Wild wardrobe

Spring fashion show responds to the call of nature

Audiences were treated to visual representations of nature at the ninth annual Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) spring fashion show, titled “Cotton Couture: Nature’s Dream,” at the Schilling Center April 11.

MODEL — Inspiration for designers came from many different aspects of nature and culture, including a field of flowers, the four seasons, and even a quote about a peacock from the movie “The Other Guys.” Photo credit: Courtney Russo

MODEL — Inspiration for designers came from many different aspects of nature and culture, including a field of flowers, the four seasons, and even a quote about a peacock from the movie “The Other Guys.” Photo credit: Courtney Russo

The night began as JaNique Cameron and Julie Earle, director and assistant director of the show, explained that the theme was inspired by the FACS department’s partnership with Cotton Incorporated.

Cameron and Earle also described the rules of the program: designers were required to use 60 percent cotton in their garments in addition to meeting certain deadlines, such as sketching checkpoints, model selection and garment-fitting, earning them points if they met the deadlines on time.

Then Cameron and Earle introduced the judges: Michael Taylor, Miss Virginia 2014 and Liberty alumna Courtney Garrett, Kristen Wallin, Ashley Thorton and Liberty alumna and previous fashion show director Ruth Bibby.

The crowd went wild as the first design took the stage. Inspired by the quote, ‘I’m a peacock!” from the movie “The Other Guys,” junior Nam Nguyen designed a navy blue, teal and black floor-length flapper-style dress complete with feathers. Nguyen went on to win the Designer’s Choice Award at the end of the evening, in which all the designers voted on their favorite design.

Although he is a junior electrical engineering major, Nguyen entered the show because he enjoys sewing on the side.

“(Sewing) is a hobby I started out with,” Nguyen said. “It started out as a prank. I took my mom’s sewing machine and sewed all my roommate’s clothes together in his closet.”

Continuing the “Nature’s Dream” theme, senior Melissa Breaux based her collection on the four seasons, not only in nature, but in life as well.

theme — Models strutted down the runway sporting intense, bright designs at the ninth annual fashion show. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

Theme — Models strutted down the runway sporting intense, bright designs at the ninth annual fashion show. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

“(My collection) is based on the growth of one girl growing up,” Breaux said. “For the spring, I started with a children’s look when the girl is eight years old, then a more mature look for the junior/teenage years. Of course, fall is falling in love, so there’s a male look. Finally, the winter is represented by the girl’s wedding.”

Breaux went on to win awards in Best Childrenswear and Menswear later in the evening.

Senior Carley Bouwer based her design, Vintage Floral, on a field of flowers. She entered the show as one last fun activity before graduation.

“This is my last year here, and I thought it would be (a) fun last project,” Bouwer said.

Bouwer went on to win Best Single Piece Collection at the end of the night.

After the 22 designs were showcased, there was a short intermission for judges’ deliberation. Audience members enjoyed refreshments catered by students in the Culinary Club under the guidance of Linda Kitchel, an assistant professor in the FACS department.

During this time, a raffle offering gift cards to Lifeway, Penelope’s and Maurices took place. A slideshow was also displayed, presenting photos from the various checkpoints throughout the year, such as the designer launch party, model casting and garment fitting. Garrett was also available to take photos with guests.

At the end of the evening, every participant was presented with a handmade trophy created by Dr. Ruth Glaze, a professor in the FACS department. Awards were given for categories such as best use of fabric texture, best multiple piece collection, best male and female runway presentation, best use of color, best use of inspiration and
audience choice.

Cameron closed out the evening with prayer and commended the designers on a job well done, commenting on how they incorporated the natural beauty of God’s creation into
their designs.

“When I spoke with all the designers here on their storyboards, they all told me how God inspired them through their chosen element of nature,” Cameron said. “And it really shows in their final designs.”

Maurer is a feature reporter.

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