Catwalking contradictions

Amanda Sowards

First of three senior fashion shows kicks off

Melissa Egbers models Kate James’ line at last night’s senior portfolio show “Contradiction.” The show featured 27 designers and more than 120 designs. AMANDA SOWARDS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Flowing wedding dresses, sleek men’s wear and elegant evening gowns were just a few of the styles featured in last night’s senior portfolio show, “Contradiction.” From the high-ruffled, red pin-striped collar of Gina Maoloni’s line to the ornate gold hand-beading of Tatee Sakr’s line of evening wear, the night provided the audience with an amazing palate of student work.

Fashion seniors culminated a year’s worth of work in front of a full house at the Rockwell Hall auditorium.

The show featured 27 designers and more than 120 designs, inspired by Los Angeles and New York (from the L.A. Lakers and Marilyn Monroe, respectively). However, the show would have been impossible without the fashion show production class of students who organized the music, dressed and choreographed the models.

Dress Committee chairwoman Jamie Snow said it was a great experience but described backstage as “organized chaos.” Snow said she had to oversee 30 ushers and dressers, making sure all the models were dressed properly and on time.

“It’s like a full-time job,” Snow said. “It’s taken over my life.”

Tara Smith, music chairwoman, said at a dress rehearsal, “It’s going great. It’s going to be flawless.”

However, Fashion School instructor Shammi Chowdhury, who is in charge of the show production, said she gets too nervous to think about the show until it’s over.

“If people like it, then I know it went well,” Chowdhury said.

After last night’s first of two shows, the crowd seemed pleased. Geography graduate student Carmen Woodhall, whose daughter, Emmy, modeled in last night’s show, said she was pleased with the variety and quality of all the pieces – especially considering the age of the designers. Woodhall said she attended last year’s show but felt that this year’s was oriented for more upper-class with classic lines.

Woodhall’s other daughter, Molly, said she liked Sakr’s line because it was very elegant but different than dresses in the stores.

At tonight’s VIP show, internationally-renowned fashion designer Cynthia Rowley will be inducted into the fashion school’s hall of fame for her contributions to the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising.

Chowdhury said Rowley has also provided many internships to Kent State students. Rowley has designed for celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Lenny Kravitz. The designer is the author of Swell, a book that has since inspired a TV show and a Target home accessories line of the same name.

Tonight’s show will also be dedicated to Robert Broadbent, former CEO of the Higbee Company. He developed The Robert Broadbent Endowed Scholarship to help exchange students in the program with Hong Kong Polytechnic University, as well as donating to the June F. Mohler Fashion Library, student and faculty travel and a New York studio where students can enroll to take classes.

Contact fashion reporter Amanda Sowards at [email protected].