Fashion students think in pink: First-ever breast cancer awareness show raises money for KSU scholarship

Danielle DeBord

Pink flower petals were neatly strewn across the runway, and all the Fashion Student Organization members shined in pink. FSO put on its first ever “Breast Cancer Awareness Fashion Show” in Rockwell Auditorium Thursday night.

The designers were told to implement pink into their designs. This was not only a competition for the designers and models, but it also was a charity event to raise money for the Dr. Rhodes Scholarship.

All the money raised went toward the scholarship awarded in memory of Elizabeth Rhodes, former director of the fashion school, who died in 2009 after battling breast cancer.

The scholarship will only be available for a fashion student and more for someone who had a “life changing event,” Walter said. They hope to work out the details and have the scholarship available for next spring, said Kendall Walter, FSO secretary and sophomore fashion design major.

Walter said they still have to meet with J.R. Campbell, director of the fashion school, and the head of scholarship for more information.

Amanda Novena, public relations officer for FSO and junior fashion merchandising major, said to her, the event was a worthy cause because her mother had breast cancer. Novena said the proceeds were at first going to be donated to the American Cancer Society, but FSO later decided to create the scholarship.

There were 15 designers for the fashion show. Three judges: Shelby McMillin junior fashion merchandising major; Erin Marvinney, sophomore fashion design major; and Amy Tieferman, sophomore fashion design major, decided on the winners.

The winner of best design was Madison Palen-Michel, with the best model award going to Natalie Lynch. Palen-Michel, sophomore fashion design major and member of FSO, received a $40 Visa gift card and Lynch Received a $25 Victoria’s Secret gift card.

Lynch, freshman fashion merchandising major, was sick at the time of the competition, but still received best model.

“I do modeling on the side, but I have never done it for FSO before,” she Lynch.

Palen-Michel, who has been designing since high school, created two dresses for the event.

“I always look at it as fun and practice,” Palen-Michel said before the show. “I do it more for the experience than anything.”

One dress she showed was originally designed for her high school homecoming junior year — a dress Palen-Michel will also be modeling.

“It’s a good feeling. It makes you know you’re in the right place, doing the right thing,” Palen-Michel said of participating in the show.

The winning dress Palen-Michel designed was an eveningwear-type dress that took her about 10 to 15 hours to design. The design was a light pink short bodice and a long maroon bottom with cowl draped sides.

FSO ended the night with $200 to go toward the Dr. Rhodes scholarship, through selling raffle tickets for a Victoria’s Secret gift basket and baked goods after the event. Walter said the group hopes to add more to the scholarship by asking local businesses if they would also donate money toward the cause.

Contact Danielle DeBord at [email protected].