‘Fashion Is Art’ At This Year’s DU Fashion Show

March 28, 2017

By Mary Alice Maloney

Spring is finally in the air here at Dominican, and while warmth and sunshine are coveted comforts this time of year, the chance to experience new trends, styles and fashions is also upon us. The annual Department of Apparel Merchandising and Design Fashion Show will be taking place Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2, where DU’s very own student designers will wow us with over 100 self-made garments debuting on the runway. The show is called “Exhibition,” and senior co-directors Kelsey Keithly and Sarah Tinoco promise this year’s showcase of fashion will be unlike any other presented at Dominican.

“Without giving too much away, I can safely say that the audience will experience a production unlike one they have ever seen the apparel department host before,” Keithly said. “Our senior class has worked relentlessly to come up with new and innovative concepts from stage design all the way down to the programs that each audience member receives.”

 “Exhibition” encompasses the concept of fashion as art, as both Keithly and Tinoco have drawn inspiration from modern art museums and the way in which they display and preserve art.

 “Exhibition’ defines the idea of viewing the fashion show as one would a museum,” Tinoco said.  “Each garment, course and collection that our students have worked on is unique and exhibits a different message to the viewer – or in the case of fashion, the wearer. Fashion is as expressive as any art is, therefore we want to inform the audience with the idea that “fashion is art,” Tinoco explained. “Although fashion is a commercial business, true, original fashion is created through the same process any artist would use to develop their own work,” Tinoco continued.

Artists producing work for “Exhibition” include senior design students Elizabeth Eaton and Quinlan Milne-Rojek. Eaton and Milne-Rojek began crafting their senior collections in the summer of 2016, and have continued that work throughout their last semesters of college. Each senior designer produces four pieces for their collection, all of which coincide with an individual theme.

Eaton describes her collection as being “intricate.” “I’ve always loved doing big, complicated projects…I like the process and seeing it all come together,” Eaton said of her design work. “I lean towards doing formal wear most of the time and I don’t really do casual wear,” Eaton said. Eaton’s “Exhibition” collection will showcase her preference for formal wear as the garments slated to flow down the runway capture the essence of elegant complexity.

Milne-Rojek defined his collection as “intriguing.” Early in his design career, Milne-Rojek experimented with the creation of various womenswear pieces, but he has now refined his style to include strictly menswear. “I’m currently into doing mostly formal menswear for my senior collection, but I get a lot of inspiration from streetwear as well,” Milne-Rojek said. Milne-Rojek’s “Exhibition” collection features an assortment of striking and captivating menswear pieces ready to outfit any man who dares to be bold.

These senior collections are a culmination of years of study and preparation, and both Eaton and Milne-Rojek are ready to take the fashion world by storm post-graduation. Eaton is heading to the University of Arizona to study costume design at the graduate level, while Milne-Rojek is excited to explore the world of professional design both here in Chicago, across the nation, and even in Europe.

With designers of this caliber showcasing their work, “Exhibition” is sure to be a stylistic demonstration of high-quality fashion. Keithly and Tinoco are striving to make this year’s show more than just a grade in the book or a mediocre occasion to play show-and-tell with their parents.

The process behind cultivating such a pioneering production has been intense and inclusive of every member of the various fashion show committees that work to put the show together. “Our talented program design committee, made up of graphic design and apparel students Nicole Gardner and Quinlan Milne-Rojek, developed a mood board for all of the committees to be inspired by when working on their part of the show. It is important the aesthetic is cohesive throughout, from the posters around campus to the music playlist during the show,” Tinoco explained.

The branding and aesthetic of “Exhibition” has been of paramount importance to Keithly and Tinoco, and they are ready and excited to witness their vision become more than just a concept this weekend.

“I’m excited to finally see our vision for this show come to life,” Tinoco said. “We have spent hours and days conceptualizing, drafting, perfecting and executing every detail of the show, so the aesthetic is clear and the theme is presented thoughtfully and professionally.”

Keithly mirrors Tinoco’s sentiments. “I’m excited to see all of our collective ideas come to life, as well as the opportunity to share our curated experience with the community,” Keithly said.  “I have such an amazing support system of classmates that are just as committed to producing an exceptional show as I am. I just hope that the audience loves the production as much as we do.”

The “Exhibition” Fashion Show will be held in the Lund Auditorium this upcoming at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 1 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 2. Dominican student tickets cost $10 and general admission costs $15.