Theme comes to life at The Fashion Show


Korrie Bysted/Iowa State Daily

Monarch by Ahmad Almansouri was presented during the 2015 ISU Fashion Show at Stephens Auditorium on April 11.

Mariah Wellman

Two parts of a fashion show, “The Calm” and “The Storm”. So different, yet cohesively brought together by the pieces included, made for an unprecedented evening at Stephens Auditorium.

The 33rd annual ISU Fashion Show took place at 7 p.m. April 11. As the curtain rose, anticipation whispered across the packed auditorium, quietly waiting for the first garment to grace the stage. White noise, reminiscent of a calm, spring day brought the audience close to nature.

One model, stoic in the middle of the stage surrounded by white curtains and tent-like trumpets of gathered fabric hanging from the ceiling, waited patiently as music started to play. The lights went up and the first model strutted down the runway in Burden Child, a cream romper with long bell sleeves, flowing almost to the ground. The model and the background were seamless, like two puzzle pieces fitting together, to start the show on a high note.

The six garments to follow had something in common: fabric in neutral, simple hues. Each garment somehow remained soft, even when lit by the harsh stage lighting. Models, donning blue eye shadow and slicked-back low ponytails, floated on air.

The goddess-like trend was evident throughout “The Calm.” Lauryn Stromberg, senior in apparel, merchandising and design, created LJD and submitted the entry as her senior line. The icy blue, cream and grey collection was fit for Medusa, with its gathered fabrics, fitting the models in all the right places.

Stromberg entered three other garments into the show, all in neutral tones, with three in “The Calm” and one in “The Storm.”

Closing out the first half and completing the goddess trend for the evening was “Ezradella,” a neutral line of six garments by Erin Tepper. Tepper, senior in apparel, merchandising and design, chose a beige and brown color palette for her collection.

The line was complete, something one might see in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. A leotard with flowing skirt, a mini dress, pants and tops and a jumpsuit with a deep neckline combined sophistication with a flirty edge.

Evident in both halves of the show was structured menswear, closely resembling a futuristic uniform. Entries by Colin Behr, last year’s recipient of the Ruth Glock Internship Scholarship, showed his training learned from working alongside Todd Snyder during the summer of 2014. Behr, senior in industrial design, submitted Fas, Tech Rain Jacket and Akimbo Windbreaker. All of Behr’s pieces combined the best of menswear into one package.

A collection of men’s shirts walked the runway. The grey button-ups, complete with plaid and pops of orange, gave an interesting touch to a technically sound collection.

Some senior lines and individual entries paid homage to lines seen on the national stage this past spring. From national chains like J.Crew to high-end pieces by well-known designers, students took inspiration from past runway shows and implanted them into their garments.

Baroque Sophistication, a collection by Alexandra Weimar, junior in apparel, merchandising and design, could have been seen walking in the fall/winter show by J.Crew. The dark sweatshirt dress with large decorative jewels and overall color palette of Weimar’s collection would transition smoothly to the everyday garments seen in stores across the nation.

Also in the spotlight the past few years has been the eccentric lines of Moschino, creating clothing inspired by McDonald’s and Barbie. Self Portrait, a high-low skirt submitted by Linsey Heister, reminded some of the eccentric patterns created by Moschino. Heister, senior in graphic design, created the rough-edged skirt and paired it with a simple black tank, forcing the print to stand out among the stark background.

Wearable art has been a category judged in The Fashion Show for years, and this year was no exception. Zipper Dress by Taylor Roberson, Reign Over by Luigi Rausch and Monarch by Ahmad Almansouri all placed in the wearable art category.

Rausch, senior in industrial design, created Reign Over, a structured rain jacket made from stiff materials. The clear and white material covered in patterns gave texture to the otherwise immobile piece.

Almansouri, senior in architecture, created the winning wearable art entry, a laser-cut acrylic piece designed on the computer, printed, cut out and molded to model Marissa Engel’s body all while taking the pieces in and out of the oven.

Engel, senior in architecture, was chosen by Almansouri at fit night, the event where designers choose their models. Engel said Almansouri chose her because of her cheekbones.

“It was haute couture specifically for my body,” Engel said. “All the curves everything fit perfectly. It was comfortable and I think it was amazing.”

Engel and Almansouri knew each other previously because they are both architecture majors. Engel offered to come over to Almansouri’s house and complete the design.

“I spent a couple hours at his house two different days and we finished up the garment specifically to fit me,” Engel said. “He designed it three different times. It fit great and I’m so happy for him.”

Engel walked out to “Enter Sandman” by Metallica at the beginning of “The Storm.” Surrounded by hanging chairs, couches and bikes, Engel’s entrance was unprecedented and the perfect start to a whirlwind second half.

“It was so much fun,” Engel said of her experience on the runway. “[The producers] came to me and they were like ‘hey, Marissa, we have music for you. It’s going be amazing [and] you’re going to kill it.’ It was just a rush. It was good to see [the audience’s] reaction.”