Student Fashion Shows: Students, put your best foot forward!

The MFW had a great turnout of student designers represented on Tuesday night for the Emergence: the new school of Midwest Fashion Student Fashion Show at the historical Madame C.J. Walker Theatre.  The student designers were: Christelle Amelie Jonquet / AI, Amana Holt / AI Chicago, Julia Montag / Ball State, Daryl Bonner / AI,  Sylvia Schieber / IU Bloomington, Ali Robbins, Fred Schwier /IU Bloomington, Audrie Simison / Ball State, Danisha Brown + Krista Alter / AI, Lanae Stovall / Ball State, Lorry Plasterer / IU Bloomington, and Jennifer Spriggs/ UC DAAP.

This event definitely drew the Who’s Who in the fashion community in Indianapolis. This was probably the first fashion event this week that had more fashionistas than spectators. It was definitely an exciting event connecting with a lot of the Indianapolis Fashion Collective members under one roof.

Now from an assertive approach, the overall show appeared well organized and the presentations flowed well. There were some really hot pieces with great construction, and there were some that should not have left the cutting room.  To assess a collection, concept or a bunch of ideas, you should think about the purpose of the process.

Being a fashion student the world is in front of you and there are so many options to choose from.  So to begin to assess your strength first ask yourself, what is my passion? What can I do best? Do I have innovative ideas? The answers will direct your future. The fashion industry is a very competitive world, and if you are not strong in your craft you will not survive as an independent designer.

Overall, if I was looking at my grade book I would give the students a “C” for construction. Yes, there were some well constructed garments, brand-worthy ready ideas, and cool outerwear concepts. But, there were also plenty of unfinished hems, seams needing pressed, lack of detailing, and ill-fits. Whenever there is a fiasco backstage, you will have to learn how to master the cover-ups, so it’s not so visible to the audience. What I would like for the students to take home from all this is first, “Know thyself!” – have a clear and cohesive vision for you collection before you unveil it for public scrutiny,  and second, recognize that attention to detail is EVERYTHING when it come to fashion.

The world is looking for the “NEXT” best thing so never forget to push the envelope with design, construction and innovation!

All images provided by Ani Ziemniak.

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4 Comments

  • I’m guessing the seniors had the collections, and the younger students had the mish mash of pieces. My guess would be that they showed class projects, which is why some of the groupings had no cohesive look. While I understand, it would have been a good opportunity for them to make a few pieces that worked together for the show. Overall I think they did pretty well.

  • Yes, I agree Catherine. But, we in the design world as a novice, student, experienced or professional have to challenge our creativity to compete with the masses. I like to push for greatness for everyone including myself.

    I really enjoyed the show and cannot wait to see the next one.

  • I have nothing but praise for this first student produced, student promoting event. I would hope that this event, or others like it can continue for coming years.
    Over and above the bad construction and unclear concepts, what students take away from these events is the courage to put their work out there to be judged, and the self satisfying thrill of sharing their work – especially with students from other schools. It is easy to work in a vaccuum, not knowing what your peers locally within the state are producing.
    That sort of cross pollination will improve students’ work.

    As the audience, we deserve not to see unfinished hems, wonky seams, and unclear concepts – even if it is a student show.
    There will always be some novice sewing at students shows, so you do have to ease up on the hairline scrutiny to a certain point. For many students, this may be their pinnacle of sewing, and will go on to be designers or assistants who rarely pick up a needle.

    I feel that the choice of student designers for this event and types like it, can be cleaned up. Maybe it requires more scrutiny of the designers’ portfolio or collection. Should someone preview the intended pieces up close, and if they are not runway ready disqualify them? Probably.
    Students could also work with instructor guides to get pieces runway ready.

    Yes, students, put your best foot forward! They are ‘unveiling for public scrutiny’, true, but they were given the green light for this unveiling. Student designers need help on controls. The zeal of being involved in a show may be overwhelming and the finer points of finishing get lost. Some may not be ready for this type of event, so I am hoping to see choosier selection of student designers, by the organizers, in the future.

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