By Katie Schliep
After nearly a year of constant preparation, conceptual research, sketching and fabric sourcing, draping, sewing and nerve-wracking critiques, it all boils down to this…
One final week in a senior designer’s last quarter at SCAD.
The best collections earned one of the coveted spots in the runway line-up. This year, a mere 20 designers earned spots to showcase their entire collection, as opposed to last year’s 28.
For a fashion student, the amount of work that goes into the preparation for Senior Collection is no secret. From day one of introductory classes, professors make sure every student is aware of the time and dedication that is needed to make it through year four as a fashion major.
A recent book I purchased titled “Creating a Successful Fashion Collection” by Steven Faerm, opens up with a (perfect) description of an essential trait that all designers need to embody, but seldom do.
“Few potential designers have the insatiable passion that is expected by the fashion industry. Being a fashion designer is a lifestyle choice, often marked by long hours and an all-consuming devotion to perfection,” Faerm writes. Many believe that if you do not “eat, sleep and breathe fashion,” then it’s the wrong career for you.
Though scarce, these designers do exist. In fact, they are the very designers that showcase their collections at our annual SCAD Fashion Show.
In last year’s show, audience members were shown garments which featured a wide variety of design details. There were plenty of standout silhouettes, such as Lindsey Hopkin’s collection of pleated garments that took on various shapes. One dress resembled a Japanese fan, while another garment had vertical pleated details running up and down the sleeves.
Marlow Larson, a 2011 alumni whose collection is still talked about by current students, showcased a collection that featured billowing skirts paired with tailored jackets made of leather and fur. The combination of luxurious fabrics and warm hues of gold, cream and brown made the collection stand out among the rest.
The 2011 show boasted the fashion department’s talent with beautiful, wearable garments. However, it was a year for experimentation as well. One collection by designer Lauren Mayhew, featured garments made of synthetic hair extensions. Making use of this particular material was a risk, and Mayhew executed the construction well. This collection would have been more appreciated had the designer showcased the material on more practical garments.
A featured active wear collection by Merida Miller would have been better received if the design reflected the actual environment it would be worn in. Though this designer used appropriate cold-weather fabrics (nylon rip stop, goose down, faux fur) to create a collection for winter sports, not many snowboarders or skiers would be kept warm on the slopes while wearing a sleeveless coat.
With a senior fashion design class talented enough to call the attention of globally read Elle Magazine, last year’s fashion show will surely be hard to top.
But the class of 2012 designers are definitely up for the task.
Though only 20 full-collection and a handful of special-garment seniors made it to the final runway show, it’s hard to simply gaze past the dozens of senior designers who also possess the talent and drive to build a career in fashion. Even though the near future of 80 senior designers does not include the runway lights of the 2012 SCAD Fashion Show, they all embody the “insatiable passion” needed to a have a very bright future.Contact Katie Schliep .