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From online to on stage: College of Human Sciences students hosting The Fashion Event live after three years

Published: April 18, 2022
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Auburn University College of Human Sciences apparel merchandising students look to tie together a year’s worth of work and preparation for their annual Fashion Event Friday, April 22, at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum live for the first time since 2019.  

The Fashion Event is the signature student design exhibition at Auburn, planned and executed by students in the university’s nationally ranked apparel merchandising and design program. The students are enrolled in a year-long course that provides them with the skills necessary to produce top-quality fashion events.  

“We start in the fall semester deciding the theme, colors, fonts and shooting a promo video, and then we begin managing every single detail of the show for the spring,” said Karla Teel, the Wrangler Associate Professor and advisor for The Fashion Event. “The Fashion Event is an invaluable experience for aspiring apparel designers and merchandisers, offering them the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of a design show before they even graduate.” 

Through the Fashion Event planning class, students get to explore aspects of the fashion industry they might not have known about. Kinsey Pastore, an apparel merchandising student and director of this year’s Fashion Event, said the experience has allowed her to realize an interest in an aspect of the industry she hadn’t before. 

“One of my favorite parts about the event is that everyone’s experience is different–what it looked like to me allowed me to realize my strong passion for fashion event planning and management, a career path I would not have known about until getting involved in the event,” Pastore said. “I have never found myself more passionate about a project like I have planning a live runway this year.”  

All garments modeled during The Fashion Event are designed, created and styled by Auburn students. Through participation in The Fashion Event, students gain experience that not only sets them apart from their peers following graduation, but also the chance to display their work in front of industry professionals. 

“Without the experience I have gained the past two years serving as a part of The Fashion Event planning class, I cannot imagine where I would be not only as a student, but a leader,” said Pastore. “The connections I have made being a part of this program with people across campus as well as across the country through our alumni base, have been extremely helpful moving forward with my career in the industry, as I plan on interning in New York City this summer.”  

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Fashion Event was cancelled, and the 2021 Fashion Event was held virtually. This year’s return to an in-person show on the runway will be an entirely new experience for some of the participants.  

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long because the last time we had an in-person event was my freshman year and I’m now a senior,” said Angelique Cabanero, president of Auburn’s Apparel Merchandising and Design Association.  “I was in the Fashion Event planning course my sophomore year when the show got cancelled only a couple weeks prior due to COVID-19, and I remember how devastating it was to see a year’s worth of planning suddenly amount to nothing. 

“I am so happy I get to be in Auburn to witness another live Fashion Event. We’ve learned a lot since then and have gotten creative, so I know that this year’s show will not disappoint.” 

The excitement of having the event return to a live format has pushed the class toward making sure the show leaves attendees in awe.  

“There are not adjectives in the dictionary to possibly describe the level of excitement I feel for having the event back in person this year,” Pastore said. “Our class has been working extremely hard finalizing all the details to make this moving masterpiece come to life.”  

The theme of this year’s Fashion Event is Art in Fashion–showing the collision of art and fashion through the ways in which they are intrinsically fused together. The theme presents the students with the challenge of drawing inspiration from famous artistic expressions such as paintings and architecture, and creating designs that express their own interpretation of the works.  

“Fashion in itself is a form of art, but paintings, sculptures and styles are constantly inspiring what we wear,” Cabanero said. 

The Fashion Event will feature works from various other programs in the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences. Showcased student work will include visual merchandising vignettes, e-portfolio exhibits, interior design displays and the Fashion Event’s main attraction, a runway show.  

To learn more about The Fashion Event, click here. To purchase tickets, click here.  

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.

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