The double doors open and you find yourself in a room spotlighting silhouettes in every direction you look. Upbeat music is playing, and you immediately feel like you are in a high fashion showroom setting. Chrome mannequins delicately hold up 24 different garments.
The garments are all designed and constructed by CSU students. As you walk around the room, you come to the back wall and find a TV screen showing a slideshow of close-up photo shots of the different garments you see all around the room.
This week, a fashion gallery opened on the third floor of the Gifford Building on the south side of campus. The gallery was built with funds from alumni donations to the Department of Design and Merchandising at CSU. The gallery has been constructed to showcase the work of fashion design students from the design and merchandising program.
There are 24 different clothing pieces on display right now from more than 10 different student designers, each of who bring a great deal of variety to the gallery. Each designer clearly shows his or her individuality and expresses his or her inspiration through the pieces on display.
The designs have very different looks and themes, and the uniqueness can especially be distinguished between the designers, since all of the pieces are in one room exhibited next to one another.
Next to each piece is a placard with the name of the designer, the inspiration for the piece, the materials used to construct the garment, the techniques used during construction as well as an explanation of the application to theory concepts.
The viewers can learn about the pieces in the gallery, as well as the designers as they are walking through and observing the pieces on show by reading the information given about each of the designs.
The current designs are mainly from graduate design students, and the pieces on show will rotate throughout the semester. The designs currently on show are the top pieces from a large group of students who entered their design lines into the gallery.
The pieces were chosen among a group of entries, and individual designers are recognized for outstanding performance in a variety of categories. Some of the award categories include: most innovative technique, best construction, best link to inspiration, best use of materials and, of course, best of show.
The award-winning pieces are displayed among all of the other pieces in the gallery so visitors can walk right up next to the pieces and see the quality of work from the pieces that won the awards.
It is interesting to walk through the gallery and look at all of the different styles that these students have created. The variety ranges from a line of revealing black lace garments, to heavy knit wear, to bright, culturally inspired traditional pieces. This variety creates an environment where every single garment on display is a point of interest in a walk through the gallery floor.
The gallery is open to the public every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is set up like an open house that is free for anybody to walk through.
It is exciting to see creative fashion in such a close proximity. I can appreciate all of the time and work these students spent in planning, developing, constructing and perfecting their lines that were chosen to show in the opening of the new gallery.
I have walked through the gallery multiple times already since the opening and suggest visiting to anybody and everybody. Stop by if you are around on campus, and take a look into the talent at our institution and at the high levels of quality and creativity in the products that are being produced.
Fashion columnist Erin Nalli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.