Fashion School prepares for annual FS2 show this Friday

Kelsey Drumm

Fashion design and merchandising students are making final preparations for The Fashion School’s Annual Fashion Show, “FS2 Visionnaire,” which is set to start Friday, April 24.

The show is an opportunity for fashion design students to exhibit the fashion-forward garments they created, which will be modeled at the fashion show. Models will strut down the runway, showing off the different outfits the students designed and perfected throughout the year. Fashion merchandise students typically work behind the scenes, set up, manage and market for the fashion show.

With days ticking down until the big event,  Jess Ballas, senior producer of the Fashion School’s Annual Fashion Show and a fashion design major, said a lot still needs done at Rockwell Hall, where the show will take place this year.

The main stage and backdrops still need to be created, dress rehearsals and choreography must be completed and final details of the programs still need printed.

The other senior producer is Angela Wische, and the junior producers are Meghan McCarthy and Morgan Hall, who all study fashion merchandising.

“It’s nice being able to use our own building, Rockwell Hall, because the architecture is so beautiful,”  Ballas said. “We really wanted to play that up, so that’s why we incorporated a lot of white things to focus on the building itself and, more importantly, the designers’ pieces. At the end of the day, the designers did all of this work.”

Students in the Fashion Show Management class have created decorations and handmade flowers made of white paper to enhance Rockwell Hall’s appearance.

“It’s called ‘Visionnaire,’ so it’s how we envision things. Like when you look at a flower, and it’s beautiful, bloomed and wonderful,” Ballas said. “But we looked at them and easily created similar flowers with white paper.”

The actual FS2 Visionnaire theme will be very minimalistic at the fashion show, but the social media posts and advertisements were brightened up with radiant orchids and cool blue colors.

“This year we wanted to switch things up a lot, and make it super simple, but at the end of the day the show will be memorable,” said Ballas while comparing past FS2 shows to the upcoming one.

About 65 percent of participants who successfully submitted a clothing article in the fashion show study fashion design, but other majors could participate too, she said.

Seniors can earn their BA or BFA in Fashion Design during the Fashion School’s Annual Fashion Show.

A student seeking a Fashion Design BFA must write a thesis, design and execute the creation of five garments to display at the show and give a twenty minute presentation,  Ballas said. New York critics visited Kent State to decide what pieces would look best in this year’s Annual Fashion Show, Ballas said.

Students seeking a Fashion Design BA could submit their designs, and Cleveland judges chose between those pieces to be shown during the production.

The fashion show and awards ceremony will take place in the Rockwell Hall Auditorium, while the reception on April 25 will take place on the first floor of Rockwell. Senior portfolio showcases will be located in the Fashion School Library, Ballas said.

Fashion Student Organization beanies, shirts and catalogs will also be sold at the door.

There are three fashion show dates available for purchase. Tickets for the Matinee show on April 24 at 1 p.m. are $25 and can be purchased at the door with cash only.

April 25 tickets for the Opening Night Show at 7 p.m. cost $50, and tickets for the Awards Show on Saturday night cost $75.

Both tickets are available for purchase by calling 330-672-2787 or visiting the Performing Arts Box Office, which opens 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Cash, personal checks, Visa, Mastercard or Discover cards are acceptable forms of payment for these tickets.