First They Pick the Muse, Then They Pick Their Model

December 15th, 2010 by Lacey Luce
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Written by Aadam Soorma

Walking directly toward a panel of judges, striking a pose, executing a full turn, and then walking away—this was the scene as nearly 200 CCAD undergraduates tried out for the chance to model in Masters of Design, the 2011 Senior Fashion Show.

While senior designers have had months to research their Masters of Design muse, choosing the model is the next crucial step before they start constructing their garments.

“We’re looking for a wide range of people who can best show off the garments,” said Suzanne Cotton, CCAD Fashion Design chair. “It’s hard to tell from a picture how someone walks. I especially note the ones that keep a straight back and appear confident.”

Cotton, who was on hand as one of the judges, was impressed by the sheer number of students interested in helping with the show.

“This was our largest turnout ever,” Cotton said. “My senior (fashion) students are in charge of advertising and inviting models in for the tryout. It’s pretty amazing how much this has grown in just the last three to four years.”

Sloan Coffin, a 21-year old industrial design major, was chosen to model in last year’s show and hopes to be a part of the event this spring, too.

“It was a lot of fun and I’ve always enjoyed being on stage,” Coffin explained. “It’s a little nerve-racking at times, with a lot of 30-minute fittings my designer needed as the show got closer, but we became friends and actually hung out too.”

Coffin, who admittedly feels a bit unknowledgeable about fashion, says he enjoys learning from the designers and applying things to his own work.

“I know form well, since I’m industrial design. But all the subtle patterns are a little beyond me. These [fashion] designers are conceptual and good with craft. It’s something I’ve worked into slowly and really broadened my horizons on other forms of design.”

Another former model, Annie Lobb, agrees and feels that the model-designer relationship drives creativity and creates a win-win for all involved.

“Last year, Origins was such a cool theme and all the designers interpreted it in their own way,” Lobb said. “It’s fun to dress up and basically be someone you’re normally not. When I model, I’m wearing someone else’s art—my goal is to show off their creation as best I can.”

Cotton noted a palpable excitement in this year’s senior class and is ready for them to get started.

“To start out fresh with a new theme is exciting, and I’m proud of how much time the students put into their designs,” Cotton said.

After the models are selected the designers start sketching garment patterns for each collection.

Coming next: Check back in January for more on what happens after the designers select their model. Or, follow us on Twitter and get tweets when new posts go up.

Be sure to hit our Fashion Show event page on Feb. 1 for a special advance-purchase deal on tickets.

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The CCAD Fashion Show is an annual fundraising event that showcases the talent of graduating Columbus College of Art & Design Fashion Design Seniors. This popular event sells out every year and this blog is a portal through which to view the behind-the-scenes goings on.

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