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Annual student fashion show to open next weekend

Senior Anna Chmel works in the fashion lab on one of her garmets that will be showcased at “Awaken”. Credit: Danielle Moorhouse

Design students stay awake all night in preparation for “Awaken”

By: Kayla Unnerstall, Staff Reporter

It’s three o’clock in the morning, and voices can be heard from outside the fashion lab. A group of seniors are sitting around sewing together; something they do quite regularly. Long nights with little sleep are what most fashion majors go through at Dominican, especially the seniors who are preparing for their upcoming fashion show, “Awaken”. This year’s theme symbolizes rebirth after destruction; a mixture of Armageddon with nature.

The production is completely organized and staged by senior apparel students. A lot of behind the scenes work has been put in this semester to make the 120 plus garments look flawless while coming down the runway on over 25 models. The seniors have broken up into many different committees to make this production come together: advertising and promotions, awards and planning, music, backstage committee, set design and hair/makeup/ model committee.

Jocelyn Roman, chair of the hair/makeup/model committee, has been coordinating all the models for the upcoming show.

“We literally used guerrilla marketing to find models,” Roman said. “We handed out flyers, and looked for models everywhere: malls, stores, online, ect.”

The committee also booked freelance hairstylists, photographers, and makeup artists to support local talent and give them experience.

The annual student fashion show showcases work from Dominican design students in every grade level and includes many categories such as zero waste, historical, fabric manipulation, and tailoring. Every senior also gets to design multiple garments for their last collection.

A cross between a 1920’s flapper girl and Norwegian Vikings was Jackie Bedolla’s inspiration for her senior collection.

“My collection is unique because I did not sew at all,” Bedolla said. “I made my garments out of chains, constantly linking and unlinking.”

She knew she wanted to make an alternative to fashion, but still wanted to make it stylish.

“I have really talented classmates, so since I’m not sewing I felt like I needed to step it up,” she said. “Fashion doesn’t have to be all about fabric. Fashion is art.”

When she was asked if she was getting enough sleep, Bedolla responded with a boisterous “are you kidding me” laugh. “I sleep anytime I can when I’m not working on my garments,” she said.

Junior Marissa Surma agrees with Bedolla. “The seniors are really living out this year’s theme; they are in the fashion lab late at night and won’t leave until early in the morning,” Surma said.

“I feel like a zombie, I don’t sleep,” senior Dani Moorhouse said. “It is go, go, go, all the time. On average I only get around 4 hours of sleep a night.”

Moorhouse’s collection is inspired by all the elements of the circus: the music and all the geometric shapes on the big top tent. Moorhouse, who spends at least 20 hours a week outside of class working on her garments feels it is all worth it in the end.

“As hard as it is, it is fun to be around people who are as passionate as I am,” Moorhouse said. “It is also really rewarding to see my creations coming to life.”

Stephanie Foley adjusts a piece from her final collection. Credit: Danielle Moorhouse

Stephanie Foley, also had a very unique inspiration for her senior collection. She studied abroad last semester in London and was inspired by the colors when she visited the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Also, her collection of gowns was partly inspired by her grandmother.

The annual Ak­Sar­Ben Coronation Ball in Foley’s hometown of Omaha, Neb. is a family tradition. The ball, complete with men sporting top hats and women in floor length gowns, is one night a year that a fairy tale world comes to life for it’s attendees. Foley’s grandmother who attended the ball every year, and even was named Queen of the ball once, passed away last semester while Foley was studying abroad.

“This collection has helped me get closure, and has allowed me to come to terms with everything,” Foley said. “Clothing is always something me and my grandma bonded over; she was very fashionable, had her own seamstress and would always pass on clothing to me. I know she would be very proud of me and of what I have accomplished.”

Foley’s collection along with all the seniors will be debuted at the fashion show Saturday, April 9 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and on Sunday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m. in the Lund Auditorium.

Tickets for the fashion show can be purchased at the door or through the Dominican University box office at (708) 488-5000. Tickets for the show are $15 for adults and $10 for students. For more information, please contact Tracy Jennings, chair of the apparel design and merchandising department, at (708) 524-6633.

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