U of M Apparel Design Class Gears Up For Distortion Show

I had a really fun opportunity to visit the University of Minnesota Senior Apparel Design class Tuesday morning as they presented their first round sketches and test garments for their final showcase, Distortion, happening February 19, 2011.

Shows are great because you get to see a designer’s final, cohesive collection that’s styled and sent down a runway on a gorgeous model. But it’s not often you get to see the process of putting a line together from start to finish. My only exposure to that has been through watching Project Runway, so this was a cool experience to see students testing out patterns and tailoring techniques for the first time and observing their collections in the very beginning stages.

The class has 18 students, and I watched 9 of them present their ideas to the class and a few guest critics. Going into it, I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as what I would see. But I was pleasantly surprised when each student presented a collection with a very different focus. I saw men’s wear, lingerie, outerwear, gowns and more.

A couple of looks that stood out to me were a green polka dot jacket, red flowy skirt, and tie-shouldered tank from Hilary Hubanks. Or a red pencil dress with an unexpected attached voluminous skirt from Autumn Kirchman (Excited to see more from her. With a collection titled Blood, Glitter, and Gin, how could you not?).

I was able to snap a couple shots from the morning:

Test garmentsJessica St. George was the first to present her line. She went for a young professional feel for the stylish career girl. I was drawn to her gray, pleated blouse on the right. Looking forward to see how she finishes it.

Test garmentThis was one of my favorite looks of the day by Carol Lee. What you don’t see is that the gray piece comes off and you get a really cute strapless dress. She told me she’s still playing with different colors of fur, but I can already see this as something I’d want to wear.


More sketch ideas from Carol Lee. Fun!

Heather King gownHeather King’s line is all about nudes, pinks, sheers, and the human form. This gown was one of the more memorable pieces from the day for me. I love how ambitious she’s getting with the draping of the dress.

SketchesMore sketches from Heather King. And yes, she is braving lingerie. Very unexpected, yet very impressive.

I’m looking forward to following how everyone’s collections evolve leading up to the Distortion show in February. Many were still deciding on colors and fabric choices. It should be fun to look back and see how much they change.

It was cool to see these guys get ambitious with their designs — something I didn’t totally expect to see going into it. But that’s what a senior showcase is about, right? Going big and taking risks.

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