Springtime sweetens fashion show

“Let them eat cake,” and eat they did. Attendees helped themselves to frosted cupcakes and pastel meringues while they indulged in a fashion show, Friday April 1 that was both classy and carefree. The Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Department fifth annual fashion show entitled Modern Marie: Springtime Sweets mixed lady-like layers, soft colors and strong architectural lines to create a show fit for a queen.

Fit for a queen — The spring 2011 FACS fashion show featured student-created designs inspired by Marie Antoinette’s extreme sense of style. Photo credit: Arielei Kinzer

Liberty’s student designers created anywhere from one to five ensembles which were then modeled by friends, family and fellow Liberty students for an excited audience.

“Everything went so smoothly,” FACS Professor Matalie Howard said. “The designers and models were ready.”

Taking inspiration from the 18th century Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, designers integrated tied corsets, oversized floral accents and her iconic pink color into their creations. The words “let them eat cake” scripted across the back of the stage were part of a phrase credited to the famous queen, whose spending habits caused tremendous debt to her country.

“This year, the designers looked at not only what was worn then, but they really did follow the theme,” Howard said, who asked the designers to consider the question “What would Marie Antoinette wear if she was alive in 2011?”

The result was a collection of gowns, pantsuits and vests that featured glitter, texture, volume and style reminiscent of those the late queen.

“A few of them had been in a show before, so we wanted them to think outside their comfort zone and go with the theme,” Howard said. “I think it was wonderful how they brought out their personality.”

Each designer was judged on originality, inspiration, best embodied theme and best overall execution. The judge’s panel included J.Crew Manager Jamelle Bolden, Sage Tryall Salon’s Artistic Director Mallory Bradley and Liberty’s former Student Government President Matthew Mihelic, who is now a student at Liberty’s Law School.

“I was really impressed by the show,” Mihelic said. “You could tell the designers put a lot of work into it.”

Mihelic said that he was humbled in being asked to judge the in the show.

“I really felt unqualified, but I kind of just went with what I liked,” Mihelic said.

Though most of the awards were chosen prior to the show, the judges were given the task of awarding “Best in Show” which was given to designer Tiffany Bloss.

“It was interesting to see how some of the designers did things differently from past years,” senior Katie Harcum said, who has attended the show for the past three years.

Each year the FACS department develops a new theme for the show. The 2010 show was focused on the use of cotton and 2009 had a garden party theme.

“After watching shows like America’s Next Top Model, it was actually fun to sit in the seats and experience a fashion show,” junior Danielle Buck said.

Proceeds from the event went to Freedom 4/24, an organization designed to raise awareness for women trapped in the sex industry. “For women who are sexually exploited, $24 can buy them freedom for 24 hours and the chance to escape that lifestyle forever,” according to Freedom 4/24’s website.

“We were hoping for close to $3,000 for the ministry (Freedom 4/24),” Howard said. “I think we probably met it.”

The FACS department is located in DeMoss Hall and can be found at Liberty’s website, liberty.edu, and searching “FACS.” For more information about the Freedom 4/24 ministry, visit freedom424.org.

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