. I really wanted it to be fun for them — something that they would want to do again.”

Planning for the show began in August as Sheffer conducted a model casting of Liberty students who were interested in walking the runway for designers. About 100 people assisted in the production of the show including students in the FACS 351 Event Coordination class and FACS Association members.



Thomas Road Baptist Church’s (TRBC) Missionary Furlough Home, located on Liberty Mountain, serves as a place for missionaries to stay, free of charge, while trying to raise money to continue God’s call on their lives. The home was last furnished in the 1990s, and students from Liberty’s Family and Consumer Sciences Department decided it could use a new look.

Lucky Billings, missions pastor for TRBC, offered the FACS Association a small budget to complete a makeover. About 30 student volunteers and a few parents helped with the project, according to FACS Association president Kelly Kingsley. Matalie Howard, Liberty FACS professor, said the team was able to renovate the house in four weeks for less than $1,500. An open house was held on March 26.

“The students and Matalie Howard have taken what was a jumbled bunch of donated furniture and turned it into something that our missionary’s could call a home away from home,” said Mary Simpson, FACS department chair.

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.

The purpose of the fashion merchandising and interiors major is to prepare the student to acquire the values, knowledge, and skills necessary to be proactive in the areas of human development, interior design/housing, consumer economics/management and clothing/textiles.


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