CINCINNATI - Generally speaking when you hear about a college fashion show, unless you go to a specialized art school, you don’t really know what to expect. I was surprisingly blown away. The DAAPworks 2014 Fashion Show trumped all the fashion shows I’ve ever attended. That says a lot as we had a strong fashion department at Savannah College of Art & Design when I graduated in 2006.
From aerialists performing on stage to pooches strutting the runway, there was quite the variety. This hour and a half showcase of the best fashion design and product development is something that takes nearly a year to coordinate. To see the finishing touches being put together right before the show gives you true appreciation for all that goes into the show.
Model Iain Steele from Sigal Models was excited to be part of the DAAPworks Fashion Show for the first time.
“The show is great for many reasons. Being able to be a model for various designers not only helps them — but it helps the models’ careers as well. It’s a win-win for both. We met the designers in early April for fittings, then final critiques. Then last night was rehearsal. I’m really looking forward to seeing everything come together tonight.”
UC Business student, Morgan Eberle, was working the show as a “dresser” for her class “Fashion in the Public Eye.”
“What is really great about the DAAPworks fashion show is that even students not in DAAP can be a part of the show. I’m a business major, but have an interest in fashion. After working the show and gaining experience through my class “Fashion in the Public Eye,” I’m debating on getting a minor in fashion design.”
Of course, beyond the behind the scenes, there’s the show itself which left me pretty blown away with the entire production from beginning to end. The overall theme was titled “Envision” and was sectioned into five parts: Fun, Inspiration, Creative, Development and FUTUREnow.
Scene one, “Envision Fun”, was filled with sassy little kids sporting adorable children’s wear from jumpsuits to hounds tooth coats and adorable suspender shorts. More than 20 looks were shown with each as unique and fun as the next.
Also included were collections made from bright fun-patterned IKEA fabric that was donated from the store. If I wasn't a frequent shopper at IKEA and didn't know their fabric section like the back of my hand, I would've never known the basis of these collections were from those of furniture store fabric.
Scene two, Envision Inspiration, showed more collections that were based around a particular theme or inspiration. Designer Alex Bush created the collection “Roots to Wings,” in which the name of the collection correlated with the garments he sent down the runway. Another favorite was menswear collection “Indigo Collar,” designed by Robbie Quigley. Menswear can be challenging and I admired the impeccable tailoring paired with unconventional fabrics throughout his collection.
Sprinkled within this scene of the fashion show were pieces from pre-junior tailoring. Some of the garments were part of a collection, such as “Book Cover,” created by designer Cara Indiano, where the models were clothed in fun-colored tailored dresses sporting masks to further the theme.
Scene three focused on creativity, where the collections were more of an art form rather than something that would be worn in everyday life. Although I did spot a few classic pieces, most were designed around a creative idea with collection names such as “Trance” and “Shamed.”
Junior knitwear was also featured during scene three, showcasing the work of 13 different junior designers ranging from entire collections to single garments with each having its own unique sense of style shining through.
Scene four was my favorite, as product development senior thesis products were shown. What made this category different from the rest of the show was the variety of products.
Product developer Caitlin Stahl showed her collection titled “4Eleven,” a collection dedicated entirely to serving those who are short and petite. Being only 5 feet myself, I can relate to the problems I have when shopping for tailored clothing.
Other concepts included art for prosthetic legs by developer Melea Green, a collection for dogs titled Fido and Fitz by Gretchen Wertz and a collection by Ariana Bostwick titled “Sultry Fantasy,” where lingerie and accessories merge to create unique one of a kind looks.
[insert photo of girl in black bathing suit with cold chain links down the front]
The show concluded with scene five – FUTUREnow. There was never a dull moment during the entire show; however it got a lot more exciting when an aerialist started to perform and dancers graced the runway with designer Alexandra Weibel’s collection titled “Moonlight.”
Bearcat Cheerleaders cheered their way down the runway, pom-poms in hand, with new uniform concepts by sophomore student Colleen O’Callaghan.
The show was continuously entertaining, with a steady flow of talent gracing the runway for
90 minutes straight. I can now see why fashion industry leaders, recruiters and large companies flock to Cincinnati for this show. It truly is a one-of-a-kind show.
Read more about the show here: http://www.wcpo.com/lifestyle/fridays-daapworks-annual-fashion-show-promises-to-draw-fashionistas-fashion-industry-leaders