Garments judged for The Fashion Show 2015


Courtesy of Anna Dencklau

Judging day is one of the most anticipated days leading up the The Fashion Show 2015. More than 250 garments were judged and an estimated 200 will be accepted. 

Erin Dungan

Aside from The Fashion Show 2015, judging day is one of the most anticipated events for many apparel design students throughout the spring semester. The two-day event took place at the Memorial Union and Morrill Hall. Along with models, directors and committee members, four guest judges from across the country were in attendance.

Three alumnae of the apparel program and a professor from Parsons School of Design were invited to Iowa State to judge nearly 250 submissions for this year’s Fashion Show 2015. Submissions fall under a variety of categories — menswear, childrenswear, activewear, fiber art, sustainability, intimate, swimwear, streetwear, wearable art, graduate, special occasion, professional daywear and collections. Mounted submissions that included fashion illustration, fashion portfolio and accessories were also judged.

After judging, roughly 200 garments are expected to be accepted for the runway. Submissions are judged on creativity, technical ability, construction and other areas based on the type of submission.

Danielle Testa, senior merchandiser for International Forever 21, graduated from Iowa State in 2009. After receiving her apparel degree from Iowa State, Testa attended London College of Fashion, where she earned her master’s degree.

Upon receiving her master’s degree, Testa began working in London for Topshop’s international department. She lived abroad for three years before realizing she was ready to relocate closer to home. Testa then moved into her current international role at Forever21.

Working in fast fashion has allowed Testa to see plenty of product. She said that ultimately a combination of great construction and creativity is what makes a garment.

“They pick the right fabric, they put it all in the right shape and they have the right details to it,” Testa said. “I really think it’s going to come down to who puts it all together in such a way that has the strongest overall image.”

Testa said she was extremely excited to be back on campus judging garments as she had not visited Iowa State since graduation.

Eric Vos is a 2008 graduate of the apparel program. He moved to New York City shortly after graduation and began working for Vineyard Vines. While there, Vos designed a variety of boyswear and menswear.

After working two years with Vineyard Vines, he was recruited by Ralph Lauren. Vos is currently the menswear designer for woven shirts for Polo, a Ralph Lauren brand. Essentially, Vos designs all Polo buttonups for men.

Vos said he was most excited to see the students’ garments.

“It’s also exciting going through all of this stuff as a student and now being on the opposite side of things,” Vos said.

Similarly to Vos and Testa, Rachel Thomas is also a graduate of Iowa State’s apparel program. After graduating in 2006, Thomas moved to Kansas City and began working for Gear for Sports, a sportswear company that also held a private label with Under Armour and Champion.

Thomas moved into design with the company after being there for a year. She designed Under Armour women’s golf and Champion collegiate products.

After six years with Gear for Sports, Thomas tried bridal design. She quickly realized she was suited better for sportswear and began a career with Camp David.

Camp David is a privately owned company that specializes in fleece, T-shirts and caps that are embellished with custom artwork. The majority of the company’s products are sold to resort establishments and to the licensed college bookstore market.

Thomas is currently manager of all product planning and development. The role includes buying and managing inventory, product development and technical design. She said she likes the variety her job provides.

Similar to Vos, Thomas looked forward to seeing the students’ work. She remembers the anticipation that judging day brought her as a student all too well.

“I remember waiting for the juried section when I was involved and being anxious like, ‘please just let my stuff get in,’” Thomas said.

Thomas also said she was looking for well-rounded submissions that executed both creativity and construction.

“The strongest ones stand out to each of us,” Thomas said.

Tamara Albu, professor at Parsons School of Design in New York City, was among the three alumnae that participated in judging day. Albu is originally from Romania but moved to New York City many years ago to pursue teaching.

Albu stays busy teaching a variety of apparel courses. She commonly teaches fashion illustration, fashion portfolio, fashion technical drawing and patternmaking.

Additionally, Albu teaches an extensive fashion course in Paris every summer.

Although Albu is an educator and often notices construction and technical ability in the submissions, the other judges have agreed nearly every time.

“I think we pretty much agree without agreeing in advance, at the end when we talk about our favorite we pretty much pick the same submission,” Albu said. “So whatever caught our eye whether it was the skill or artistic execution, we pretty much have been on the same page about everything.”

The four judges spoke on Friday to different apparel courses to educate students about their specific role in the industry.

The garments accepted by the judges will take the runway at 7 p.m. April 11 at Stephens Auditorium. Tickets are available for purchase at the ticket box office.