On Friday, the Wayne State Fashion Design and Merchandising Organization resumed its annual Spring Fashion Showcase at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.
The fair features student designers and was suspended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing students from showcasing their work for two years.
The event was hosted by FDMO President Hailei Benedict and Co-Vice Presidents Molly Broekman and Madison Muszynski.
Broekman said opportunities like this are important for student fashion designers and professors.
“I think it’s really important to have something to work towards, because if you’re just in a class and you’re learning to sew…you’re just doing this for the class,” Broekman said. “It gives them something to work on that’s not just a grade, so there’s like a reward at the end of the semester. I think people will be more proud of their work if they know it’s going to be aired. somewhere.
The show featured collections of handmade works by six student designers, which set it apart from previous years, Benedict said.
“I think it’s a bit different from the shows I’ve seen in the past, because before it could be accessories or other stylish things, but it wasn’t like every look was handmade,” Benedict said. “These are clothes that are entirely handmade by the designers. Everything you’ll see on the trail, aside from the shoes, is made by Wayne State students.
Prior to the pandemic, the event was held at St. Andrew’s Hall, but the venue change was made because MOCAD is an established venue in the Detroit community, Muszynski said.
“It’s very close to Wayne State and it’s nice not to be in a random building on campus…” Muszynski said. “It welcomes more people who may not have attended in the past to come.”
Admission was free for the hour-long show, which started at 8 p.m. The event also included a bar, cocktail and networking opportunities with members of Detroit’s fashion community.
Muszynski said she didn’t expect the show to sell out as quickly as it did.
“We weren’t expecting it to (sell out) in the first two weeks that we posted it on our Instagram and I think it’s because people want to see what Wayne State students are doing in Detroit. “, Muszynski said. “And that gives them the opportunity to go and do something. People just want to hang out and it’s fun to dress up, listen to music, have a drink and see clothes. Especially after a pandemic, we all want to have meaningful experiences. »
Several WSU students have volunteered as role models. The models were selected after an open casting call that was posted on Instagram, Muszynski said. The show was second-year drama major Canitera Rhodes’ first modeling.
“I always grew up loving clothes, so this is like my first model,” Rhodes said. “Maddie, the designer, let us choose our pieces and I chose something based on the color palette I usually wear. I really like the piece I chose because it’s really fluid and a bit stringy, which is honestly something I’ve always wanted to wear, so it worked.
Designers were also invited via an open online call to submit their pieces. One of the designers selected was Senior Fashion Design Specialist Alex Brauer.
Brauer presented his “Order Disorder” collection, made of recycled and second-hand materials, in particular leftover fabric with different dyeing and painting techniques.
Brauer said his innovation for the piece came during a dark creative rut.
“I ultimately drew a lot of inspiration when it came to societal conflict, whether it was in politics or when it came to inequality and social justice,” Brauer said. “That’s basically the highlight of the collection, and I thought what better way to represent that than with combat. That’s where a lot of the key elements come into play in my designs.
The creations of Benedict, Broekman and Muszynski were presented alongside those of Brauer. The theme of each designer’s collection was unique to their style, showcasing an array of construction methods, materials, color palettes and textures.
Benedict said having an opportunity like this is especially important for seniors, visually commemorating the hard work they put in while at WSU and helping them build professional relationships.
“It’s important that people have these networking opportunities to spread their work,” Benedict said. “We specifically invited people from the fashion industry and brought out all our contacts. It’s really about, as we enter our careers as young professionals in the fashion industry, getting that exposure.
A livestream of the fashion show is available on the FDMO Instagram.
Theresa De Benedetti is a contributing writer for The South End. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover photo by Theresa De Benedetti.