Fringes swayed, sequins twinkled, feathers glided and colors popped. The eclectic compilation ranged from taffeta-glazed gowns to funky lounge wear. Style, texture, lines and contrast had no boundary.
Student designer creations came to life on the runway Saturday in the Lory Student Center Ballroom when the students showcased their original couture generated from idea to wearable finished product in the winter fashion show hosted by the CSU chapter of Fashion Group International.
This display of uninhibited ingenuity required a significant amount of time and labor.
Eulanda Sanders-Okine, CSU apparel and merchandising professor, said the designer must be able to "tap into both sides: construction and creativity."
An elegantly cut feminine-looking dress with a tulip skirt unexpectedly revealed skulls and cross-bones in the fabric upon closer examination. The design is by Melissa May, junior apparel and merchandising major with an apparel production concentration.
Her style is "a blend of classy and punk" and her emphasis-detail. May entered eight pieces in the show, making her the top contributor. She admitted to staying up all night to finish sewing her pieces.
"The fashion show is my favorite part of the business," May said.
She could hardly wait to see the models in her designs, she said. May said she draws inspiration from attire seen at concerts, which she claims is a fashion culture of its own, consisting of crazy teenagers who have fun with what they wear. Her favorite designer is Betsy Johnson and her dream is to own a boutique in downtown Denver after graduation.
May wants to be a designer because when a project is complete, "you have a finished product that is you!"
The finale, and what may have been the most extraordinary outfit, was a long skirt made of pieces of different fabrics sewn together and worn over a hoop skirt. As full of fabric as the bottom was, the top was conversely skimpy. It consisted of one skinny piece draping the neck and another thin piece across the chest. This ensemble by Amber Davis, junior apparel and merchandising major with an apparel production concentration, is meant to be scandalous and outlandish.
For fashion shows, Davis likes to create items that are "off the wall" and "not wearable in everyday life." She thought of the idea because she wanted to rid her apartment of excess scraps of fabric. She received the fabrics from the university so, "free outfit!" Already an entrepreneur from making clothes on a commission basis while she was in high school, she hopes to begin working for an American apparel company like Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger, then eventually own her own business.
Unique handbags featured appliques of an owl or a poodle. Vintage-style bags by Danielle Anderson, sophomore apparel and design major with a concentration in apparel production, are her signature. She likes having the ability to take a square piece of fabric and make it into something useful, she said.
"It's the power to make something you dreamed up into real life," Anderson said.
The student designer fashions are for sale in local stores including Black Label, the Wired Bean Coffee House, Inc. and Kansas City Kitty.
The event was named "Ice at 5,003 Feet" after the altitude of Fort Collins. The background exuded simplicity with its all white backdrop behind silver branches. The dimly lit runway did not do the clothes justice.