5 steps to the ultimate CCAD Fashion Show watch party

fashion show curtains

The 2021 CCAD Fashion Show presented by L Brands Foundation is Friday, May 14, at 8:30 p.m. (EDT). This annual event has a well-earned reputation for showcasing cutting-edge fashion—and for raising scholarship funds for students across all of Columbus College of Art & Design’s majors. And this year promises to be an especially memorable one, with a juried selection of work by 18 of CCAD’s emerging designers, live music, MojoFlo singer Amber Knicole as emcee, and so much more.

You can enjoy the 2021 CCAD Fashion Show in one of two forms this year: an online screening of the filmed runway show, or an in-person presentation of the filmed runway show at the Easton Community Drive-in. Whichever experience you choose, you’ll enjoy a night of fabulous fashion and of vital philanthropy as you see work from our up-and-coming designers, learn about the inspiration behind their looks, and watch their collections make their debut. 

We’ve got quite the shindig planned for the drive-in (find details on that right here), but if you opt for the at-home experience, not to worry: We have you covered with advice on how to make the night the very best it can be! (And if you don’t yet have your ticket, never fear. You can secure yours here.)

No. 1: Dress to kill (or chill)
It’s been a long time since most of us had the opportunity to get dressed up to celebrate a major occasion, so consider dusting off that little black dress or your tailored suit to make the night feel special. Of course, it’s been a lonnnnng while since most of us had to get dressed up, so if you’d prefer to keep it comfy, you can maintain an effortless cool with joggers and a CCAD sweatshirt—just make sure everyone at your party knows the expected dress code! 

No. 2: There’s no better time to be a castaway
There’s no need to squint at your smartphone, huddle around your tablet, or sit at your desk to view the show. Smart TVs and devices such as Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV enable several ways for you to bring the CCAD Fashion Show experience to your television screen. Click on the links below for guidance.

Please note, this list is not exhaustive (and we won’t be able to lend our tech troubleshooting services), so you may need to seek out further instructions for your specific setup. If you haven’t cast to your TV before, we’d recommend that you give it a trial run before the big night. And if you do not have a device to stream the show wirelessly, but still want to watch the CCAD Fashion Show on your television, you may need to use an HDMI cable to do so.

No. 3: Consider your environment
Make an unforgettable night even better by transforming your environment for the evening. First things first, make sure you and your guests have comfortable spots to watch the show—if you don’t have sofas or chairs for everyone, consider floor cushions or blankets to help them get comfy. 

Depending on the weather, you may feel the pull to take the party outside. Whether you have a DIY projector setup or a flat screen TV, the outdoors can provide the perfect setting for you and your guests to stretch out and take in the show. Again, make sure that there are plenty of places for people to sit, with chairs or benches, pillows and cushions, or picnic blankets or vintage linens (which you can purchase for a song at a thrift store) providing plenty of options. 

Inside or out, lighting is another thing you’ll want to think about. Battery-operated faux-candles can provide a twinkle without a fire hazard, string lights can lend a sophisticated glow to an outdoor space, or solar-powered fairy lights can add whimsy and flattering light wherever you might want them. Want to amp up the fun? Pick up some festive balloons, garlands, or sparklers—or even a fringed backdrop for photobooth fun—at a party supply shop. (Wild Cat is a local favorite.)

No. 4: Drink up
We’ll be toasting this year’s Fashion Show designers promptly at 8:15 p.m. (EDT). You could grab a glass of bubbly, of course, but we have some other suggestions for wetting your whistle, including a signature cocktail for the night: the Fashionista Fizz (aka a French 75). Click here for directions from Bon Appétit on how to make this bubbly classic cocktail.

If alcohol isn’t your thing, fear not: we’ve got you covered with some ideas for other drinks to sip during the night. From a tequila alternative to elevated options for sparkling water, Refinery29 has recommendations on some nonalcoholic drinks and mixers you won’t want to miss. Find them here. Need more help building that dry bar? Never fear: Wine Enthusiast has you covered with expert advice for home bartenders. Click here to see what they had to say. And if you’re looking for even more recipe inspiration, check out this list of easy-to-make, alcohol-free cocktails from The Spruce Eats.

No. 5: Give them something to chew on
With a run time of nearly two hours, think of the CCAD Fashion Show as a marathon, not a sprint. Keep your guests fueled and ready to go all night long with a some tasty snacks. Your grocer’s freezer section likely has a selection of delicious hors d'oeuvres such as mini quiches, egg rolls, and delectable puff pastries—Trader Joe’s is always good for this sort of thing—but if you want to go the DIY route, consider creating individual charcuterie boards for your guests. From cheese to fruit, cured meat to crackers, not to mention spiced nuts, small sweets, veggies and so much more, you can have fun building a menu while also being mindful of your guests’ dietary restrictions and COVID-19 safety concerns. From more traditional cheese boards to “jarcuterie,” Brit+Co, Life is a Party, Food Network, Modern Glam, and Midwest Foodie Blog all have great ideas to get you started. (And if all else fails, chips and salsa are a classic combo for a reason.)

A fun fashion show watch party is as complicated—or as easy-going—as you like. No matter what format you opt for, you’ll end the night feeling good knowing that your ticket purchase helped support CCAD students through the General Scholarship Fund. Still need to secure your ticket? You can get it right here, but only through Monday, May 10.

Happy watching!

Meet the 2021 CCAD Fashion Show designers

Learn about the trends you’ll see on the runway

Get to know emcee Amber Knicole