Mar 292006
Authors: Erin Skarda

The fusion of talent, patience and planning with fabric, sequins and $200 worth of hair products created a captivating showcase of style Monday and Tuesday nights in the Lory Student Center’s Main Ballroom.

“Fusion: A Synthesis of Style,” showcased garments created by 24 up-and-coming student designers in the capstone class for the Department of Design and Merchandising.

From belly dancing costumes to evening gowns and urban styles to lingerie, the show catered to every taste.

“I was blown away,” Eulanda Sanders, associate professor of design and merchandising, said of this year’s show. “It was great. I am so proud of both the students who made the garments and those who (planned and promoted the show). It was very well constructed throughout.”

Approximately 400 to 500 people overflowed the seats each night to view these fresh styles, but the audience only saw the finished product of months of hard work and planning, leading up to hours of hair, makeup and finishing touches.

Students in the design class spent the entire fall semester creating their lines, which consisted of five garments each, said Sanders, while students from another class planned and promoted the show.

Bethany Whittelsey, a senior apparel design major and student designer, said toward the end of the fall semester when the lines were due, she spent about 70 hours a week working on her designs, whether it was hand-stitching or sewing on feathers.

“I was working on it, literally, like every second of my life,” Whittelsey said. “That’s all I did; I didn’t sleep. I pulled at least one or two all-nighters a week. It was overwhelming, but in the end, it was worth it.”

As the semester went on, the students also prepared a PowerPoint presentation of their design lines, including descriptions of their target market, what fabrics were used, their sketches and professional photographs of their garments, taken by the Department of Instructional Services.

In addition to the designers, merchandising students spent a large part of the semester planning and promoting the show.

Students on the facility and stage design committee spent about eight hours putting the stage together on Sunday before the show. The stage backdrop consisted of metal panels with circles cut out and colorful fabric hanging behind. In the center, a canvas revealed the shadow of DJ A*Naut, enveloped in red light.

“(The stage design) is abstract and open to interpretation,” said Sarah Dunlap, a member of the committee. “With the theme ‘fusion,’ it’s the idea of blending all the garments together in one show.”

Backstage, models received star treatment with hair styling, makeup and their own personal dressers.

“The show gives you a really good idea of what it would be like (to be a runway model),” said Rachel Stine, a senior food nutrition major who modeled three outfits both nights.

Laura Lokkesmoe, a representative from Tuana Hair Design in Fort Collins, said stylists arrived around 1 p.m. both days to begin creating hairstyles for 50 to 60 models.

“Surprisingly, the show ran smoothly,” Lokkesmoe said. “It was awesome.”

As the 7 p.m. show time approached Tuesday, the models lined up according to designer and waited silently for their turn to strut on the catwalk.

“It’s really silent now, but it gets crazy when the show starts,” said Janna Jacobs, a junior interior design student, as she waited backstage. “It’s like the silence before the fusion.”

But once the lights dimmed and upbeat music filled the ballroom, the fashion fusion exploded, as the crowd cheered and models danced down the runway.

“I was really happy with the whole show in general,” said Jennifer Trusty, a designer currently interning in MTV’s wardrobe department in New York. “I’m excited about my future.”


Designer Awards

Best of Show

E.J. Harrington, “Be6BeU”

Best Sales Presentation

Lacy Murray, “Burn Out”

Best Specialty Sport

Holly Frasure, “One Love”

Best Specialty Costume

Rachele Elich, “Chele”

Best Line Concept

Kelly Bryant, “Gella”

Best Historic Inspiration

Havilah Davis, “Nosferatu si Afemeiat”

Best Fiber Manipulation

Erin Chilvers, “Nest”

Best Textile Manipulation

Mandy Schuster, “Margot”

Best Art Wear

Jacqueline Bovit, “Paki”

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