Brown Fashion Week came to a close Thursday night with Fashion@Brown’s biggest show to date. Every seat of the Martinos Auditorium in the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, where the event was held, was filled for “Threads and Threats,” the club’s twelfth annual runway show. Fishnets, gauzy skirts and sexy evening gowns were on display. There was beachwear, metal sheets and head drapes fashioned out of linked chains. Models even donned a pair of earmuffs and a white ski mask made of yarn.
The show, which was held in front of a crowd of over 200, opened with a few remarks from F@B’s three co-presidents, Emma Rosenkranz ’23, Sydney Taub ’22 and Celia Heath ’22. Each thanked club members for all of the time and energy they had devoted throughout the year, explaining how the experience was integral to their lives at Brown.
The runway show, according to Rosenkranz, was the biggest event the Granoff Center held this year. It was the product of an organization, which counts over 320 Brown and Rhode Island School of Design students, made up of 12 different departments that cover all areas of the fashion industry.
The club’s membership, according to Rosenkranz, is the largest it has ever been. When she first joined during her freshman year, it numbered only around 100. She described the opportunity to see such growth as “one of the most rewarding experiences.”
Planning for the event began in July and ramped up at the start of the spring semester as the event date neared.
Rosenkranz estimated that she had dedicated roughly 33 hours per week to F@B since February began. “It’s basically like a full-time job,” she said. As one of the club’s three presidents, her main role is to oversee everything from budget requests to lighting design to ensuring that hair and makeup remain on schedule.
The Design Team also put in their fair share of work. Co-director of Design Sebastian Immonen ’23 described preparations for the runway show as a year-long process. “Remaining on the Design Team is actually really hard work,” Immonen said. The runway show’s 24 featured designers all had to attend workshops, as well as participate in F@B’s winter event, “Intertwine.”
In addition to the designers, F@B also relies on all of its teams including Graphic Design and Photography to put together the event.
“I think the biggest challenge has been … bringing this massive club together to produce one single blowout event,” Immonen said.
Due to public health restrictions, last year’s runway show was held virtually. While the event was largely successful, this year’s in-person experience, according to Heath, was different.
“It’s definitely higher stakes, higher pressure,” she said. “And a lot more work, but all so worth it.”
Rosenkranz agreed, adding that “it’s been so lovely to actually be in-person with the people that you’re talking to literally 20 times a day.”
Although each collection maintained a common theme — one designer focused on blue and gold accents, for example, while others sought a less than fully-clothed approach — they incorporated many different styles, ranging from knitwear to grungy black outwear to sweatshirts and other everyday wear. One focused on floral patterns, while another opted for elaborately scaffolded skirts.
“There’s a lot of interesting collections that are in a direction that I wouldn’t expect,” Immonen said. “Like Y2K, and mythical, grassy vibes, and really anything in between.”
Freedom and diversity in design is one of F@B’s core values, according to Heath. “I think people sometimes forget that fashion is so much more than just what you wear,” she said. “It’s really a way to express yourself, and an outlet for your identity.”
Immonen echoed this sentiment and placed emphasis on the fact that fashion, at Brown, depends on teamwork.
“The students here, having not gotten much sewing training, rely on each other,” he said.
Immonen added that the strength of the Design Team, and club as a whole, is really what the runway show is meant to display. “I want everyone to see that power that we have as a collective.”
“There’s no other place on campus or degree that provides what we do,” Rosenkranz said. She explained that its diversity, free workshops and accessibility to all Brown students is really what makes F@B such a vital group on campus.
“It’s a pre-professional organization, and I think that it’s such a great introduction and educational experience,” she added. “It’s really the focal point for anyone interested in the industry.”
The 12th annual runway show ended with one last moment for F@B’s models on stage, walking together to show the entirety of the year’s collections then exiting to cheers.
The models were then joined on stage by their designers. Each was gifted with flowers by F@B’s presidents, who were all seated in the theater’s first row. Thanks were given to the entire club, flowers to some of its senior designers, and thus “Threads and Threats” came to a close.
“I’m genuinely inspired by the hard work that each of these designers put into their pieces,” said F@B member Pranav Gundrala ’25, who watched the show from the audience. “I was taken aback by the personality and creativity on stage.”home