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Senior Designs Hit the Runway at Drexel’s Annual Fashion Show, June 7

Rebekah Quasny puts the finishing touches on her collection to be shown at the annual senior fashion show.

May 13, 2014

With influences ranging from a rainy night in Paris to art nouveau and marine life, the collections of 32 graduating fashion design students will hit the runway at the Drexel University’s Annual Senior Fashion Show on Saturday, June 7, presented by the Fashion Design and Design & Merchandising programs in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

Abea Evans works on a dress that will be shown as part of her collection.This year’s show will take place at the Urban Outfitters Corporate Headquarters Naval Yard (5000 South Broad St.), Building 543. The first show will be held at 4 p.m., with a ticket price of $30. The second show will be held at 8 p.m. and will be followed by a wine and cheese reception, with a ticket price of $60.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here. For more information, call 215-895-2390 or visit

The annual fashion show is a student-produced show by the Design & Merchandising’s “Fashion Show Production” class. There are student leaders for all aspects in the show, including casting models, organizing garments, marketing and public relations, box office administration and event management.

The students’ individual collections will cover apparel categories including eveningwear, men’s and women’s wear, sportswear, children’s wear and bridal. Unlike other student shows, Drexel’s fashion show is not limited to a single theme; students are encouraged to develop their collections around their unique sources of inspiration.

The fashion design students began researching for their collections the in fall and have spent the past seven months creating pieces that bring their visions to life. Each student illustrates and creates the final patterns and garments, often using couture techniques.

“This year we are showcasing an extraordinary and diverse range of specialties,” said Lisa Hayes, director of the fashion design program. “These include custom engineered laser cut and printed leather and textiles, hand painted textiles, 3-D printing techniques, machine and hand-knits, intricate bead designs, felting and hand-made laces featured in the collections.”

Anelle Gogh works with colored organza.Senior designer Natalie Nguyen was inspired by Hanbok, traditional South Korean dress often characterized by vibrant colors and simple lines. Her collection marries traditional South Korean elements with modern and Western designs, including vertical quilting, piping of materials and color-blocking.

Jeanne Parente’s collection was inspired by a rainy night in Paris. “The glamour and romanticism of Paris paired with the reflective qualities of the streetlights bouncing off the Seine led to the creation of an evening sportswear collection,” Parente said. “My fabrics have a luminous decadence that transports the wearer to an evening stroll along the Left Bank. The silhouettes skim the body with a strong influence of Vionnet construction techniques. Heavy beading embellishment scattered across the collection reinforce the play between light and texture found on those rainy Paris streets.”

Amber J. Cuff puts the final touches on a jacket from her collection.Alodie Rosario's inspiration for her eveningwear collection developed from a combination of two unlikely sources: the art nouveau movement and the marine animal the jellyfish. “I was drawn to the natural essence and curvilinear lines portrayed within art nouveau as well as the bold and rich colors of jellyfish that vibrate against the dark waters of their habitat,” said Rosario. “I wanted my collection to be very elegant with an artistic flare, so I hand painted silk organza that expresses a very organic and abstract gesture.”

Kendall Niflheim’s collection reflects her interest in Viking culture and Norse mythology/cosmology. She said: “I seek to invoke the old world and the mythological worldview within the atmosphere of my creations. I seek to pursue a career in costume design; therefore, my collection is a costume collection. The pieces are a blend of mythological symbolism and fantastical interpretation. Textile choices and manipulation, color and shape all have a symbolic link to the character they represent.”

Neelam Chandwani embroiders a garment from her collection.

Also showing her designs will be fashion design graduate student Yi Deng, who recently was awarded the coveted $25,000 2014 Geoffrey Beene Design Scholarship from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the Geoffrey Beene Foundation. Each year the winner of this special award is identified as the most exemplary and innovative women’s wear design student.

The students’ collections will be eligible for a number of awards from notable designers and retailers. Local fashion influencers will also be in attendance to judge the work and present the awards.

The Design & Merchandising students also produce a lifestyle and trend publication, d&m magazine, which is distributed to all who attend. Drexel’s television station, DUTV, will record the fashion show for broadcast at a later date.

The curation of music for the fashion show will be handled by 15 students in the music industry program, as part of the Mad Dragon Music Publishing practicum course, under the direction of Assistant Professor Michelle Manghise. Music industry students will handle music supervision for the runway segment of the show selecting, editing and sequencing music which will reflect the artistic vision of the designers, engage the audience and set the overall tone for the event.

About the Fashion Design and Design & Merchandising Programs:
The undergraduate and graduate Fashion Design programs in Drexel’s Westphal College are recognized in the top 10 fashion programs in the United States and in the top 20 programs in the world by Fashionista Magazine. The rigorous curriculum includes a unique six-month co-op experience that complements coursework in conceptual design, presentation skills, CAD and manufacturing procedures. Students conclude their senior year with the presentation of their collections in the Drexel Fashion Show, which is produced by students in the Design & Merchandising program. Devon Akrdige steam presses his garments. Photo credit: Neelam Chandwani.

About the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design:
Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers 16 undergraduate and six graduate programs in media, design and the performing arts. Programs are taught in small studio settings, featuring hands-on learning and an award-winning faculty of industry practitioners who emphasize the use of the latest technologies. Westphal College is home to the URBN Center, Mandell Theater, the Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel’s television (DUTV) and radio (WKDU 91.7 FM) stations, the Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies, MAD Dragon Records and Drexel’s Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection. For more information about the College, visit:


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