By Caroline Gordon, Emily Rosenberg
With the DPAC decorated in LED lights and elegant cotton clouds, the Fashion Club streamed their show, “Ethereal Glamour” via Zoom April 30, presenting semesters of hard work and dedication.
The show displayed three collections by senior fashion majors, Savana Gutierrez, Amy Westlund, and Marissa Lynch. Each had the chance to show oM three designs to limit the number of models needed. Fashion Design and Retailing Professor Laura Kane helped put the show together.
Gutierrez’s models strutted the stage in vibrant, larger-than-life retro formal wear. She said she was inspired by the fashion of the Bratz dolls, and wanted to make looks that could be something the Bratz would wear to prom.
“I aimed to express myself, femininity, individuality, and diversity through my collection,” she added.
Coming from a family that’s “always looking good,” Gutierrez explained fashion has been a passion of hers since she was a child. She Unds it strange when people ask her why she and others chose the major.
“We were the people that stuck with our childhood dreams ... even if there were people that told us ... we weren’t ever going to be fashion designers,” she said. “If you don’t give up on your dreams you can accomplish them. You can manifest anything you put your mind to!”
She added some of her other fashion inspirations are among pop artists, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Billie Eilish as well as her mother, sisters, grandfathers and aunts.
Westlund’s designs stunned the stage with purple and teal Zare. Taking inspiration from woodland fairies and mystical forests, she said she wanted to create clothing that is “feminine and elegant while still being conUdent and bold.
“I love the nuance of fashion and playing with different silhouettes and design elements,” Westlund said.
She touched on how COVID-19 has impacted her design process. She said “I feel as though I simplified my designs a bit more due to the extenuating circumstances we’ve been under.”
Westlund added having online classes has been a challenge, and the lack of face-to-face guidance discouraged her from complicating her looks.
Though COVID-19 prevented people from attending the show in person and a lot more designers from participating, Westlund said it was “more intimate” and “a nice change of pace,” but she wishes more people were able to show their looks.
Beverly Leino, a sophomore and secretary of the Fashion Club, has never attended an in-person fashion show at Framingham State, but was heavily involved in the planning of “Ethereal Glamour.” She said the planning for the event required constant Zoom meetings to straighten out the details of the show.
“It was a lot of work, but I think that everything came out beautifully,” Leino said.
Lynch said she became instantly inspired to create her collection after modeling in a fashion show a couple years ago, but the initial breakout of the pandemic prevented her from displaying her designs in her own show.
She described her collection as “nature conscious.” She believes fashion is one of the greatest threats to the planet right now, so her goal was to use only sustainable fabrics.
Lynch added she also drew inspiration from the Greek goddess and queen of the underworld,
In her artist statement she said, “Each piece was designed to work and enhance the shapes and movement of the body, rather than just cover it for the sake of modesty.”
Olivia Norris is a junior designer whose pieces were included in a digital menu the Fashion Club provided to accommodate designers remotely.
This year, her pieces were dance and cosplay themed. Next year for her senior capstone she hopes to create a collection based on theatrical costumes.
She said her jumpsuit and jacket combination were created in her draping class, noting the fabric was handling the fabric on a dress form.
This piece was created with her sister, Kearra Norris, a comic book artist.
Harley Quinn was the inspiration, as her sister did a comic book sketch that depicted her in a business suit.
“I’m often inspired by art that I see, but usually of course it inspires new ideas – this was much more of a collaboration or commission process in that I talked with Kearra about ways to bring her illustration into a real garment,” she said.
Norris also discussed her wide range of inspirations including historic Victorian style dresses, old Hollywood style, Star Wars, and engineering. She said she is excited about current projects where she is experimenting with LED lights to incorporate into a costume and bustle dresses.
She added her dance costumes were created in her independent study with Fashion Design and Retailing Professor Pam Sebor-Cable.
The independent study focused on making costumes for competitive ballroom dance. The two pieces Norris created were for the rhythm or Latin types of dance.
She said she had to conduct research on the requirements and music used in competitive dance to create her costumes.
Norris said her research, sketching designs, and pattern drifting remained the same throughout the pandemic. One big challenge was she couldn’t meet in person with her model.
John Frasca, another fashion design and retailing student, was the model for her dance costumes.
As the pair could not meet in person, Frasca had to send Norris his measurements.
Norris said, “John sent me his final measurements and I jumped right into the final garments! I had to hope the garments would fit him when he went into the studio to take photos – thank goodness they fit perfectly!”
She said a positive habit that resulted from the increase of technology due to COVID-19, was sending photos of her designs to her professors to track progress.
Norris also never attended a show in person and said experiencing the runway with a live audience would be more exciting than holding a virtual event.
She added, “The Fashion Club really made this year’s show amazing though. I feel like they really successfully overcame the obstacles the pandemic created!”
Professor Kane described her experience working on the show.
“We knew it was going to be very unlikely we were going to have an in-person show,” she said.
Kane said in the fall of 2020, they started planning for a virtual event.
She said she collaborated often with Professor Seunghye Cho, who teaches Apparel Design and Portfolio class, the senior capstone.
In the class, seniors create a portfolio and present it during the CELTSS student research presentation day. The designs are also featured in the fashion show.
Kane said, “We wanted to bridge the gap between the portfolio presentation and the fashion show presentation, so we started working in November with putting together digital student portfolios.”
She added they also put a “call out” for undergraduate students who submitted portfolios of their work.
Kane explained how prior to releasing the digital event, they worked with Campus Events to coordinate a small livestream.
“It was a lot of work. Lots of things behind the scenes. Campus Events and SILD were huge players in this and a gigantic help – we couldn’t have done it without them!” she said.
Out of all the designs from this year’s fashion show, Kane was unable to pick her favorite.
“That’s like picking a favorite child,” she said.
Instead of choosing a favorite piece, she picked her favorite aspect of the show, which was the stage decorations.
“The fashion show is a very exciting campus-wide event. Since we haven’t had a chance to have an in-person show in the last couple years, we are really hoping 2022 is a big show. We’re going to start working on it next fall to make it a big, exciting event. Keep an eye out!” Kane said.