Vintage reins over 5th Rock the Runway

Sarah Blei

‘Elegant Rock Star’ line rules the catwalk at event

VIEW photos from Rock the Runway.

Kaleidoscopic prints and rock-inspired garments enraptured the Kent State Student Center ballroom last night for the fifth annual Rock the Runway fashion show.

Twenty designers created three modern outfits to coordinate with the theme of “Vintage Rock: Rock of the 1960s and 1970s,” organized by Kent Student Center Programming.

Student models showed off the designers’ garments to live music by The Breaks.

Judges for Rock the Runway consisted of three fashion experts: Suede from Project Runway, a Kent State fashion design alumnus; Denise Landman, president of Victoria’s Secret Pink brand; and Lece Lohr, co-president of Justice, formally known as Limited Too.

Suede talked about what he planned to look for while he judged the competition.

“I will be looking for someone who has a full thought process behind their concept, someone who can sell their look – being able to stand up and talk about your work is so important,” he said in an e-mail. “(So is) creativity, appropriate styling and an eye for what is marketable.”

Jasmine Williams, sophomore fashion design major, won the competition with her line titled “‘The Elegant Rock Star’ By Intrendzick Couture.”

“It’s mainly focused on the elegance of the 1960s and 1970s,” she said. “I used a mini dress and a touch of the prints from that era.”

Williams impressed the judges with her intricate detail with shapes, fabrics and the use of color.

She said she hoped to gain attention from the judges through the color she used in her designs.

“My style is kind of different, so hopefully the judges will see that,” Williams said.

This was the first experience Williams had with Rock the Runway.

“I’ve never been a part of Rock the Runway, and I’ve always wanted to do it,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of it so I could get my stuff out there.”

First runner-up was awarded to Cassandra Florentine, junior fashion design major. Florentine’s designs had a Woodstock appeal topped off with floral head pieces.

Second runner-up went to Brandi Finley, sophomore fashion design major. Finley designed garments inspired by the British Invasion of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as Jimi Hendrix.

Suede is an advocate for student participation and enjoys critiquing their work, especially during events such as Rock the Runway.

“In my opinion, exposure is what we are all looking for in this industry – a chance to be seen and heard – in this case through clothing,” he said. “Opportunities like Rock the Runway give students the chance to explore and create things that they might not otherwise pursue.

“I like to be able to help students realize the difference between marketable/salable and pure creative work. I support both but want students to be able to work in this industry, and having an eye for what will sell is so paramount to our business.”

This was Shanetta Dorsey’s, sophomore fashion design major, second year in the show. Dorsey showed a collection titled, “No Mas Occhi Verde,” which is Spanish for ” No More Green Eyes.”

Dorsey said the satisfaction she has of being involved in the show is good enough.

“I think this is a great opportunity just to network and meet people,” she said.

Dorsey also said it is advantageous to have an opportunity to design outside of the classroom.

“Even though this takes more time, it’s a creative outlet and just liberating,” she said. “You feel proud about yourself too.”

Contact the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising reporter Sarah Blei at [email protected].