Models masquerade the runway

Yelena Tischenko

An antsy young woman eager to see her partner, ran across the streets of Venice in a hurry and, on the way, splashed dirt all over her geometric white dress.

This was the inspiration for senior fashion design major Deanna Turcotte, one of the top three finalists in this year’s Rock the Runway fashion show.

Rock the Runway is an annual fashion show the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising hosts at the Kent Student Center Ballroom. This year, the show featured 19 designers who worked around the theme Venetian Carnival. Will Riddle, junior fashion design major, was crowned this year’s winner.

“I’m really happy Will won,” Dominique Robertson, sophomore early childhood education major, said. “The black masks on the models were great. It was very high fashion.”

Rock the Runway make-up

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Four judged three looks from each designer. They were: Danyel Vasquez, Akron showgirl; Kristen Kaleal, wardrobe stylist; Thomas McClure, director of Heyman Talent Agency in Columbus; and Dont’e J. Young, founder of Fashion Week Columbus Foundation.

The designers looks ranged from pink frilly chiffon to nude-colored silk dresses. One designer had her models walk out barefoot, with their flowy, open back dresses resembling a Greek goddess. Beside the clothing, models strut on the catwalk, covering their faces with traditional masquerade masks filled with feathers and visually dripping with glamour.

After the last designer’s clothing was showed, the judges had a 15-minute intermission to discuss the top three designers. During the mini break, a video was shown mimicking Project Runway featuring the designers and a fake Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum. After the video, three designers were chosen, Riddle, Turcotte and a co-designers Joslyn Allen and Andrea Price.

Anxiety and nerves splashed over the audience and designers as everyone sat waiting for the winner to be called. Riddle gasped in surprise as he was announced the winner of a $500 fabric shopping spree in New York City. He only started working on his collection Monday night.

“Everything came together so fast,” Riddle said. “I started so late that it’s unbelievable. I think what pulled me apart from the rest was the styling, makeup and styling for the models.”

As the crowd rose from their seats in a standing ovation, Riddle shook hands with the judges, grabbed onto his framed award and proudly held it close.

“I feel amazing,” Riddle said. “I feel like today has been the craziest most hectic day of my life.”

Contact Yelena Tischenko at [email protected].