A new purpose for fashion

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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

Students perform in the fashion show in Yardley Hall. The garments were either created by students or repurposed by students.
Photos by Julia Larberg


cswiasty@jccc.edu


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.
 

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