At CMU, a fashion show with a twist of technology
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 firstname.lastname@example.org