What might men’s and women’s fashions look like in the near future?
A free preview of sorts can be seen Thursday, April 26, and Saturday, April 28, at UW-Stout during the student Wear Fashion Association annual show. Designs from 18 graduating seniors along with from 20 to 30 undergraduates will be featured in three shows.
“We are the next generation of clothing designers. Come and see what new ideas will be out on the market,” said Taylor Ruppel, of Sheboygan, Wear president.
She is graduating Saturday, May 5, with a degree in apparel design and development.
The shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center. The Thursday show is geared toward UW-Stout students and the Saturday shows for the public. All are open to the public and free of charge, thanks to financial support from the Stout Student Association. Doors open 30 minutes before each show.
On Saturday, seniors also will have marketing displays of their collections in the ballrooms of the student center.
A third show was added this year because of previous standing-room-only crowds, which topped 600 people. Each show, featuring a raised catwalk, light show and music, will last about 90 minutes, and awards will be presented after the final show, Ruppel said.
“We try to make the show upbeat and fun,” she said.
The show director is Sarah Steger, a senior from Mukwonago.
The Great Hall will be decorated to match the show’s Dystopian Fairytale theme, but the designs to be modeled are not specifically related to the theme. Ruppel, for example, will be showing her five-piece senior collection called Victorian Magic, which includes three women’s and two men’s pieces.
Seniors like Ruppel have worked throughout the 2017-18 academic year in capstone courses taught by Sheri Marnell and Gindy Neidermyer to design and create their collections, as well as prepare prototypes and fit models for the show.
Ruppel estimates that she has worked about 500 hours on her collection, including through the midwinter break when she scrapped her ideas and started over. “I’m excited to see how it will look on the runway,” she said.
Students also bear most of the cost, ranging from $500 to $3,000 a person, to make their clothing and outfit models with shoes and accessories for the show, she said. Ruppel’s clothing is made from linen, wool and faux fur.
“Everything we’ve learned will come together in this show. There are a lot of details involved in creating clothing,” she said.
Models for the show include some of the designers, their friends, local high school students and others. The models will ascend a catwalk, or runway, after they enter the Great Hall and also walk through the crowd before exiting.
Some collections will be previewed with short videos.
The Victorian Magic collection designed by Taylor Ruppel.
Rebecca Bradshaw’s senior fashion collection includes this dress.