Seniors to showcase final collections at FS2 annual show


Models showcase designs from each fashion design senior for the final walk of the Fashion School’s senior fashion show, April 27, 2013.

Jake Green

The Fashion School at Kent State marks the culmination of each school year with its annual fashion show, showcasing the senior design major’s final collections.

This year, the show will be completely reformatted as a salon-style show April 25, at 6 p.m., and April 26, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., in the Kent State Museum.

Caitlin Craig, senior co-producer of the show and senior fashion design major, said the show was reformatted to showcase the clothing better.

“The show has been a lot more of a performance in the past,” Craig said. “This year, it’s more about the clothes and more about the seniors.”

This year’s show tagline is “Regardez-ça,” French for “watch this,” which Audrey Smith, the other co-producer and senior fashion merchandising major, said is the production team’s way of communicating the major change in an intriguing, but simple way.

“We wanted to keep it really simple and let everyone know that we’re doing something really new,” Smith said. “We just wanted it to be like: ‘watch this.’”

The runway for the show travels continuously between six different spaces in the museum, which will allow the audience to see more detail of the clothing,” said Joanne Arnett, a fahsion design and merchandising instructor, fashion-show co-director and student production team faculty advisor, said.

“No one will be more than three rows from the models, so we’re able to show much more of the student work,” Arnett said. “All those fine details that get lost on the stage are suddenly present.”

Arnett said the show will focus more on the clothing and models than lights and music as it has been in the past.

“When the garments are so far removed, so much more energy ends up being spent to create drama,” Arnett said. “When the garments are so close, you don’t have to use smoke and mirrors to create drama. It’s there.”

The student production team has been working hard to make sure the transition to an entirely new type of show goes smoothly, Craig said.

“We definitely had to do stuff earlier this year,” she said. “There’s kind of a whole new everything.”

Senior fashion design majors, Lettie Beasley, Erin Marvinney and Lisa Daronatsy, have mixed feelings about the show.

“Overall it’s going to turn out great; it always does,” Beasley said. “I think it just worries us a little because we’re the guinea pigs.”

The show’s runway, which is nearly a quarter-mile long, will pose a new challenge to models, Marvinney said.

“It will take the models like five minutes to walk the whole catwalk,” Marvinney said. “It will be interesting because no one will see the whole show.”

Daronatsy said her biggest concern is that not every senior gets to show his or her collection in the show, a decision first made last year.

“When we came here as freshman, we were promised a senior show,” Daronatsy said. “For me the biggest struggle all year was that less than a third of us can be involved in this.”

Beasley echoed Daronatsy’s opinion.

“It’s hard for us, too, because they allow underclassmen into the show,” Beasley said. “What I’d really like to see changed in the future is having an all-senior show. [The seniors] are the ones trying to get jobs.”

Nevertheless, all three design students said the entire experience has been rewarding, but stressful, as they’ve put a lot of time and effort into their senior collections.

Every year, industry professionals are asked to give a final critique of the seniors’ collections to determine whose work would advance to the fashion show.

The salon-style show is directly influenced by professional shows, like one would find in New York, Jean Druesedow, Kent State Museum director said.

“In New York, when you’re going to a fashion show, it’s only about three rows deep,” Druesedow said. “If the designer shows in his studio or an open space he rents, the audience is never very far from the clothing.”

Druesedow said she’s very excited for the show to take place in the museum, which she calls a “major laboratory for the students.”

“One of the things that makes the Kent program distinct is the museum,” she said. “This is where students can get a sense of what has gone before and get a basis for ideas of what can come in the future.”

The Saturday night show ends with an awards ceremony, where donor-sponsored awards will be given out for best collection and best garment. There will also be a portfolio review at the VIP reception.

“The show has gone from a simple show to a weekend event,” Arnett said. “There’s a prospective student tour, a donor dinner and a lot more.”

The Friday and Saturday night shows have sold out, but tickets are still available for the Saturday matinee. They can be purchased by calling the Performing Arts Box Office at (330) 672-ARTS or by visiting

Contact Jake Green at [email protected].