Creativity and couture land on the UMass podium

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Style and comfort seem to be the next fashion trends at UMass Dartmouth.

Friday saw the return of the annual fashion show to the College of Visual and Performing Arts auditorium, where students showcased a variety of outfits – inspired by the current “athletic wear” trend – that they made at spring semester course.

“We’re really here to see fashion in real time,” said emcee Craig Elkins, director of the university’s College Now/Start program. “It’s a unique expression of [the students’] creativity and the efforts they have made.

Some outfits focused on comfort, while others played on the camp and edgy aspects of the theme, augmenting their look with accessories like custom jewelry, textiles, and even a bag with a fish in it.

Many of these additions not only showcased the students’ personalities in their creations, but also the other disciplines they learned at university, such as sculpture, metalwork, and fine arts.

“It’s their united effort that you see,” Elkins said. “You have mannequins who wear from head to toe everything that has been manufactured by [the students].”

In addition to sportswear, the models paraded in evening wear that students made in the fall to support the YWCA of Southeast Massachusetts’ Red Dress Project.

Models also featured collections made by students Savonne Pickett, Abigail Soares, Diego Moreno, Ashley Clark, Destine Demosthene, Olivia Plouse and Emily Aaron.

Clark’s collection titled “Meraki” consisted of business wear for women of color. Her designs included the use of bright colors which she said would pair well with darker skin tones.

Ploude, a textile student, chose to combine Boho Punk, short for Bohemian Punk, with knitting.

Meanwhile, Moreno has created a fall collection that combines modern trends with witchcraft.

Textile alumnus Kelsey Thornton also showcased her MFA “Fidget” thesis collection, an Army and Air Force-inspired utility sportswear collection that was created while she attended the Savannah College of Art and Design.

“They did a lot of research,” Elkins said. “[This] is the culmination of all their efforts.

For more information about the students and their design process, visit adeyo69.wixsite.com/website.

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