Auburn University fashion students, designs on display for Fashion Event Thursday

Published: April 11, 2016
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The Fashion Event at Auburn University is how the Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management program provides its students with the experience of planning and producing an exhibition featuring mounted exhibits and a live runway.

Senior Kelly Bacot, an apparel merchandising major in the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences in the College of Human Sciences, has never designed a garment for the show, but has remained behind the scenes for the past three years. This year, she is serving as co-director with fellow senior and apparel merchandising major Emileigh Sanger.

This year's event, "Mirage," will take place on Thursday, April 14, in Auburn Arena. Doors open at 6:45 p.m., for galleries viewing and a silent auction. The runway show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at

Since its inception six years ago, the Fashion Event serves as the signature student design exhibition, planned and executed by students in the Apparel Merchandising and Design Association, or AMDA. Students enrolled in the Fashion Event Management class during fall and spring semesters assist AMDA officers as either committee leaders or committee members.

The Fashion Event is jointly presented by the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences and the Apparel Merchandising and Design Association. This year's title sponsor is department store chain Dillard's.

"Fashion shows and fashion weeks are a huge part of our industry and learning as much about the different aspects is important," explained Bacot. "I believe that the Fashion Event is a great opportunity to make a job candidate stand out in this industry."

Both Bacot and Sanger may have earned their co-director roles as part of the event management course, but they are also leaders within ADMA. Bacot is the organization's vice president, while Sanger is president.

"I came from a position of following and carrying out instructions to having to give instruction and lead," said Sanger. "It's been thrilling for me to see the Fashion Event unfold and grow from a simple idea into this grand event affecting hundreds of people."

"Each year is a rush," added Bacot. "It seems stressful leading up to it, but by the time the day of the show arrives, you know your hard work has paid off."

Proceeds from the annual event go to support the Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management program through scholarships, programmatic support, equipment, software, travel awards and domestic and international study tours for students.

The "Mirage" theme is meant to inspire students' designs.

"Mirage is this idea of illusion and elusiveness," explained Sanger. "It certainly encompasses all aspects of the show. People attending the Fashion Event can expect to see natural elements, such as air, shadow and light, working together to create this illusion."

Sanger said that when she thinks of mirage, "clean lines, muted colors and femininity" come to mind. She found inspiration in that and opted to design a dress for the show for the first time.

"I'm pretty nervous to see it on the runway," she admitted, "but I have confidence my model will rock it."