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Fashion Production Association’s 26th annual Design Show adds week of events

An editorial shot of the Fashion Production Association executive board. The 26th Annual Credit: Courtesy of Skyler Ray

The Fashion Production Association’s 26th annual design show on Saturday in the Ohio Union Ballroom will feature 19 design collections inspired by local innovators following Ohio State’s first fashion week.

Shelby Kitchin, co-director of design for FPA, said in past years the design shows had five large acts in which the executive board chose what the acts looked like, as well as the collection’s theme.

“This year the executive board picked more of an overarching theme,” Kitchin said. “We wanted them to come up with how their collections looked. The designers have more creative control this way.”

This year’s show will feature 19 collections created by students. Nancy Rudd, advisor of FPA, said that before hitting the runway portion of the evening, people will be able to view students’ design sketches and bid in a silent auction.

All earnings from the silent auction will be donated to the Driving Park Community Center, an organization that helps children from low-income areas, Rudd said.

“As long as I’m a part of this course and organization I think it’s very important that students learn to pay it forward,” she said. “I do have a service learning requirement of anyone in the organization.”

Rudd said FPA is a combination of a course, Consumer Sciences 4990, which began 26 years ago, and a student organization that began 10 years ago with nearly 100 student members from many different majors.

“It is interesting to me how many students are attracted to this kind of an upper-level event,” she said.

The class starts as a one credit hour course Autumn Semester, and becomes a one-to-three credit hour course in the spring –– a time when students join certain committees that make every aspect of the show come together.

“It’s sort of like giving birth,” Rudd said. “We really do spend nine months planning, producing and directing this show.”

Not only does this event have a charitable impact on the community, Rudd said it challenges students in the organization to go beyond basic academics to expand their views and talents.

“If you do something more broad based and really challenging students critical thinking and active learning, that’s a plus for Ohio State,” Rudd said.

Kitchin said planning the annual show with FPA has been an important part of her college career and she has seen how the organization helps students both pursue fashion on a professional and personal level.

“I’m a pre-med student, so I don’t study fashion, and it has given me an outlet to pursue fashion that I normally would not have had,” Kitchin said.

The doors for this year’s design show will open at 6:30 p.m. with the runway show beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $20 via Eventbrite or at the door.

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