Legacy of a show

AMDT’s family weekend fashion show did not disappoint



A model on the runway of the AMDT fashion show, March 31, 2023.

GABRIELLE BOWMAN, Evergreen news co-editor

The world of WSU fashion strutted its way down the runway on family weekend, expressing the creative minds that flow within the apparel, merchandising, design, and textiles department. From glitz and glamor to rigid and gothic, legacy took its shape and form, captivating the audience. No one could take their eyes off the clothes each model was wearing.

The AMDT department held its 40th annual family weekend fashion show March 31 at Beasley Coliseum. From one collection to another, there was a wide variety as to what the theme of the show “Legacy” meant to each designer. Bond Girl, Y2K, the ‘60s, vintage, Victorian, princesses and so many more were brought to the forefront of this show.

Sophia McMaster, senior merchandising and design major, found her inspiration for legacy by looking back at Hollywood and her childhood. Her collection “Bond Girl” was based on the women in James Bond movies, who she idolized because of what they wore, she said.

“I have always just looked up to the women in these movies, just the fashion was incredible,” she said. “So, I wanted to kind of put my own twist on the Bond Girl and modernize her.”

Nine designers took home awards for the collections that they created, as well:

  • Rising star: Serine Johansen
  • Most innovative: Juliann Yusko
  • Most socially aware: Tony Nguyen
  • Most marketable: Sarah Kim
  • Best technical collection: Saira Allan
  • Department’s choice: Zoe Rey Thompson
  • Associate dean’s choice: Stephanie Castro
  • Dean’s choice: Marina Wilson
  • Best in show: Sophie Woodman

Families and friends came to support the senior designers who created the looks, the student models strutting down the runway and those who worked backstage managing the show.

McMaster’s first garment was a blue gem-tone satin full-length slip dress with a cowl neckline, detachable flare skirt and matching scarf. This garment was made to look like a modern version of a Bond Girl and is the trendiest look out of the others, McMaster said. 

Her second garment was a maroon satin jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and pleated bodice that tied around the neck to make it a backless garment.

Her final look was a silver satin jumpsuit with a V-neckline and detachable black skirt attached with buttons, so the model wearing it could take it off at the waist to give it more than just one style, she said.

The entire point of this collection is to encompass a sexy, sultry, vintage vibe, Sara Burres, one of McMaster’s models, said.

“This is who you can be when you wear these outfits, this is the confidence you can exude,” Burres said. 

Burres also modeled for senior designer Jess Liles’ collection “Lucid Divinity,” which showed off confident feminine sides, Burres said.

Liles’ collection is about what it means to be a woman, said Hailey Stepp, another model for Liles’ collection.

“Taking this idea of divine energy being angelic but almost making it darker and focusing on the power of being a woman,” Stepp said.

Stepp also modeled for Shelby Miller’s collection “Truly Her” and described the collection as 2000s-inspired.

“The women from the young 2000s who were considered the it girls/divas such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears inspire me the most,” Miller wrote in an Instagram post on AMDT’s fashion show account.

This is the fashion that is currently popular among Generation Z at the moment, Stepp said.

“For me that is my personality, so it almost feels like my spirit animal is coming out,” she said.

Shaylynn Reed, senior apparel design major, found inspiration for her looks from fantasy. Her collection “Serenity” was derived from fantasy aesthetics and royal fashion trends combined together into one, Reed said.

Her first look was a pink two-piece floral design that included a corset top with lacing in the back and a simple circle skirt. The garment also included detachable puffed sleeves.

Her second look was a puff dress made out of blue organza, her most simple garment in the collection, she said.

Her final garment was a lilac satin dress with a long sweetheart neckline. This garment also included a chiffon cape of the same color with a floral trim that Reed hand-stitched, she said.

Many designers put in many different efforts when it came to creating their garments, and it took Reed most of January to finish the corset for the pink dress alone, she said.

The efforts were worth it to have their garments finally shown to the WSU community, McMaster said. McMaster’s family did not see her collection while she was creating it, she said; the first time they saw it was when went down the runway.

“It was an overwhelming feeling. I didn’t expect it. I was very nervous to just show it off to so many people,” McMaster said. “But watching them go down [the runway] was nerve-wracking and overwhelming and super, super emotional. I was holding back tears.”

Even with how overwhelming the fashion show can be, many designers are able to learn from it, Reed said.

“I think I’ve definitely just grown as a designer in general and become a little bit more confident in my own work than before,” she said. 

The fashion show is also a way to show the world what these designers are capable of doing and what their future holds.

For Reed, she hopes in the future to get involved with making custom dresses for pageants, weddings, runways or red carpets, she said.

It was not just the designers and models who were able to make the show possible, McMaster said; it was the backstage crew that made this show a reality for the designers, models and audience.

“The production team had a huge, huge part,” she said. “I mean they built the fashion show from the bottom up and it was absolutely insane what they put together.”

Some of the garments seen on the runway are now on display as the “Legacy Gallery” outside of the CUB Auditorium in the Compton Union Building.