Fashion Show to represent technology

Students incorporate advancement in design into upcoming show



Ashlie Roswall, a model for the 2015 Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show, practices during a rehearsal.

RACHEL KOCH, Evergreen reporter

The 2018 Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show is shaping up to be a celebration of art, physics and culture, as well as a showcase of WSU student talent.

Students in the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles have designed the collections that will appear in the show, according to the WSU Mom’s Weekend website.

Fashion Show Organizer Amy Hughes said junior, senior and graduate student designers begin working on the show in the fall. She said she works with students to help them plan their final designs for their collection.

“We start having a lot of conversations in the fall, and it just kind of goes from there,” she said. “As soon as we hit January, we’re off and running.”

Every year, the senior designers choose the theme and title, Hughes said. This year’s show is titled, “Kinetics.” She explained that the ensembles featured on the runway will have thematic elements of movement, science and technology.

Hughes attributed the theme choice to the senior designers’ new professor. She is teaching students about technology they hadn’t been exposed to before, Hughes said, including creating and printing digital textiles and using lasers to cut material.

“I think that’s where that kind of science-y vibe came from,” Hughes said.

As part of planning their collection, student designers must find models to wear the designs they have created.

Hughes said the process of recruiting models is often based on what the designer has made. Designers choose models based on how well the garments fit them, and in some cases, how well they fit the message that the designer hopes to convey with their collection.

She said two of the designers in this year’s show have chosen to gather inspiration from their own cultural backgrounds.

“We have one that really wanted to celebrate her Mexican cultural heritage, so she was looking for models that kind of add to that aesthetic, kind of that story that she was trying to tell,” Hughes said, “and we also have a wedding collection that is inspired by the senior designer. She comes from Hong Kong so … she was looking for models that helped tell that story.”

Hughes reflected on the process that designers used to choose their models for the first Mom’s Weekend fashion show that she organized at WSU. She said designers typically made garments based on the standard industry sizes six or eight.

“We had to find models that would fit the clothes that they were making,” she said.

However, Hughes added that the fashion show has begun to feature a more diverse group of models. She said one designer, Bethany Ricci, created a collection dedicated to gender-neutral clothing.

“A lot of our senior designers this year were really trying to design for the everyday woman and celebrate all of her curves,” she said. “When we put the model call out this year … we really wanted to get a great variety of students that are on the WSU campus.”

Ricci, 23, a senior designer, said she based her collection off anime cosplay and a Japanese punk style.

“I originally wanted to go into animation, so I’m a bit of a nerd, and I got into cosplay,” she said. “And from there, I realized that I really love sewing and I like designing things.”

As for inspiration, she drew from the LGBTQ community. Ricci said one of her models is a former WSU student who identifies as transgender.

“I wanted to get their perspective on the collection because it’s designed specifically to hit that target market,” Ricci said. “It’s really sad because sometimes, at least for the people who identify as trans, it’s hard for them to find clothing that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable, because if it’s labeled as women’s clothing, it fits them, but they identify as a man so it doesn’t fit their personality.”

“Kinetics” will take place from 7:30 – 9 p.m. today in Beasley Coliseum, with a wine event and silent auction prior to the show at 6 p.m. Tickets are available in advance for $15 online at or $18 at the door.