It’s Showtime …

May 11th, 2012 by Lacey Luce
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Getting ready for the show to start.

9 p.m.

This place is packed. There was another party in the tent for our general admission ticket holders thanks to Union Café and now the two happy crowds are merging—there are approximately 800 people packed into this tent ready to be delighted and excited.

I got here just in time. Fortunately there was a fabulous video running while I got set up.

Andrea  Cambern is already on stage—stunning per usual—and she’s introducing Arlene and Michael Weiss (representing runway sponsor EXPRESS) who will officially get this party started with a classic ribbon cutting (apropos, no?).

Opening the show.

As Andrea begins to thank our generous sponsors, I can see people flipping through their lookbooks, which were printed by Baesman and sponsored by Abercrombie &  Fitch (I’m not sure what the model  on the back cover ad is selling, but I’ll take two). FYI: Click here to find out more about the lookbook and other student-generated visuals for the show.

The music is rising, the tempo is picking up and… here we go.

Up first is Joella Stallard’s collection. Lovely.

We had a smaller senior Fashion Design class this year, but we still have more than 50 looks coming down the runway tonight. This year the designers presented more garments for jurying and some have as many as five or six looks in the show.

Once again, each designer is as unique as the collection she brings to the show (yes, our senior designers this year are all women). If you get a chance, check out their individual interviews and learn how they were inspired to develop these beautiful pieces.

Unfortunately I was not lucky enough to sit down with each designer to do the individual interviews this year (sometimes delegating sucks).  So I’m going to turn this blog post over to Kristen Foley for her take on what is coming down the runway vs what she saw in development during the last six months. Take it from here Kristen…

As I learned during my interview with Joella, she normally gravitates towards simple, tailored pieces; however, as her designs hit the runway they were anything but simple. The free flowing and airy fabrics moved with the model with every step. The pleats that were originally daunting, are now beyond divine as they get instant applause from the crowd.

Next up, Jennifer Tang. Jennifer set out to create movement, flow, and a color palette that matched her artistic muses and she certainly achieved that with her look tonight. Feathered dusty rose chiffon never looked as good as it does tonight.

There is sincere natural and organic element to Michele Watson’s designs. The barefoot models and their foot or toe jewelry only add to the ethnic element that Michele wanted to achieve. Michele was one of the first people who I spoke with and it’s exciting to see her entire collection come together and how each of the printed fabrics work together cohesively on stage.

The art of theater was always something that Tasha Naneth Bolten was drawn to as a child, and her collection is certainly not short on theatrics. A touch of the past mixed with the new is showcased perfectly in her final pieces. Adding a bit of extra drama to the evening are her handmade headpieces. Love the feather. Love the hat.

Next up is Amanda Mae Smith’s collection. Amanda’s goal was to take on big patterns, geometric, and animal shapes, and try to include natural fabrics whenever possible. She succeed. The unique “burnout” technique she used on several of her garments shows well on the runway. The elephant  burnout dress that I saw as a long dress in the classroom is now above-the-knee and worn with booted moccasins. It is somewhat tribal in nature, but still supreme high fashion.

Kristin Rose was the only designer to take on menswear this year. The models strut on the stage and give the audience a full view of the smokin’ wool coats she created. Baby, it’s getting’ hot in here! Rustic with a designer’s edge. Perfect for the guy going hunting on the town.

Wow, we’re already at the halfway point of the show and the crowd is loving every minute of it as Skyler Riggins’ piece takes the stage. The high-waisted pants and shimmering top are remarkable. You can see the detail on stage as the light hits it. It truly is a stand out piece.

Alyssa Johnson was another designer who took it upon herself to trademark her pieces, but this time with silk screening organic shapes onto the fabrics. The music starts a rock beat that perfectly compliments the collection. Her bold accessories show her unique attention to detail and the geometric shape.

A shimmer of sequins blinds us for a second as Rachel Cass’ collection takes the stage. Her collection of lingerie inspired ready-to-wear pieces add an extra couture edge to the evening. The sheer tops complimented by the comfy lounge jackets receive yet another round of applause.

Just knowing all the hard work each designer had to do to make these pieces even appear on stage makes the show that much more enjoyable. Only a few more collections to go!

Although Sarah Pruden described her piece as a little bit goth and girly, it’s really a whole lot of fun and flirty, especially when the model showcases one of the ruffles of the dress.

Julia Ruan’s pieces are like nothing we’ve seen yet. The bold colors precede the unique and powerful designs. Oversized sleeves and fun patterns speak loudly from the stage. The models hair is even dyed to match her designs.

A little surprise for the evening as Annika Simmons collection makes its appearance and the show’s youngest models take the stage. Little bits of pinks and pale greens and a whole lot of childlike wonder full of curtseys and crinoline.

Tasha Dircksen’s collection can be summed up as supreme glam. The fabrics are smooth and shiny with just enough shimmer and form to compliment the female models. Each are complimented by the handmade silver jewelry she created specifically for the show.

Seeing Shirley Weng’s ribbon infused collection onstage in its final form is a thrill. I had the opportunity to watch her as she first starting weaving the ribbons together and now the dress is strutting down the runway. What a rush.

It’s hard to believe but we’re on the last student collection. Rachel Kaplan’s jaw-dropping 1940s inspired evening gowns and pantsuits simply glow, even before the runway light hits them. Gold sequins are showcased through most of the pieces except for the rich, low-cut red dress that unites them all.

Thanks Kristen!

The applause is mind blowing, rightly so. And now the designers are coming down the runway with one of their models for their much-deserved kudos and flowers from Fashion Design Chair Suzanne Cotton (I love that she does that).

And, in return the students take to the stage one more time and are now handing Ms. Cotton a bouquet.

Oh, hello, we are not being told to leave… ah this must be the Easton Fashion Award.

And, Easton Town Center is presenting it to… OUTSTANDING SENIOR RACHEL CASS! AWESOME. What a fantastic way to cap the show.

I can hear a new high-octane beat thumping in the building next door as DJ Rainer gets the dance party started.

Hmmmm I’ve still got a little work to do.

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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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