Fashion rocks & rolls down runway

Lindsy Neer

Marie Antoinette meets modern style on stage

Ruffles, lace and corsets turned rock ‘n’ roll last night at Kent State’s sixth annual Rock the Runway fashion show.

Fourteen individual designers and five teams of two designers showed their garments in the Student Center Ballroom. This year’s theme was ‘Rock Symphony,’ which required each team to make three Marie Antoinette-era inspired outfits, with a modern rock ‘n’ roll twist.

The panel of three judges consisted of Jason Brewer, buyer for Tween Brands and Justice stores; Tad Boetcher, a Kent State alumnus and fashion expert who created his own line called ‘Tad B’; and Donald Shingler, founder and executive director of Fashion Week Cleveland.

“I’m looking more for salability, what is most commercial,” Brewer said. “Who took more of a risk with the theme and put their own spin on it.”

The winner of Rock the Runway gets the opportunity to show their designs at Fashion Week Cleveland in May, so Shingler said he was looking for things that look good on the runway and garments that are worthy of a show.

Sarah Ineson, a sophomore fashion design major, won first place and the chance to show at Fashion Week Cleveland. Ineson named her line “Opulent Gold” because of her focus on black and gold.

The judges said they were impressed with her construction and intricate hand embroidery of her line. Ineson did gold hand embroidery on each of her all-black dresses.

“I was so surprised and shocked and honored and felt justified of all the hours I put into working on this,” said Ineson, who spent every weekend for two months on her line. “I was so excited.”

Ineson’s parents came from Connecticut to watch the show.

“She’s worked very hard for this,” said Ineson’s mom, Buffy. “She’s very talented.”

First runner-up was given to Deanna First and Jessica Smith, both sophomores in the fashion design program. Their line, titled “Madame en Rogue,” which means “Madame in Red,” consisted of all black and red designs and focused on the crazy rock ‘n’ roll aspect of the show.

“I didn’t think we’d get anything, but when they called our names I was so excited,” Smith said. “It was really nice to see that people understood what we were doing and actually appreciated the hard work we put into our line.”

Second-runner up was awarded to Deanna Turcotte for her line “Voltaire’s Fantasy.”

Turcotte said she was inspired by the very structured Enlightenment period and the Rococo period, which was more fantasy. Her line mixed structured dresses with flowy outer pieces.

“It’s all about art, concept and interpretation,” Boetcher said.

Boetcher, who relocated to New York City after graduating from Kent State, said he loves coming back to his alma mater not only to see the student’s inspired designs, but to show students what they can do after college.

“I want to show them that you can go to New York with a dream and actually become successful.”

Contact student affairs reporter Lindsy Neer at [email protected].