This year the Apparel and Textile Design (ATD) major is vamping up its program with its first annual fashion show. This year’s show promises shock and awe with its meticulously selected designs and avant garde style.

Many may remember the spring fashion show that was previously put on by the Student Apparel Design Association (SADA). Some rumors have circulated that the show was taken away from SADA by the ATD department.

Student Assistant Director to the ATD Fashion Show, Olivia Grzasko, put these rumors to rest. “The show isn’t necessarily being ‘taken away,’ as most SADA members are part of the Apparel and Textile Design major. Rather, the department decided that it would be an added strength to the program to have its own fashion show, and seeing that both a SADA show and an ATD show could overwhelm students, it chose to direct all attention to the ATD show,” said Grzasko.

Assistant Professor Dr. Theresa Winge who is the adviser for SADA and a member of the jury for the ATD Fashion Show, further explained why SADA will not be hosting a fashion show of their own this year. “While it is true that SADA has had fashion shows in the past; this year, the fashion-forward board has taken a new direction that they feel will benefit all of the student members. In addition to participating in several local fashion shows and philanthropic events, they are also planning a most significant design activity this academic year–a Fashion Design trip to Iceland for Spring Break 2011,” said Winge.

Although it could be said that the new Annual ATD Fashion Show is replacing the SADA Fashion Show, there are many significant differences that will make this years’ ATD show completely unlike SADA shows.

Preparations for the ATD Fashion Show began in the fall semester with ATD 439: Portfolio Development and Exhibition. Since the start of last semester the ATD 439 crew has held open model casting, accepted garment entries, selected a venue and began planning for a reception, amongst other things, to prepare for the February 26 show.

The ATD Fashion Show is a juried show, meaning that garments are submitted and then the Design Committee, which includes two professors and students from ATD 439, decides which garments will be featured in the show.

“This is completely different than SADA, which allowed any designs into the show,” said Leigh Gervasi, Student Director of the ATD Fashion Show and former Vice President of SADA. “We were really looking for avant garde pieces, usually with some sort of hand sewn element. We were looking for things that will make the audience’s jaws drop,” said Gervasi.

Designer, Jen Henry

ATD senior, member of the Design Committee and Chair of the Model Committee, Jen Henry said, “Last year’s SADA show was unlimited, this year we can have up to 3 garments and they were judged; this was harder to get into. We had teachers on the panel pushing us to do our best and have the most visually interesting pieces going down the runway.”

Henry has three garments in the show. “All of them are very avant garde; they are not street ready,” Henry said. One of her pieces is a white dress with an entirely open side which is kept together with wire, the second involves starched yarn and balloons and the third was made using hangers.

Also distinct from previous SADA shows the ATD Fashion Show does not have a defined theme. “Unlike SADA shows in the past, where themes were chosen and designers were assigned to a specific concept, this year’s show is subject to each designer’s personal interpretation,” said Grzasko.

The absence of a theme was an intentional decision of the ATD program, “These events are meant to be opportunities to exhibit the very best designs from a program. It would be counter-productive to have a theme, which might eliminate some of the best designs,” said Winge.

It has been decided that the ATD Fashion Show will be held on campus, unlike shows in past years, at the Passant Theatre in Wharton Center. “It’s really exciting because we think it will draw a huge crowd to be on campus,” said Gervasi.

The student committees in charge of the show are also working on having a reception at the Wharton Center following the show. “Wharton Center is just so beautiful, we want to stay there as long as we can,” said Gervasi. The reception will hopefully be held directly after the show outside the theatre. It will feature mannequins of designs that do not appear in the main show.

“These are garments that don’t transfer well on a runway. Either because they have a lot of detail or they won’t hold up on the runway. This gives us an opportunity to show case those as well,” said Gervasi.

Although ATD 439 ended with the fall semester, the students of the class are still hard at work planning their avante gard fashion show which will take place on Feb. 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wharton Center.

Tickets have been on sale since Feb. 1, for $12 each. “We anticipate [the show] to sell out. Last year’s SADA show had 1200 seats and sold out; this year we have only 600 seats,” said Henry.

The show is sure to be something worth seeing as Spartans embark on careers in fashion, using the Annual ATD Fashion Show as a launching pad.

Tickets are on sale at:

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