AMDT’s Showcase Emerge
The Beasley Coliseum buzzes with visitors moving around the sporting arena. It’s Moms weekend at WSU and 16 seniors have been waiting all year for this day. As students and mother’s seat themselves in the arena the lights begin to dim. A glowing white runway creates a square around the V.I.P seating on the main floor. The spotlight shines onto the announcer as he introduces the first designer.
“To kick off the 36th annual Mom’s weekend fashion show, I present to you all, ‘Kalopsia’ by Kaylee Luera.” The announcer said directing the audiences gaze towards the backstage entrance.
Overhead the song “Be Your Love” by Bishop Briggs begins to flood the room, a personal selection by Luera.
Every year the Apparel Merchandising Design and Textiles (AMDT) senior designers choose a theme for the annual fashion show, this year the theme was “Emerge”. The designers chose Emerge because it resonates with their inspirations and designs created for this season. The theme relates to how the seniors are new emerging designers, however to each senior the theme means so much.
Our designers are breaking fashion stereotypes and paving a new road for the fashion industry. Our designers are putting light on real occurring problems, within our industry, (AMDT Fashion Show, 2019). Retrieved from http://amdtfashionshow.com/
The AMDT program encouraged designers to focus on inclusivity and creating a collection that translates to a greater purpose. Students of the program covered topics such as social movements, women’s rights, and sustainability.
WSU Senior Kaylee Luera has dreamt of her fashion line since her first visit to Milan in 2015. Just before the start of the show, Luera quickly pulls back her thick black hair into a low bun and holds a sewing pin in her mouth. With each model, Luera double checks their wardrobe from head to toe. The time and dedication put into each outfit is clearly shown in her final check. Her eyes graze past the shoulder seam on the first model checking for any last minute flaws. She teases the hair of another model while asking another model to re-layer her scarf. As she quickly looks up and down all four models, she makes small adjustments to each outfit. Luera fixes the feather on her last model then stands back to look at them collectively.
“Alright guys, its time.” Luera says clasping her hands together excitedly.
Luera and the other AMDT students who participated in the fashion show started the pre-production of their collection in early August. The fashion show is the single most important day for ADMT designers because everything done during the year is to prepare for the show, Luera said.
Each designer was responsible not only for finding their own models but also for paying for their own materials such as fabrics and accessories. The time commitment has been the most difficult detail of the design process for Luera, she said.
The pre-production process consists of many different stages. Designers illustrate and complete their collection while raising money, scouting models and finding volunteers for the show. Each collection is created with an overarching theme, Luera’s collection “Kalopsia” was inspired from Haute Couture collections and from her personal experience traveling to the fashion capitals of the world.
With collections so important to each designer, their models spend hours working with them to have every stitch perfect. Models like WSU junior Jordan Graham have participated in the fashion show for multiple years in a row. From practicing cat-walks, hair and makeup, and seeing the stage come together, each moment is new and exciting and why she keeps coming back, Graham said.
This year Graham will be featured in two collections, one with designer Katie Ellis, titled “The Catherdral” and another by Danielle Hoblin titled “Diamond in the Rough”.
“When I’m on the runway I feel confident and fierce. I just feel like I belong up there I guess.” Graham said.
Grahams dedication and confidence shines on the runway and audience members like WSU Senior Juniper Kliensmith and her mother Katie Kleinsmith were taken away not only by the runway models but by the stunning outfits in each collection.
“I was surprised how designers were able to create multiple pieces that look so different but were still part of the same line,” Katie Kliensmith said.
Kleinsmith and her daughter decided to attended the fashion show as an exciting Mom’s weekend event. Every collection had their own creative flair, and even though the two didn’t know all the artist, they could really see their personality in their designs, she said.
Both Kleinsmith and her daughter thoroughly enjoyed Luera’s collection and after the fashion show they had a chance to congratulate her.
The success of the fashion show has given all the senior designers confidence to graduate and move into the professional design and textiles field. Luera plans to move to New York after graduation to chase after her dream of designing Couture fashion.
Katie Kleinsmith (prefers to use daughter’s information for contact)
Senior designer, Kaylee Luera posing with her models after her collection’s walk.
Model Jordan Graham posing with her outfit designer, Katie Ellis.
Designer Hannah Ostergren collection, “Sweet ‘N Sour” on the runway.
WSU student Juniper Kliensmith and her mother Kelly Kliensmith enjoying the fashion show.
The 36th annual Mom’s Weekend Fashion show runway.