Kayla Byler / Lantern photographer
Stage lights lit up the runway and models showcased everything from Tokyo street-style to the avant garde at Saturday’s “Culture Shock” fashion show put on by Ohio State’s Fashion Production Association.
The Archie Griffin Grand Ballroom in the Ohio Union housed the event, hosting hundreds of viewers who saw what this year’s batch of novice designers had turned out.
The fashion show has been a presence in the fashion and retail studies department for the past 18 years under the direction of Nancy Rudd, associate professor of consumer sciences at OSU.
Each year the fashion show has unique themes to guide the designers. This year’s theme was inspired by five global and diverse cities: Johannesburg, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and New York.
The 60 looks were designed by 26 students from the FPA and provided the crowd with plenty of surprises in the form of lights in hoop skirts, Harajuku girl-inspired styles and laser-cut paper cages molded over clothing.
Alexandra Ruiz, a second-year graduate student in architecture, showcased her attraction to structural designs in her five-piece collection in the New York segment of the show.
Ruiz said she spent more than 200 hours laser-cutting paper to create 3-D paper cages over her models’ minimalist white outfits. She said that despite the intense workload, it was all worth it.
“You work so hard for so long, then finally, for 45 seconds, you get a little bit of satisfaction,” Ruiz said.
Sami Jo Morgan, a third-year in fashion and retail studies, completed the most outfits of the night with six colorful garments. She said she used this opportunity to work outside the box.
“This is your chance to do something crazy,” Morgan said, “so why wouldn’t you go for it?”
Most of the student designers are self-taught.
There is no actual sewing or construction aspect of the fashion and retail studies major, so students wishing to learn these skills often take costume-making classes from the theatre department or learn the more technical aspects by taking courses at the Columbus College of Art & Design.
Another hardship is the cost of designing clothes, an out-of-pocket expense for the students.
One of Morgan’s largest hurdles came in regards to the cost of making six outfits. Even with the help of parents, it was still a challenge, she said.
“It was a lot of coupon clipping,” Morgan said. “I’d do it again, but not six outfits. I think I got it out of my system.”
Morgan’s night only got more exciting after she agreed to marry her boyfriend, Steven Gallian, when he proposed to her in the bottom of the Union in front of friends, family and a few hundred onlookers right after the show.
There was also intense behind-the-scenes work for months led by Rudd and FPA president Erica Clark-Covert, a fourth-year in fashion and retail studies, who had been putting the show together since the start of Fall Quarter.
The several hundred attendees donated $1,376 in the silent auction prior to the show for the charity Thirst Relief International.