Student fashions to be on parade at MICA show

Show benefits both school and the participants


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April 21, 2005|By Kim Hart | Kim Hart,SUN STAFF

Half-dressed mannequins and hangers draped with vibrantly colored fabrics littered the designers' studios. The walls were covered with cloth swatches and photographs cut out of fashion magazines, while sewing and knitting machines surrounded by spools of thread crowded the corners.

It looked as if the closets of 20 well-dressed celebrities had exploded.

"Try sliding these on over your jeans," designer Ariel Goodman-Weston instructed a model as she handed over a pair of sea-green knit shorts.

Once they were in place, she hastily cut them shorter to fit the model's figure. Another model waited in line to try on a charcoal custom-made sports coat with crimson felt lining and textured sleeve, also one of Goodman-Weston's creations.

FOR THE RECORD - A caption in Thursday's LIVE section misidentified a fashion designer and the models in the Maryland Institute College of Art annual benefit fashion show. The caption should have read: Evanne Cooperson (right), a senior in fibers, designed seven outfits for the MICA fashion show, including the dresses worn by, from left, Meryl Remington, Mary Gauthier, Amanda Dunn and Aubrey Preble.

This frantic commotion between fashion designers and models is a common sight in the studios of Maryland Institute College of Art, where students are preparing for the school's annual benefit fashion show taking place Saturday night. With 23 designers dressing nearly 150 models -- the largest show in the event's 12-year history -- it is no wonder the budding fashionistas are a bit frenzied.

"Some of us have been working on clothes for this show since last summer," said Goodman-Weston, 22, a senior fibers major who co-coordinated the show. "We're scrambling to put it all together."

The Fusion Fashion Show, which adopted the title to reflect its culturally eclectic theme, will display the designs of students from all corners of the campus. Goodman-Weston adopted her designs from the colorful, laid-back style of Jamaica, while animation sophomore Kaliq Crosby painted graffiti-like patterns on men's T-shirts and dress shirts.

Lindsey Mortensen crafted a classic, airy look from beige muslin and canvas, and Marnika Weiss modeled her collection after bathing suits using Lycra-like material she silk-screened herself. Some students construct their own clothes, and others modify ready-made garments.

"Some people really incorporate performance into the clothing," said co-coordinator Tashana McPherson, fluffing the billowing sleeve of a wedding-inspired dress made by Jenny Young. "They learn how to manipulate the pattern to get their own concept across."

"You can see how clothing works its way into the fine art," added Goodman-Weston. "Most of the designers are devoted to the artistic process and the concept behind the design, not just making things they want to be mass-produced."

While some collections are practical, ready-to-wear creations targeted to the mainstream fashion world, others take a zanier approach by crafting funky, one-of-a-kind designs that are sure to turn some heads.

"In this show you get people from all walks of life," said Frank Martin, director of multiethnic and international student affairs at MICA. "It shows the full spectrum."

Live music, including drummers from The Love Peace Project and dancing by the LP3 of the Sankofa Dance Theater along with two DJs, will accompany the models as they strut down the runway.

Proceeds from the show will benefit MICA's Mentoring Network, which provides financial aid and scholarships to students. The fashion show has become one of the campus' largest and most successful events, Martin said, prompting the school to add a fashion design concentration to its curriculum, starting next year.

Besides their philanthropic purpose, many designers participate in the show to create exposure for their couture visions, hoping to gain entry into the highly competitive fashion world. Their stylish runway debut may be a step in the right direction, Goodman-Weston said.

"It's an opportunity for artists who don't come from a fashion mentality to get their names out there," she said.

The Fusion Fashion Show begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at Falvey Hall, Brown Center, 1301 Mount Royal Ave. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. For tickets, call 410-225-2422.

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