The Arts

Spring Fashion Show


In the moments before the music begins, the nervous energy is palpable.

Nearly three dozen student models line up along a wall in a second-floor hallway inside Nancy Nicholas Hall. Some hold shoes in their hands, waiting until the last moment to step into gravity- defying heels while designers make final adjustments to their looks. Racks of clothes — with each outfit numbered and labeled to indicate its place in the lineup — fill a small room nearby.

For the last three decades, the annual spring fashion show has given fledgling designers in the School of Human Ecology’s Textiles and Fashion Design Program the chance to present their best work and point of view.

A clutch of students, dressed in black and wearing headsets, directs traffic and settles last-minute questions. The show’s performance lead, Sarah Winter ’16, instructs the models on how to walk, including where to stop and strike a pose (at the end of the runway and before exiting the stage). Just moments before showtime, Winter breaks into a confident smile and says into her microphone, “Anyone who can hear me, I love you; you’re all my people. We’re going to kill it.”

On the other side of the curtain, students have used lights and pulsating music to transform the mood of a large conference room. Hundreds of handmade paper flowers adorn the stage backdrop.

Cory Allen Linsmeyer MFA’15, a menswear designer who teaches in the program, compares the students’ journey to the “craziest roller-coaster ride at Six Flags” and notes that each collection represents long hours in the studio. He welcomes the proud parents and friends who sit alongside the runway, and he points out the room’s two exits “in case of a fashion explosion.”

The show begins. The models walk. Garments float. Vision becomes reality.


Published in the Spring 2017 issue


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