Fashion School provides students to take part in Paris Fashion Week


Photo courtesy of Tracie Pfogner

Taylor Pierce

The semi-annual fashion event, Paris Fashion Week, which showcased fashion collections to the public and buyers, concluded on Wednesday.

The fashion show featured pieces from various artists and designers, including Dior, Chanel, Balmain and Elie Saab.

Emily Hall, a sophomore fashion merchandising student, said she follows the shows through social media and blogs every year and loves to see the latest trends on the runway.

According to Hall, Paris Fashion Week offers viewers a more feminine and dressed up selection of designs.

“Paris Fashion Week is very different than New York or London Fashion Week. This week contains more feminine shows, such as the Dior and Chanel shows,” Hall said. “These shows are more structured and not as edgy as the ones that can be seen during the other fashion weeks.”

Hall said the Fashion School provides students various opportunities to travel to countries that hold these fashion events.

“The Fashion School offers students a few opportunities to study and travel abroad to Paris. There is a study away program in the summer, which lasts for a couple weeks,” Hall said. “There is also an opportunity for students to travel to Paris for a couple days during the Florence study abroad trip.”

Studying at the Paris American Academy is one example of the opportunities offered. 

The Paris American Academy allows students from all over the world to come to the city for a month and gain hands on experience during Paris Fashion Week.

Tracie Pfrogner, a junior fashion merchandising student, applied for the program through the Fashion School and got the opportunity to study abroad and work behind the scenes during Paris Fashion Week last summer.

“I studied abroad in Paris for a month through the Paris American Academy, and took several classes within a short amount of time,” Pfrogner said. “I took unique classes different from those taught at the Fashion School such as hat making, feather making and trend forecasting.”

Pfrogner talked about the different atmosphere and street style that is present in Paris and compared it to Kent.

“When it comes to street style, everyone dresses so well in Paris. Everyone is so put together and has a very classic and clean look,” Pfrogner said. “They do not look like they even tried to look that way, it was interesting to see such a difference from Kent.”

Pfrogner also noticed how men tended to dress different in Paris than on a typical American college campus.

“I especially noticed a difference in style in menswear. It’s so different in Paris. I don’t think I saw one football jersey or pair of basketball shorts,” she said. “People do not wear sweatpants or pajamas out in the street, the culture is just so different and well put together.”

Megan McDonald, a junior fashion merchandising student, also studied abroad with Pfrogner over the summer of 2015. She talked about how classes at the Fashion School helped her while she was studying in Paris.

“Upon arriving in Paris, we were ahead of the other students because of some of the classes we had taken at the Fashion School,” McDonald said. “However, I did learn a lot from the luxury industry class I took, because it was totally new curriculum for me. We never really have classes at the Fashion School that focus solely on the luxury industry.”

McDonald went on to talk about her experience working backstage and personally with the models before the show.

“While studying abroad in the summer of 2015, we got to work backstage at Paris Fashion Week. I got to work as a dresser, and help dress models before they walked,” McDonald said. “I was assigned a specific model and got to help dress her in beautiful garments — it was awesome.”

McDonald said her time backstage at Paris Fashion Week was a learning experience. 

“It was a great experience being a dresser at a smaller show, because it made the experience more intimate,” McDonald said. “We got to help more and learn a lot.”

Pfrogner also had the opportunity to work alongside models and help style looks, minutes before show time.

“I also worked with the models as a dresser backstage during Paris Fashion Week last summer,” Pfrogner said. “It was an awesome experience and allowed me to view the show from a different point of view.”

Pfrogner mentioned how she often sees the models she worked with featured in different advertisements online and in print magazines.

“It’s such a cool feeling to see the models you styled in different advertisements all over.” Pfrogner said. “One of the models we worked with was a model for H&M and was advertised on their website.”

Pfrogner said her experiences with Paris Fashion Week have helped her gain a new perspective on fashion, and apply what she learned during her time abroad to her future classes at the Fashion School.

“The fact that we have gotten to see that whole luxury market up close and got to handle garments that are probably worth more than my college tuition, it’s just a whole new experience,” Pfrogner said. “It was amazing to see the people who attend these shows and how this is their everyday fashion.”

Pfrogner said it was an influential trip and was able to appreciate fashion that students in the U.S. aren’t normally exposed to.  

“Even in New York, the students studying there do not really get to see that level of high-end fashion,” Pfrogner said. “Being aware of that whole different culture and being able to bring what I learned back into my curriculum, gave me a new perspective on fashion.”

Taylor Pierce is a fashion reporter for The Kent Stater, contact her at [email protected]