Behind a wall of black curtains in Stotler Lounge models tossed on clothes, lined up and prepared to walk the runway. MU got its own taste of New York's Fashion Week on Tuesday night.
The Student Union Programming Board fashion show, Seasons By Design, included 15 groups of student designers.
Designs were grouped into categories representing the four seasons. Models strutted down a 24-foot runway to upbeat music provided by DJ Z. The crowd was packed around the runway, and many people had to stand in the back. The large turnout was unexpected, SUPB Big Events Chairwoman Madeline Beyer said.
"We were talking about doing an event like this that we have never done before," Beyer said. "Anyone can get into (fashion) with shows like 'America's Next Top Model' and 'Project Runway.' I think it's really cool that this is student-run, designed and modeled."
Most of the designers are part of a capstone textile and apparel management class.
TAM assistant professor Lynn Boorady said she incorporated the fashion show in the class syllabus after a student suggested it be part of the class.
"The students had deadlines that lead up to the final show," Boorady said. "A lot of hard work and research goes into these collections. Hopefully this is what (the students) will be doing when they graduate."
Designs ranged from tutus, velvet jumpers and lace bodysuits to pencil skirts, evening gowns and floral swimsuits. Audience members were handed out slips of paper to vote on their favorite designs. At the end of the show prizes were awarded based on popular vote and a decision made by a panel of six judges.
Katie James and Kate Pietroburgo, students in the TAM capstone class, won first place. They based their designs off pieces from the '40s and then added a modern twist.
"I like wearing things you can say you made," James said. "I would wear a lot of the pieces in (this collection)."
James and Pietroburgo experienced the rush and confusion that occurs behind the runway.
"We only had one model, unlike most of the other designers," James said. "We waited behind the curtain for our model to get off the runway so we could strip her down and rush her back to the runway."
TAM students Mackenzie Moody and Kinsey Lees said they were excited to win second place and plan to use the $300 prize money to cover the cost of the fabric they used for their designs.
"The hardest part of designing was working with fabric that I have never worked with before," Moody said. "We based all our designs on clothes classic Barbies wear."
TAM is not just the brightly colored designs, dance music and flashing lights of the runway. Designing is a difficult and time-consuming process, said Pietroburgo.
Students in Boorady's TAM class had six weeks to create the garments from scratch, TAM student Kristin Nettleton said.
"We design the sketches and flats, make the pattern, find the right fabric, do the sewing and then add accessories to the piece," Nettleton said. "The hardest part is just getting ideas and putting them together."