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Modista fashion show sheds light on lies and hypocrisy in the industry

Emileigh Paulus
Student models pose backstage before Modista’s paradox show.

To an overflowing crowd, the student fashion group Modista displayed their annual fashion show Dec. 2 with designs inspired by the concept of “paradox”, the idea of pairing two contradictory statements or concepts together.

“We wanted to shed a light on a lot of the contradictions and hypocrisy and lies that we see in the fashion industry,” Modista president Rileyanna Karić said. “A lot of it is more metaphorical than you’ll see in the show, but a lot of it is social commentary on fashion.”

The show production went precisely how the junior fashion merchandising student anticipated.

“It was so chaotic and stressful, but at the end of the day, it turned out exactly how we wanted it to be,” she said. “We conveyed every message that we wanted to. I think the energy of the show felt very intimate. It felt like you really connected with the designers, and I think that had a lot to do with the designers and everyone who participated.”

The show opened with a performance of “Toxic” by Brittany Spears, sung by junior musical theatre student McKenna Hassel, followed by displays of designs from seven students. 

A model displays one of the various creations on the show’s catwalk.

A design featuring layered pants and sunglasses modeled by Luiz Dal’Berto and created by fashion design student Antonio Watson was a favorite look for Sofia Kane, a sophomore fashion merchandising student.

“I think it really went together,” she said. “I liked the style, overall it was just a really good look.”

She said that designer Emileigh Paulus, a junior fashion design student, configured her paradox-inspired line around controversy in the fashion industry. 

“My collection specifically is all about the representation of beauty in the fashion industry,” she said. “It’s also about mental health affecting beauty. My collection incorporates an essence of straight jackets and bondage, because internally people feel a different way than they present themselves.”

Paulus’s ideas began with 10 sketches and were narrowed down to the three that best represented the feeling she wanted to convey, she said.

Walking in one of Paulus’s designs was her roommate, a sophomore fashion design student, Anna Sherwood. Sherwood said that working with and supporting Paulus through the design process assured her of her passion for fashion.

“For me, this is all support – just being there for a really good fashion group and a very talented designer,” she said. “I have learned that this really is for me. Yes, it can be frustrating and confusing, but overall I am truly inspired and fully ambitious to pursue this and my future career.”

Modista was created in 2008 and focuses on providing students with creative outlets and career readiness opportunities, Karić said.

At the show, Karić announced Modista is now the first university fashion group to partner with a non-profit, Akron Children’s Museum.

“We’re going to be working with them to do a lot of sustainability initiatives and helping children not just find a career in fashion, but a career, and that’s something I think we can all be proud of,”  she said.

Kelsie Horner is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Kelsie Horner, Assistant Managing Editor
Kelsie is a senior journalism major with a minor in communications. In her three semesters at KentWired, she has served as a Digital Tech, Digital Editor and Assistant Managing Editor.
Contact her at [email protected].

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