Fashion for Life began as a way for senior apparel design students to showcase a final collection. “The whole thing is about them and who they are as a designer,” said show coordinator Brian Taylor, an instructor in the department. “They have to style everything – come up with a hair and makeup concept, accessories and shoes, and they even pick their own music.” But it’s more than that. The course helps young designers build time-management skills. Students start researching inspiration and trends, sketching and buying fabrics and trims over the summer. They then begin working on their different looks on the first day of class, creating a garment every couple of weeks.
“Our industry is so time sensitive, from getting fabrics in on time to communicating with the factories and getting deliveries ready on time,” Taylor said. “They have to learn how to balance that.”
Each of the 21 students will show between three to five head-to-toe looks. This year’s show demonstrated a broad range of design styles and customers. Many of the students are creating ready-to-wear looks, items for cocktail hour or outfits that can transition from day to evening.
While most students designed women’s wear, there were couple who added some men’s wear in their collections. There were also two or three designers who put together special occasion pieces and avant garde looks. One designer created a weekend wedding collection that dresses the bride for her bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, wedding and her travel outfit for the honeymoon.
“They are welcome to do any type of category, any kind of design,” Taylor said. “It’s really about where they see themselves going after graduation, what kind of company they want to work for.”
Event attendees not only enjoyed a night of talent and fashion, but they also helped a much-deserved organization. Proceeds from the show benefited the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Below is a pre-show photo shoot that highlights each of the looks. Designer names appear below their creations.