UT Fashion Show Dazzles


A bridal gown for men. A couture version of Marie Antoinette with a gown 4 feet in circumference. Student-athletes stomping it out on the runway. The 2016 UT fashion show, “Elements,” was an extravaganza of style, with design students getting a taste of their future as their clothes were strutted down the catwalk. On April 14, the show drew an audience of 5,000 to the Erwin Center and allowed students to present more than 120 unique designs in a mixture of textures and techniques. 

Department of Textiles and Apparel lecturer Ockhee Bego began the evening with a short speech thanking all the students and faculty involved in making the show possible. Then the evening began with athletics-themed pieces representing sports from football to equestrianism before a transition to three-piece collections. This portion of the show was designed exclusively by senior design students, giving them a chance to showcase their work and learn how to plan fashion events.

Athletes like AJ Abrams, Brooke Macardi, and Quan Cosby walked the runway in pieces designed by students. Continuing the athletic tribute, Edith Royal, 90, widow of former football coach Darrell K Royal, also took a lap on the catwalk, escorted by men’s athletic director Mike Perrin.

One three-piece collection by senior Tiffany Chan was inspired by French aristocracy a la Marie Antoinette, featuring two dressed-down courtiers accompanying one valiantly wigged, gigantic grey poof of a gown.

Other standouts included a skateboard as a prop in a high-fashion skate-wear look and a frilly cheerleading outfit on a male model. The model showed off his pom-poms and did a cartwheel on the catwalk, flouncing his skirt.

In between each collection, video interviews with the student designers played. Audiences learned more about the backstage preparations, hard work, and long hours that students put in to make the event possible, as well as the rigorous coursework that comes with the major.

At the end of the night, the top 10 designs from the Lexus of Austin design contest, exhibited downstairs, were presented. The audience could text in their votes for the evening and bridal wear categories. The contest was open to design school juniors, and looks were themed on an easy transition from day to night.

The UT fashion show is one of the largest in the nation, and for many students it was a chance to experience the rigor and excitement of displaying their work to such a broad audience.

“This gown, by far the hardest thing I’ve ever constructed, was a dream come true to see walk down the runway,” design senior Hannah Leonard said.

Photo by Ed Lehmann


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