Fashion Show judges meet public, begin process

Model Ashley Perera, waiting to be called to model designs chosen for her. 

The judges for this year’s Fashion Show have arrived in Ames. 

Friday the judges hit the ground running, starting off with mounted judging during the day for the 2017 Fashion Show. Last night at the Meet the Judges event held for the public the judges were able to speak and mingle with attendees. Saturday was Judging Day, when the judges pick the designs that will be featured in the fashion show.

Judging Day

Judging Day you’ll find models waiting in a room for their call, many of them watching Netflix. When the model casting directors come in and call their numbers, the models go to the fitting room to get dressed in the outfits that the designers had made and picked for them at Model Fitting Night, then wait to go and get evaluated by the judges in a separate room.

One of the models, Ashley Perera, freshman in accounting, modeled three garments. She said going in front of the judges isn’t nerve-wracking, but the runway is a little daunting. Perera has been hoping to model for the Fashion Show since she got to Iowa State.

On judgement day you’ll also find the model casting directors going back and forth from room to room, making sure the models all get to where they’re supposed to be on time.

This year there were three model casting directors. One of them, Grace Rosson, said that the Fashion Show was the whole reason she came to Iowa State.  She is preparing to someday work for New York Fashion Week.

“It [model casting director] was my top choice to be on because you get to work backstage and get to be in the hustle and bustle of the actual show,” Rosson said. “The week of the show is crazy. We’re there from four to ten [or] eleven at night working with the models, making sure everything is perfect so that when the curtain goes up on stage Saturday night, nothing goes wrong.”

The model casting directors, design committee, producers and many more all work together from the beginning of the year to make sure the show goes seamlessly. They also make sure everything for the judges is in tip-top shape so that they are able to come in and do their job to the best of their ability.

Meet the judges

The four judges are chosen for their industry involvement.

Tina Wagner

Iowa State Alumni (2001)

apparel, merchandising, and design degree 

Wagner is now a freelance designer and color specialist, currently living in L.A. Wagner knew she wanted to be in the industry since 9th grade, when she read a YM Magazine with an article about a girl who’d made her own clothes. She later met the girl while studying abroad at the London College of Fashion.

“[Going into the weekend I was] excited to see student work and see how far the program has come because it has changed a lot and has moved forward a lot, especially with the design aspect,” Wagner said.

Sarah Clapper

Iowa State Alumni (2009)

finance degree with a minor in apparel, merchandising, and design

Clapper is now a Market Planner at Gap. Clapper began at Iowa State studying pre-vet.

“Being in the fashion industry, things are always changing. Stores are evolving, the way people shop is evolving, people don’t go to malls much anymore, they go online. Things are moving fast,” said Clapper.

Going into this weekend Clapper expected to be wowed and blown away by some of the things that the students submitted. 

James K. Ryan

Iowa State alumni (1974)

degree in industrial administration.

Ryan is a retired creative director of U.S. Polo Association and now a mentor here at Iowa State for some of the YMA scholarship students. Ryan says he is constantly telling students that it is never too early to create your brand.

“I want students to be prepared for taking on experiences that they like. Not just going out and trying to get a job,” Ryan said. “You should be interviewing the company for what they can offer you just as much as the company is interviewing you for what you can offer them.”

Going into this past weekend, Ryan said he was already overwhelmed by the talent that he saw just at the mounted judging.

Maranda Nichols Persico

Iowa State alumni (2007)

degree in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design

Persico is a I.A.T.S.E. Costume Designer Guild 892 Costume Designer. Persico always knew she wanted to be a fashion designer but hadn’t planned on being a costume designer.

“Costume design found me,” she said. The hardest part about being in the fashion and film industry, Persico said, is “having patience and knowing that your time will come. The hardest part is the wait and knowing that this is the long term thing.”