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Fashion@Brown launches biggest annual runway show to date

Friday night brought an outstanding showcase of innovation and design

Over 30 designers and 100 models came together to work with the organization’s more than 600 members and 12 teams to produce a showcase of fashion and fun.
Courtesy of Glenn Wang
Over 30 designers and 100 models came together to work with the organization’s more than 600 members and 12 teams to produce a showcase of fashion and fun. Courtesy of Glenn Wang

Last Friday night, more than 400 people swarmed to Davol Square to attend one of the University’s most anticipated events of the year: Fashion@Brown’s annual runway show — their largest one to date. 

The show has always drawn excitement from students, but this year's spectacle achieved an unparalleled scale and scope. Over 30 designers and 100 models came together to work with the organization’s more than 600 members and 12 teams to produce a showcase of fashion and fun.

F@B President Ellie Karniadakis ’24 highlighted how this year’s runway expanded beyond its past scope, as Brown and RISD collaborated for the first time with Yale and Parsons. “Innovation happens when there is collaboration,” Karniadakis said, noting how excited she was to “feature their designs in our show” and “expand F@B’s reach to a greater audience.”

The evening began with a shock as the runway’s first models, wearing collections from Yale and Parsons designers, emerged in all-black, full-body clothing that covered their faces entirely. 


As the night went on, the audience witnessed an outstanding array of designs and styles. Ball gowns were followed by students in altered Brown sports kits while capes, veils, bonnets and electronically illuminated dresses all came together to create a dream-like explosion of color and creativity. 

Designers employed a variety of props — ranging from disco balls to umbrellas — that complimented the outfits. Chloe Chow ’26’s collection in particular used a prop with every design to illustrate her theme of superstitions, including a girl in a green dress holding a knit four-leaf clover and another model in copper holding a penny.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the show was when one model had not one, not two, but four outfit changes throughout his walk, eliciting loud gasps and laughs as he was left wearing hardly anything but a pair of red underwear reading “forever alone.”

Lola Byrd ’27, who attended the show, said that Nora Cowett ’24’s collection was her favorite, particularly liking “her use of shape and fit.” 

Cowett’s collection, “Amuse Yeux” playfully experimented with form, shape and pattern combinations, incorporating layering, purples and greens. One of the most “ready to wear” collections of the show, it demonstrated Cowett’s desire to “make things that people will actually want to wear and contribute positively to their lives and self-image.”

Cowett, who makes all of her designs herself — turning “her room into half bedroom, half studio” — explained how, for this collection, she “really wanted to get rid of the seriousness and bring the joy and fun back into fashion that I feel like I’ve over-complicated maybe in my own life.” 

Another collection that was undoubtedly a crowd favorite was senior director of design at F@B Phoebe Dragseth ’24’s ‘Blanc Noir.’ 

Student attendee Alexa Moses ’27 said she “loved the architecture of her clothing,” which speaks to Dragseth’s goal to “bridge (her) degree in mathematics with (her) love of fashion design.” 

Dragseth recently participated in February's New York Fashion Week, which pushed her to “pivot her collection” in new directions by “adding in five pieces all tied to geometry and multidimensional spaces.” 

Like Cowett, this was Dragseth’s fourth time showcasing her work. The graduating senior described how, for her last contribution to the runway show, she wanted to touch upon the anxieties students feel about “having no idea what the future will hold.” 


Her entirely black-and-white collection plays upon the expectation that “after four years of school, everything will become clear” and experiments  with “becoming okay with uncertainty.”

“This is the biggest show we’ve ever done, and it sold out in like 15 seconds,” Dragseth said, expressing her pride at how much the club had accomplished throughout her four years at Brown.

While the talent of the designers was what was primarily on display, the show also required extensive logistical planning to make everything run smoothly. 

Karniadakis stressed how “hundreds and thousands of hours (were) put into making the show.” 

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Events Director Mia Dominguez ’27 explained that “we had to find all the models, do dress rehearsals, coordinate all the hair and makeup, book the venue, meet with fire marshals, put up chairs, lighting, drapery — all that stuff,” she said.

Despite this, Dominguez emphasized how rewarding it was to see how “when everything came together with music, lights and the energy of the space, all the models really came into that confidence and owned the runway, just having fun and looking fierce up there.” 

“I know a lot of design schools spend two years working on their senior collection, and a lot of times, they don’t even get a runway show,” Dragseth said. “And we have a sold-out show — that’s huge!” 

Cowett and Dragseth’s designs can be viewed on Instagram at @bynoracowett and @dragsethdesigns, respectively.

Rose Farman-Farma

Rose Farman-Farma is a Freshman Comparative Literature concentrator from England who loves writing and music.

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