Senior designers say goodbye with annual fashion show

Morgan Jupina

Kent State Fashion School’s Annual Fashion Show on Saturday featured 24 collections by senior designers and celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Fashion School.

Each collection was unique and ranged from street wear and business attire to bridal gowns and lingerie.

Chelsea McClelland, senior fashion merchandising major and co-producer of the fashion show, said the design and merchandising majors collaborated to put the show together.

“The show represents a unique collaboration between designers and merchandisers working together for a real-world experience,” McClelland said. “Tonight is a combination of a year of hard work and the creative expertise of the Fashion School students coming together.”

Michelle Bing, senior fashion design major, said her collection called “The Wild Ones” was inspired by Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation.

“It’s a super traditional menswear in a sense that it’s not art-based,” Bing said. “It’s very wearable stuff and meant to be worn out on the street.”

Grant Herbruck, freshman fashion merchandising major and one of Bing’s models, said Bing told him to have fun on the runway.

“She told us to give a really good smile and enjoy what we’re feeling on stage,” Herbruck said. “She wanted the cuffs uneven on the pants, so it was more of a relaxed feeling like people would actually wear.”

Bing said the design process for the show’s collections began spring semester of their junior years. She said the ?nal collection was ?nished more than a year later after many sleepless nights in January.

Bing said she found out she quali?ed for the fashion show through an email.

“Truthfully, I found out in an email after waking up from a nap on my couch because I hadn’t slept in a long time,” Bing said.

Bing said it was surreal to see her collection on the runway.

“I thought I was going to be sitting there grumbling to myself, ‘Oh, I wish they did this and that,’ but I was just beside myself,” Bing said. “You’re here for four years thinking about your senior collection, and I was so happy to see it up there.”

Abigail Gelsomino, senior fashion design major, said she was not expecting her collection to be chosen for the show because of the ?erce competition.

“I’m probably not going to breathe until the models are off the runway,” Gelsomino said. “I’m petri?ed a dress is just going to fall off or something, but once it’s over, I’ll just be really happy.”

She said watching one of her teachers in class was her greatest learning experience at Kent State.

“She has the ability to take every project and run with it, as opposed to only using the ones she likes,” Gelsomino said. “I look at it as I’m not always going to work with a project that I like, but I need to be able to switch like that and go with it.”

Gelsomino’s family traveled from Cleveland and Chicago to see her collection on the runway.

Gelsomino’s aunt, Kathy Bunch, said the process is amazing.

“It starts with a line on a piece of paper, [and forms] to this beautiful creation that’s been inside someone’s mind and soul for a long time,” Bunch said. “It shows so much of her personality and her drive and her dreams for the future.”

J.R. Campbell, director of the Fashion School, announced the awards and inducted Yeohlee Teng to the Fashion School’s Hall of Fame at the end of the show.

Gelsomino won the Best in Show $1,000 award.

Bing said she will miss being a Kent State fashion student.

“There are so many people I’ve shared late nights in the studio laughing and crying and getting upset with, but I think that’s what I’m going to miss the most,” Bing said. “I’ve made so many close relationships that way.”

Contact Morgan Jupina at [email protected].