Diversity hits the fashion runway at Newhouse

On Friday, dozens of models walked the runway in the Newhouse 1 lobby for the fifth annual Fashion Communications Milestone fashion show.

Nearly 100 students crowded into the lobby of Newhouse I on Friday night, eagerly anticipating the start of the fifth annual fashion communications show: “Fashion Follows Form: Fashion and Diversity.”

This year’s fashion show celebrated versatility in the fashion world. The hour-long show marked the fifth anniversary of the Fashion and Beauty Communications Milestone, a joint program between the fashion department in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and Newhouse that allows students to take courses geared to fashion communications.

Diversity in fashion was represented through five distinct segments of the show.

“You could really tell the break-up of each segment and it was a very smooth transition,” said Paris Peckerman, a junior television, radio and film major. “They did a really good job with the diversity theme.”

Newhouse Fashion Show 2011

-Photo by Janet Huang

The first segment of the show featured garments provided by Syracuse’s local Thrifty Shopper, a store that celebrates androgyny. Their clothes are marked by bright bursts of color, blazers and the clever use of ties as belts. All pink outfits signaled a switch to the breast cancer awareness portion of the show, featuring models that all have personally battled breast cancer.

The crowd burst into cheers and applause as professors took to the runway for the breast cancer awareness portion of the show.

The show even included some improvisation.

Tim Westbrook, a senior fiber arts and material studies major who designed some outfits for the show, decided to join the ranks of models when a fashion show director found a pink jersey emblazoned with his last name, “Westbrook,” on the back.  “Grab some pink heels and come do this,” said the show director.

Westbrook threw on the jersey and strutted down the runway stairs in hot pink pants and four-inch heels.

“I love the idea of the hyper-masculine matched with the feminine,” he said. 

Although each part of the show had its own unique style, certain themes were constant throughout the show. There was a a sense of balance in each look as loose, fluid, harem pants were paired with fitted tops and flowy, off-the-shoulder tops were paired with tight skinny jeans. High-waist skirts and trousers paired with strapless or high collared tops emphasized the waist, neck and shoulders.

The later segments of the show included eco-friendly designs and looks designed by the freshman, sophomore, and junior VPA fashion design students.

“They did a really good job of presenting a lot of high-fashion looks with some more ready-to-wear stuff,” said Marie Rich, a junior television, radio and film major. “I like how the mix of themes were all different but had a lot of the same ideas.”

This was the first time that the show has been completely student-directed. One of the directors, senior fashion design major, Hannah Slocum, attributed the show’s success to the help of dozens of student stylists, hair and makeup artists, models and designers.

“We did a lot of prep beforehand to make sure everything went smoothly,” Slocum said. “In terms of models, people involved, the turn out, I think that this is the biggest the show has ever been.” 

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