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Review: CCAD 2014 Senior Runway Show

Audrey Bonfig Audrey Bonfig Review: CCAD 2014 Senior Runway ShowDesigns by Ashleigh Jones. Photos by Matt Reese.
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This past Friday the Columbus College of Art and Design finished off its school year with its annual senior fashion show.  The final runway show has become tradition at CCAD, where a jury selects a group of students to send their designs down a runway that could rival any in New York or Paris. This year, 21 students were chosen, with sixty-eight designs being shown on the runway.

The show took place in a large white tent that had been set up on the school campus; while the sheets of white fabric didn’t look like much from the outside, the inside was a whole different story. Upon entering the large tent, the luxe VIP lounge gave the feeling of being in a posh L.A. night club. There were plush white couches and chairs strewn about, with the entire space being bathed in a hazy, blue light. Mingling in the lounge were some of the elite in the Columbus fashion and cultural scene, including the editors of local fashion magazine Capital Style and Jeni Britton Bauer–the founder of local favorite Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.

The same extravagant elegance continued into the runway, where crystal chandeliers hung over the runway, with the same hazy blue light highlighting the white walls, runway, and chairs that sat on either side of the tent. Standing there had the feeling of being in one of the tents at Bryant Park, the former home of New York Fashion Week.

As music thumped in the background along with a general buzz of expectation and excitement, the lights dimmed, and the show started.

Designs by Sarah Wong. Photos by Terry Gilliam.

Designs by Sarah Wong. Photos by Terry Gilliam.

The show opened with A Preppy State of Mind by Cincinnati native Sarah Wong. Wong’s collection was full of bright colors, bold prints, and a preppy-girly undertone. Of the more notable ensembles was a bright green and white chevron print dress, with a bejeweled neckline and white bow belt. Wong stated on CCAD’s blog that her inspiration came from her time as an intern with Tween Brands, and this adorable dress is something that any teen would love to have in their closet.

Designs by Ryun Harrison. Photos by Terry Gilliam.

Designs by Ryun Harrison. Photos by Terry Gilliam.

 

Another collection of note was Lament of a Magpie by Georgia native Ryun Harris. Harris’ collection had a bit of a 90s, grunge feel to it with chunky knits, loose layers, and muted colors. Harris hand dyed many of the fabrics himself and made all of his knits by hand, two techniques he’s come to love from his time at CCAD. In fact, that was what inspired his collection; magpie’s are known for taking random, found objects to create their nests, Harris wanted to create his collection around all the experiences and lessons he’s “found” at CCAD. “Lament of a Magpie is an examination of how we construct our identities,” Harris said on his profile, “We’re built by an array of differences. I wanted to create different identities but still have one story.”

Designs by Bryston Walters. Photo by Matt Reese.

Designs by Bryston Walters. Photos by Matt Reese.

A third, particularly eye-catching collection came from Sunbury native Bryston Walters, who presented a collection of gowns inspired by forgotten fairy tales. The gowns were all beautiful and intricately made, but were distressed and deconstructed, giving them the look of something that had been well-worn and then tossed aside. Walters said in his pre-show interview  that his collection represented “the visualization of what happens to childhood fantasies when the dreamer grows up and no longer fuels the energy of the make-believe world.” His final look of the night was a gorgeous gold toned gown, complete with hand painted, red roses. The model was a beautiful juxtaposition of light and dark, the beautiful and the macabre; with the red roses in her curly hair and the beautiful gold color of the gown, she looked like a fairy tale princess that any little girl would dream up. But further down the yards of delicate fabric, the roses and the gold color became muddy and worn, giving her the appearance of a dream that had been forgotten.

As the night wound down, a special award was presented to one student: The Easton Fashion Award. The award went to Westerville native Ashleigh Jones, who presented a collection full of bright, colorful, tropical prints (pictured up top).

The talent of all the students was astounding, and shows that USA Today was correct in calling Columbus an emerging fashion hub. With their many talents, it’s not unlikely that we may see some of their designs walking the red carpet, and when that happens we’ll be lucky enough to say that we “knew them when.”

To see interviews, pictures, and bios of each of the designers from the 2014 CCAD Senior Fashion Show, visit CCAD’s website at www.ccad.edu.

More: Is Columbus Ready for a Fashion Incubator or Fashion District? CLICK HERE for more discussion on our Messageboard.

All photos by Terry Gilliam and Matt Reese.

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