Japanese designs on display for “Midori” show

Sarah Blei

Fashion students designed Japanese inspired garments for Friday night’s fashion show, “Midori,” put on by the Fashion Student Organization.

“I was going for the Japanese street grunge look,” said Missy Pasquale, freshman fashion merchandising major who designed along with Monika Lange, a sophomore fashion design major.

Lange also talked about the direction Pasquale and she took for their design.

“We wanted to have more of a darker edge – lots of layers and we used two layers of tights,” Lange said. “We wanted to emphasize the jewelry so we had bracelets and about 12 rings.”

The fashion show was open for everyone, but it mostly comprised FSO members who are fashion merchandising and design majors. The fashion show had 23 Japanese designs and 20 designers.

FSO President Gretchen Greenwood was excited to put on an event to benefit students.

“FSO always looks for opportunities for students to have new experiences, practice the art of design and get their work shown,” Greenwood said.

Alex Nicholis, the Massillon Museum curator and Catherine Leslie, associate professor to the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising judged designs, models and the top design team.

The winning title of top designer went to Natasha Neely, the top design team was Brittany Roberson and Zaid Gebregiorgis and the top model for the fashion show was Sadie Salmons.

FSO and Greenwood helped organize the event in collaboration with the “Kimono as Art” exhibit on display at the Canton Museum of Art. It was funded by a grant through ArtsinStark.

“Midori is the Japanese word for ‘green.’ Traditionally, green and blue were considered the same color,” Greenwood said. “Eventually culture changed to recognize the variance in color by creating the word midori to represent green.”

“I chose midori because fashion is something that changes, and new ideas become recognized,” Greenwood said. “The evolution of the word parallels the evolutionary changes in fashion.”

Designers had three weeks to complete their designs.

“FSO members sorted through an assortment of supplies and fabrics and pulled together excellent designs from scraps and leftovers,” Greenwood said.

For several designers, it was their first time designing for a fashion show.

Lindsey Folkerth, freshman fashion design major, explained her design and experience with the show.

“My design, I sort of based it off of a kimono. I was inspired when I saw the color – I knew what I was going to do as soon as I saw the fabric,” Folkerth said. “This was the first time I constructed a design.”

Pasquale talked about how she changed her design throughout the production phase.

“I started with a different look,” Pasquale said. “I took the tulle and originally started tacking it in different places, and then I decided I didn’t like what it looked like.

“There is a Marc Jacobs dress that Anne Hathaway modeled, and it had a fan look so I tacked that idea onto my outfit,” she said.

Greenwood explained various ways they got word out about the fashion show.

“In order to publicize the event and get people in the area interested, we sewed and distributed muslin kimonos to 14 schools and organizations in Stark County in mid-November,” Greenwood said. “Participants were invited to decorate the kimono for display prior to the event and at the event.”

The event was a success and had approximately 160 in attendance.

“This was an excellent opportunity for students to learn the ropes of designing and showing their work,” Greenwood said. “Everyone got to experience and learn about Japanese culture, and the designers practiced incorporating elements from another culture into their own designs.”

Olivia Betters, a freshman fashion merchandising major felt the same way.

“I thought it was a good display of what Kent State has to offer fashion-wise,” Betters said.

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