Runway goes green

FACS students prepare for their annual fashion show

As the semester comes to a close, students have the opportunity to watch as more than 40 models walk the runway in handmade works of art, which make their debut in the Family and Consumer Science (FACS) Department’s “Go Green, Go Glam” fashion show April. 12.

According to Fashion Show Advisor and FACS professor Matalie Howard, this year’s “Go Green, Go Glam” theme requires designers to use at least 60 percent organic, recycled and upcycled materials in their runway pieces.

“The show starts in the fall with a launch party,” Howard said. “We share the theme of the show, get students excited, give rules. Every year is different regarding fabrics.”

Howard explained that the show originated at the request of a student within the FACS Department eight years ago. Although Liberty’s first fashion show featured less than 10 designers and sold roughly 100 tickets to the event, this year’s show will feature 21 designers and 42 models with an expected turnout of more than 1000 attendees in the audience.

“It gives our students an opportunity to show their designs,” Howard said. “Our goal through the show is to give students experience. It’s not a fly-by-night thing. It’s a whole lot more. My goal is for the students to fine tune their skills and talents. … In the end, they will be respected in the industry.”

According to Howard, all designers are required to attend numerous meetings and a model selection throughout the year to determine who will wear their handmade outfits the runway.

Each apparel piece will be judged by a range of fashion experts from local businesses to major names such as J. Crew, and various prizes will be awarded to designers who excel in creativity and innovation, Howard said. Afterward, audience members are welcomed to meet the designers and learn about their personal experiences throughout the process, from first sketches to the finished product.

In order to keep progress continuing throughout the production phase, Fashion Show Director Kristin Goodrich, with the help of Assistant Director JaNique Cameron, has the responsibility of organizing and managing the show as well as coordinating meetings and minor events from start to finish.

According to Goodrich, planning for the show starts at the beginning of the fall semester.

“I basically put everything together … ” he said. “(I) pick the themes, coordinate the launch party and figure out deadlines.”

According to Goodrich, designers for the show typically work on their apparel pieces for at least six months, and they are expected to turn in their finished work just shy of two weeks before the big event.

Goodrich said, in addition to supporting the hard work of the young designers, a portion of every ticket will go to the Channel Initiative, a non-profit organization that is currently working on constructing and maintaining a healthcare facility. Liberty has been working with the Channel Initiative for nearly one year.

“Every year, we pick a charity to donate some of the proceeds to,” Goodrich said. “The goal is to help women and families over there.”

Goodrich also mentioned that the FACS Department has been donating disposal sanitary wipes to the impoverished people of the Congo in an effort to improve the overall quality of life for women and children.

The fashion show will be held 8 p.m. in the Schilling Center and is scheduled to last for approximately one hour.

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