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At CMU, a fashion show with a twist of technology

| Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, 12:27 p.m.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Models walk the runway wearing clothes from the Etats line created by Carnegie Mellon seniors, Joanne Lo and Lynn Kim (not pictured) during the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, at CMU's Wiegand Gym, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University, Yuqing Ma, fixes her eye makeup before walking the runway at the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, at the Jared L. Cohon University Center, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Afternoon sunlight lights up Carnegie Mellon University's Wiegand Gym as models walk the runway during the run-through at the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Senior at Carnegie Mellon University, Brooke Carter, waits backstage at the run-through for the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, at the Wiegand Gym, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carnegie Mellon University student, Amy Yang, 21, Oakland makes last minute adjustments to a dress that is part of her Husmanesque collection at the Jared L. Cohon University Center before the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Models wait backstage at the Jared L. Cohon University Center before the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carnegie Mellon University sophomore, Allysa Dong, gets an encouraging text before walking the runway at the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, at CMU's Wiegand Gym, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carnegie Mellon University student, Zain Islam-Hashmi, makes a last minute adjustment to a dress that is part of his De•struo line backstage at the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, at CMU's Wiegand Gym, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance. Islam-Hashmi created the line in partnership with third -year student, Gargi lagvankar. (not pictured)
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carnegie Mellon University senior, Jarret Lin, does bicep curls before taking the runway backstage at the Jared L. Cohon University Center before the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
A suitcase containing pieces for Carnegie Mellon Alumna Jane Yoon's fashion line sits backstage at the at CMU's Wiegand Gym before the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, at the , Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carnegie Mellon University Junior, Cheyenne Shankle, waits backstage to model at the Jared L. Cohon University Center before the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carnegie Mellon Alumna Jane Yoon makes adjustments to a dress made of Barbie dolls, backstage at the Jared L. Cohon University Center before the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carnegie Mellon junior, Lanre Adetola, uses an open flame to make adjustments to a dress, backstage at the Jared L. Cohon University Center before the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Models walk the runway during the annual Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder, at CMU's Wiegand Gym, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017. The student-run event is CMU's largest creative showcase, bringing together fashion, dance and video art in a single performance.

High fashion isn't the first thing usually associated with Carnegie Mellon University, but on Saturday night, the Weigand gym on campus was transformed with thumping Electronic Dance Music, a dazzling light show and stone-faced models walking the runway.

The transformation was part of the annual design showcase, Lunar Gala: Sonder. The event is a creative showcase, featuring high-concept clothing lines, dance performances and video art presentations, conceived, created and produced by students.

For Catherine Zheng, one of the shows three executive producers, the event is much more than a fashion show.

“Yes, it's fashion, but here's a lot of technology that goes into the fashion.” said Zheng, “We have a lot of architecture students, a lot of design students, a lot of students from engineering backgrounds who incorporate those skills and techniques into what they design. It's a creative outlet that CMU doesn't offer.”

CMU doesn't offer a fashion major and Zheng says this allows students to explore a creative outlet outside their academic experience. Students design the show from the ground up, creating their own branding, theme design, video design, making the show a unique experience.

“There are lines here that are very experimental.” said Zheng, “Because we don't have a definition or a limit on what types of clothes they design, designers can take it a far as they want. Or they can make it very close and very personal.”

For the student designers, Saturday night represented the culmination of a grueling amount of work done outside the demands of their academic schedule. Lanre Adetola, a junior double majoring in Global Systems & Management and Fine Art, started designing his collection at the beginning of last summer.

“It took a lot of time and quite a bit of sacrifice,” said Adetola, “It requires us to work over winter break. When everyone else is in the Bahamas, I'm here working.”

Adetola says the work is worth it because of the show provides a platform he wouldn't have otherwise.

“It speaks to the eclecticism of the show.” said Adetola, “When you have students putting it together from multiple disciplines, it comes together to create something magical.”

Andrew Russell is a TribLIVE photojournalist. Reach him at arussell@tribweb.com

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