Threads 10th Anniversary Fashion Show
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On Saturday, March 21 in downtown Greensboro, surrounded byfellow fashion enthusiasts, I felt a sudden surge of excitement. Packed in theentrance to The Empire Room, and fighting to gain access to what was sure to bea thrilling evening, bursting at the seams with creativity, fashion, and talent,I was finally permitted to make my way up the grand staircase and into thestrategically lit ballroom. The room, lined with chairs surrounding arectangular catwalk, was beautifully decorated, and perfect for showcasing the collectionsof in the UNCG consumer, apparel, and retail studies (CARS) programs.
Drinks and music by DJ Drae Smith fostered the feelings ofanticipation, which permeated the room, noticeable in the faces and palpable excitement.By the time I found my seat. I could hardly wait for the show to begin.
“This year’s show is inspired by the roman numeral X, becauseit is our 10th anniversary,” said Rachel Wilson, a senior CARS student fromGastonia, and president of Threads. Using “X” as a starting point, it wasdecided that this year’s theme would focus on XOXO (think pink, red, white,romance, and love) and with this idea in mind, 20 students in the CARSdepartment created their own unique collections and put them on display.
Some used the term and traditional meaning of “hugs andkisses” very loosely, creating pieces that were, I would argue, completely theopposite. For example, one chose famous Disney movies as their inspiration,including pieces designed for Aladdin, Snow White, and Maleficent, to name afew. While I see the idea behind the collection, and commend her efforts, to meit did not translate to modern fashion; rather, I was reminded more of costumedesign for perhaps the stage or the movie set.
Others, however, took a much different approach. I wasfascinated by the creativity and the abilities of the students who designedanything from garb a futuristic goddess could garnish, to a dress any bridewould dream of wearing down the aisle.
One garment in particular caught my eye because of thebeautiful flower detailing on the fabric. Amazingly, Nhi Tran, a senior atUNCG, had hand-painted her fabric to give it a unique and unbelievable look,which, in my opinion, rivals today’s top designers. Her attention to detail -the effortless elegance of her collection called to my mind Vera Wang – andmade her my favorite of the night. It comes as no surprise that she won firstplace in the inaugural Betty Creative Awards (a fashion-design competition dreamedup by 2 sisters who wanted to put their late mother’s, Betty Tonzak, fabriccollection to good use) judged by celebrity judges Freddie Leiba, RoxannaLowit, and Betsey Johnson. I have no doubt that Nhi Tran will be a person towatch in the fashion industry for years to come.
The evening ended with 15 student-created capsulecollections which showcased a theme of their choosing. They ranged anywherefrom early 60s inspired pieces to modern edgy hoodies with light-up hoods. Myfavorite of this round was a geometric print collection created by DanielleTeah. The models in this collection were styled from head-to-toe, i.e., facespainted, hair constructed, headdresses garnered, all to match the kings &queens theme she chose to convey through her clothing. Although the fabricsused in this collection did not vary, she constructed each piece to formcohesively into the collection, and styled each piece uniquely and beautifully.
Overall, I feel lucky that I was given the opportunity tocover this story and I was inspired by the dedication each designer had totheir collection. There is something to be said for someone who can envision anentire collection, construct all the necessary pieces, and then showcase thatvision to a room full of critics and fans.