July 14, 2024

Flex Tech

Innovation in Every Curve

Sam Fox School presents 95th Annual Fashion Design Show – The Source

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts will present its 95th Annual Fashion Design Show April 27. Pictured are three designs from “Featherplight,” a new collection exploring birds and environmental struggle by Maxine Roeder. (Photos: Phillip Hamer/Sam Fox School)

UPDATE:   

Due to a demonstration taking place on the Danforth Campus, we have made the decision to close tonight’s 95th Annual WashU Fashion Design Show to in-person guests. You can still view the show via our live stream on Instagram via @wustlfashion and on YouTube. Livestreams will begin at 7:00 p.m. We know this is disappointing for those who were planning to attend, and we regret the inconvenience. 


Online, fashion is often reduced to image. But in life, fashion is highly tactile. The weight of a fabric, the weave of a cloth, the way it drapes or moves with the body — all profoundly shape the wearer’s experience.

For young designers, “I think there’s been a return to material,” said Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, an associate professor and head of fashion design in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

“They want to understand how things are made,” added Ruppert-Stroescu, an authority on sustainable design and how new technologies shape fashion innovation. “They’re fascinated by texture and behavior. They’re looking to innovate within that material space.”

On April 27, the Sam Fox School will present its 95th Annual Fashion Design Show in WashU’s historic Holmes Lounge, in Ridgley Hall. One of the oldest such events in the nation, the evening will feature dozens of models wearing scores of outfits, with a particular focus on capstone collections by graduating fashion design majors.

“Our program emphasizes creative leadership,” Ruppert-Stroescu said. “The capstone projects allow students to channel all of their knowledge, and all of their experience, into an expression of their core aesthetic.

“What is it they want to say about the world?”

“Mirage,” a new collection by Leena Bekhiet, explores the tensions between distance and proximity, ancient and contemporary, architecture and ornament. (Photos: Phillip Hamer/Sam Fox School)

Resilience and inspiration

The show will open with linen slacks created as part of an introductory course led by senior lecturer Jennifer Ingram and alumna Angelique Joseph (BFA ’91), vice president of design for the shoe brand Naturalizer. Also on the program will be original textiles; laser-cut garments; virtual outfits modeled by avatars; gala ball gowns inspired by land, sea and sky; and dresses made from upcycled Dutch wax batik cloth.

“The theme was resilience,” Ruppert-Stroescu said of the latter project, which introduced students to her patented RECLEM textile recycling system. “Students found a lot of inspiration in the resilience of nature.”

The program then will shift to the senior capstones. Based on months of research, each employs a distinctive visual vocabulary and reflects a rigorous process of research, development, ideation and prototyping.

In “Mirage,” a new collection inspired by her Egyptian ancestry, Leena Bekhiet explores the tensions between distance and proximity, ancient and contemporary, architecture and ornament. “My muse is my motherland,” Bekhiet writes in her designer’s statement. “I create through themes of home and heritage, blissfully inviting color and foreignness into the mundane.”

“Lifelines,” by Ella Dassin, combines neutral palettes, simple silhouettes and original photos and drawings to capture the energy of New York street life. (Photos: Phillip Hamer/Sam Fox School)

“Lifelines,” by Ella Dassin, combines neutral palettes, simple silhouettes and original photos and drawings to capture the energy and street life of her native New York. “When we hear the word relationship, we tend to think of a couple,” Dassin observed. “Lifelines” takes a broader view, exploring “how humans view and interact with the world around us, how relationships evolve over time, and how cultures shape relationships.”

With his collection “Fighter,” Michael Hunziker deploys a series of juxtapositions — hard and soft, light and dark, transparent and opaque — to grapple with the Buddhist conception of dukkha, the first of four noble truths, which acknowledges the human inevitability of distress, anxiety and suffering. “We all have traumas,” Hunziker explained. “Let us honor and face these scars.”

Maxine Roeder, in “Featherplight,” examines the beauty of birds and the environmental struggles they face. Her collection, she wrote, “engages the contrast between birds’ purity with their menacing fate,” exploring both “the state of birds and the evolutionary disruption and ecological imbalance resulting from bird decline.”

With its short hemlines and bold, space-age colors, Josie Zimmerman’s “Nostalgia” collection — inspired by the concept of ballet core — exudes playful, retro-futuristic confidence. “I want my clothing to be a way for one to feel mature and outgoing,” she said, “while also feeling youthful and bold all at once.”

In “Fighter,” Michael Hunziker deploys a series of juxtapositions — hard and soft, light and dark, transparent and opaque — to grapple with the Buddhist conception of dukkha and the inevitability of suffering. (Photos: Phillip Hamer/Sam Fox School)

Sponsors and awards

The Fashion Design Show is coordinated by Ruppert-Stroescu and sponsored by Tacony Corp., Neiman Marcus Frontenac, St. Louis Fashion Fund and Mother Model Management, with additional support from Dominic Bertani, Dana Dahi and Susan Sanders Block.

The evening also will feature several departmental awards, including:

  • The Dominic Michael Silver Scissors Designer of the Year Award. Sponsored by the Dominic Michael Salon for more than two decades, the award is presented to the senior fashion design student who has shown compelling creativity and exceptional skill in fashion design conception and execution.
  • The Most Marketable Collection, which recognizes a senior fashion design student whose collection is deemed most marketable. Work from all five senior collections will be on display at Neiman Marcus Frontenac from May 2 to 13, with a reception hosted by Neiman Marcus in the store from 1-3 p.m. May 11.
  • The Stars Design Group Award, which grants mentorship and studio space in the Couture Culture incubator to a student whose collection demonstrates high business potential.
  • The Susan Sanders Block Silver Ripper Award, sponsored by alumna Susan Sanders Block, is presented to the sophomore or junior fashion design student who has demonstrated the most growth.
  • The Riverbend Textiles Sustainable Design Leadership Award, which recognizes exceptional thought and practice toward sustainable fashion design.
  • The Fashion Citizenship Award, sponsored by Ruppert-Stroescu and presented to an outstanding second-year fashion design major who demonstrates good citizenship and community engagement.
With its short hemlines and bold, space-age colors, Josie Zimmerman’s “Nostalgia” collection — inspired by the concept of ballet core — exudes playful, retro-futuristic confidence. (Photos: Phillip Hamer/Sam Fox School)

Tickets

The 95th Annual Washington University Fashion Design Show will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 27, in WashU’s Holmes Lounge, located in Ridgley Hall. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. A “meet and greet” with the designers will immediately follow the show, in Anabeth and John Weil Hall.

General admission tickets are all reserved. However, the Sam Fox School also will host a free watch party in Weil Hall, as well as an exhibition of two-dimensional student fashion design work. Attendees can then join the after party. To register, or to sign up for the fashion show livestream, visit samfoxschool.wustl.edu.

About the Fashion Design Program

The Fashion Design Program in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis offers both BA and BFA degrees. Built on a foundation of art and design, the WashU fashion program challenges students to develop an intellectually rich and relevant narrative about clothing and fashion in contexts ranging from the personal to the industrial.


link