Models at the show in Warwick wore designs by students in URI’s Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design, and each designer had recruited models from friends, relatives and classmates.
WARWICK, R.I. — The collections seemed to fly down the runway, which was not a narrow stage but an uncarpeted path that divided seating for about 250 in a Crowne Plaza ballroom early Sunday evening.
Unlike professional runway models, the models in the University of Rhode Island Spring Splash Fashion Show didn’t wear cold expressions or impossibly high heels.
They wore designs by students in URI’s Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design, and each designer had recruited models from friends, relatives and classmates. Because only six collections had qualified to compete in the 15th annual fashion show, the first to be held off-campus, three outside designers were invited to show collections, and department chairman Susan Hannel showed clothes designed by an experimental process.
Killian Maloney, a junior from Colchester, Connecticut, who had started coordinating the show in January, supervised the dress rehearsal just before showtime. He did it for the experience and “out of my own joy for the department,” he said.
Sonny James Neville, a biochemistry major from Poughkeepsie, New York, one of the invited designers, had recruited mostly fraternity brothers to wear animal-themed silk shirts. One was inspired by the peacock, another had birds embroidered on the sleeves, one was a tropical frog print and another a print in splashes of color hiding chameleons. Christian Eminger, 18, a psychology major from Scituate, wearing a chocolate brown silk shirt with giraffe-print trim, said he was having “the best experience of my life.”
Another invited designer, Izzy Nelson Beckman, 36, a 2004 graduate of the TMD program, was showing one-of-a-kind upcycled clothes from her fledgling company IZ Sewn. She had recruited two of her daughters, Addie Dalton, 11, and Eden Beckman, 3, to model outfits that coordinated with hers. Her husband Ely Beckman, 37, also modeled.
Marley Casale and Casey Dugan, both Rhode Islanders, called their collection the Secret Garden Party. They had glittered their models using Vaseline to make the glitter stick.
Meg Goulart grew up in the small beach town of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. Her Summer Daze collection was inspired by lounge and beachwear.
In contrast, Amale Chamseddine’s five Modesty is Beautiful Too designs were long dresses or elegant jumpsuits, each with a head scarf that she had bought from Haute Hijab and decorated with necklaces adapted to hang over the forehead or serve as a headband. Chamseddine, whose family is originally from Lebanon, won the competition last year.
Dreaming of Bees, a collection of two outfits in yellow and black under clear vinyl capes, was the favorite of both the judges and the audience. Designers were Olivia Del Rio, a junior, and Rory Maynard-Dean, a sophomore.
On Twitter: @donita22