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Annual Runway Show Introduces Emerging Designers

Annual Runway Show Introduces Emerging Designers

Every spring Apparel Design students have an opportunity to showcase their one-of-a-kind garments to the public. The most recent runway show – COLLECTION 2010 – took place at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence, a restored 1920s theater. Audiences love the surprising show, which gives them a sneak peak at many of the portfolio pieces that earn graduates positions at top fashion houses around the world.

The work in the juried runway show represents the best solutions to assignments given to sophomores, juniors and seniors in the department. Seniors show unified bodies of work that showcase professional-level conceptual and technical skills; juniors focus on knitwear projects and coat collections; sophomores present garments made from Cranston Printworks fabrics and “innovatives” created from nontraditional materials.

“COLLECTION is a wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse into the design process and interact with the work of our student designers,” says Associate ProfessorDonna Gustavsen. “For seniors, their thesis collections are a personal statement representing the journey and learning they have tirelessly worked towards over the past four years.”

The rigorous selection process for the more than 150 pieces shown in COLLECTION 2010 is an important part of students’ preparation to enter the competitive fashion industry. Months of conceptual development, experimentation, meticulous assembly and refinement, and precise fittings culminate in a series of critiques by a panel of established designers, which selects the work that makes it to the runway. Jurors for the 2010 show included RISD alumniLaura Poretzky 00 AP of Abaete,Michael Leva 83 AP of J. Jill and Deb Newhall 74 IL, an independent costume designer; menswear designerPatrick Ervell; and RISD Professor Emerita and former Department HeadLorraine Howes.

Each year after the show, selected designs go on sale to the public, giving community members an opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind creations by these rising talents.