Tucked away in the softly lit Studio One on the fourth floor of the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Fashion@Brown’s sixth annual fashion show drew an observant crowd of nearly 100 people.
The show featured a total of 67 looks put together by nine different design teams — the organization’s largest show ever, said Jenna Davis ’16, co-events coordinator and model liaison. Looks ranged immensely, with some designers showcasing formalwear and others exhibiting more unconventional pieces or casual and neutral outfits.
For each designer’s collection, the title — or designer’s name if they chose to go without a title — was announced, and musical accompaniment was played to match the feel of their apparel.
To start, the work of designer Sabiya Ahamed ’17 was featured, followed by that of Ingrid Zippe ’17.5, Bryn Kelley ’16, Jennifer Avery ’16.5, the team of Kristen Michaelson ’16 and Alexia Stylianou GS, Kimberly Saltz ’17, the team of Leadz Dorce ’16, Chimezie Udozorh ’16 and Kelechukwu Udozorh ’18, Sofia Kadieva ’16 and finally Katharina Windemuth ’16.
Though some had artistic backgrounds, no experience was necessary to participate as a designer in the show. And for some designers, this show served as a first-time opportunity to present their works.
“Brown is special in that it gives me the opportunity to design something for myself without having to (follow) any guidelines,” Windemuth said. “For me, it has just been an exploration.”
The event was noticeably diverse, with models of varying race, gender and body type dressed in everything from classy skirts and heels to eccentrically patterned bodysuits. There was clearly very little restriction when it came to clothing selection.
Avery praised the allowed “artistic agency,” which came through in her ensembles, including bright and wild patterns that she made herself, neon body paint, wigs and animal masks. One model even stopped to take a selfie midway through her walk.
Saltz chose to represent her creative freedom through a surprising medium: wire. “I liked the idea of taking something that very much doesn’t seem wearable and turning it into that,” she said. The last dress in her collection, which she deemed her favorite, “deceptively weighs about 10 pounds,” Saltz said.
This kind of creative outlet and expression is exactly what the fashion show was meant to provide for its participants, Davis said.
“I love that Fashion@Brown does this. It’s just such a great program, and I’ve just had the best time participating in it,” Windemuth said.
Many of the models were also invested in the show, being friends and peers of the designers who dressed them. “The designer that I walked for, Jennifer Avery, she’s incredible,” said model Polina Tamarina ’17. “It was unexpected how fun and crazy it was,” she added.
The work that goes into the fashion show is an all-year affair beginning in the fall with a model call and gauge of interest for designers, Davis said. But the real planning and finalization of schedules does not happen until the month before the show, she added.
On the designer end, the bulk of the work appears to have been completed within the past few months, a time frame both Saltz and Windemuth mentioned.
“I thought it was really great,” said audience member Nicki Driscoll ’16. “I’d never been to any of the fashion shows at Brown before, and I was really impressed by a lot of the fashion that I didn’t realize that people at Brown were making. Some of the clothes were really quite incredible.”