Student designs emerge from the studio

After three intensive months holed up in the apparel design lab in Burk Hall, the ensembles made by junior and senior students will grace the catwalk at “Runway 2016: Emerge” this Thursday, April 28.

While many of the designers had finished their final stitches by Monday, some were still sewing. Among them were junior Kelsey Long and senior Peyton Howell, both 22.

“Are you doing okay?” Long’s voice called out from behind an unclothed mannequin.

“Um, I’m alive,” Howell said with a laugh, making a joke that she might need to use the blanket folded up by the window and pull an all-nighter.

The show, which will be held at the San Francisco Design Center Galleria at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m., features four categories: technology in fashion, creative projects, reuse designs and senior collections.

Tech designs will be on mannequin display as guests arrive, so apparel design and merchandising professor and show lead Connie Ulasewicz recommends attendees get there early. Creative projects, which had loose guidelines to encourage students’ artistic vision, walk first. Sustainable designs created from repurposed Bookstore materials follow, and senior collections close the show.

The apparel design and merchandising department is collaborating with BECA students to produce the show, handling everything from event promotion to video backdrops and lighting. Models received runway coaching from Charleston Pierce, San Francisco-based creative director, fashion consultant and celebrity trainer.

“You can do anything you want in life, but you have to discipline yourself and show up,” Pierce told the room of designers and models during their training session. “Nobody’s going to knock on your door with opportunity. Your butt’s got to get out of the bed, and show up and show out.” 

Danielle Hickethier, 24, works on a personal project in the apparel design lab after completing her runway-ready garments, Monday, April 25, 2016. "It's going to be really interesting to see all the different collections go down the runway," she said. "It's a statement representation of the school, what our program is about and where we're going." (Emily Chavous / Xpress)

Danielle Hickethier, 24, works on a personal project in the apparel design lab after completing her runway-ready garments, Monday, April 25, 2016. “It’s going to be really interesting to see all the different collections go down the runway,” she said. “It’s a statement representation of the school, what our program is about and where we’re going.” (Emily Chavous / Xpress)

The designers said they look forward to celebrating their efforts and all the long hours constructing in the lab.

“I’m excited that it’s finally going to be over and we can see everyone’s work,” Howell said. “It’s been this continuous cycle and (the only thing) that we’ve been focusing on. Now we can take that next step in life.”

As Howell put the finishing touches on a white crepe waistcoat, a piece from one of the five looks in her collection, Long’s encouragement rose above the faint humming of sewing machines.

“Remember to breathe guys! We’re almost there!” Long cheered.

Ulasewicz said the department expects a crowd of 500. Tickets are still available for purchase at Eventbrite.com.

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