Fashion design students repurpose garments from a thrift store
By Tucker Swiastyn
Students perform in the fashion show in Yardley Hall. The garments were either created by students or repurposed by students.
Photos by Julia Larberg
The heat of the lights beat down while each individual bared the weight of sponsoring the fabrics worn on their backs. Never-before-seen clothes were shown on the stage at this year’s fashion show.
While past fashion shows sponsored retail items, this year’s product development students were challenged to recreate secondhand items from a local thrift store. Thirteen designers selected pieces of clothing that stood out to them based on a budget given. The students then pulled those items apart and created a whole new ensemble.
“The students within the product development class were offered the opportunity to take garments from them [City Union Mission] and recreate using them as their inspiration to make a new garment,” said Joan McCrillis, Chair Fashion Merchandising and Design professor. “The creativity and the variants of the garments that were created is extreme, so it will make it very interesting.”
The restyle theme is a collaboration with City Union Mission to promote recycling used clothing while educating the audience about City Union Mission.
Joy Rhodes, Professor of Fashion Merchandising and Design, requires all of the designers that participated in the event to construct a dress for Little Dresses For Uganda.
This program allows designers to create special dresses for children in Uganda in a partnership with the nursing program who will take the dresses to orphanages.
Proceeds from the show go to scholarship foundations, which are awarded after the night show by outside judges. The top three to five designers benefit from the proceeds. Scholarship judges consisted of industry professionals from Nordstrom, Lee James and Gear for Sports.
“[The judges] love doing it. They love coming and seeing what the kids are doing,” Rhodes said. “They’re stuck in their cubicle world working on denim or working on collegiate gear … Some of the collections are a little bit out there and very creative, so they enjoy it.”
In the past, shows were held at the Polsky Theatre. This year it was held, for the first time, in Yardley Hall, allowing more seating for viewers. The setting also created a more theatrical feel with the show taking place on a stage instead of a runway.
One hundred and fifty high school students from local schools were able to tour the fashion departments and attend the afternoon show to get a feel for what the college’s fashion program has to offer.