Attending the University of Minnesota School of Design Instinct 2017 Fashion Show is one of my favorite experiences at the U so far. It was my first fashion show I’ve been to, so I felt I had to look the part. I put on my black ankle booties, maroon velvet skirt with black tights and a black turtle neck, and headed out the door. Now, I know it’s not New York Fashion Week, but I was so excited to be able to have the opportunity to write about my view of the show from the second row.
As I took my seat, some pieces from the senior designers were going on display. I was in awe by the talent I saw, and could not wait for the show to begin.
Before clothing lines came out from the designers, a video was played where each designer explained the inspiration and meaning behind their pieces. It was so intriguing to hear how the lines were inspired and the messages behind the hours of work. The different textures, techniques, and fabrics all correlated with the main message or emotions.
Some lines focused on sustainability, some on women empowerment, others on more personal experiences and interests. Either way, each designer connected his or her thoughts and feelings to create something great.
There were two lines who really resonated with me after the show.
Aaron Richer used his emotions and memories of being involved in the military to create An Ode To Saoirsei, a men’s clothing line. When his video played, I was so intrigued by his experiences and the fact that his line was inspired by a story he wrote about his life. The fact that he could use this form of art to express his feelings of pain and happiness was outstanding. The colors and tones of the pieces correlated with the different moods he must have felt such as light and dark. For example, one piece, black sweater with a holes cascading down revealed a ridged texture that represented pain or sadness; a pattern that I felt represented possibly dark experiences.
At the end of the show, I got the opportunity to talk with Mikaela Harrod, a senior designer. Her line, Wild, for strong women travelers, included fabrics from a village in India that were made with natural fibers. One of my favorite pieces was the organic bodysuit that had deep colors and bright personality. The message of her line appealed to me with its earthy, warm tone and connection to the cultures she experienced while studying abroad. After the show, I asked her what got her interested in designing. She then talked about when she was little and how she would constantly draw. We then talked for a bit about her experiences and the show. It was fascinating to interact with someone that has so much talent and to listen how passionate and inspired they are.
It was so heartening to see each designer walk out with their pieces at the end; some in tears. I can only imagine the hours upon hours put into each stich! Each line that came out got better and better and the amount of talent astounded me as I couldn’t help but think how far each designer’s individual talents will take them.
Learn more about the designers here: http://fashionshow.design.umn.edu