Written by Halee Heironimus for “The Collegian”
ASHLAND, Ohio – The Fashion Merchandising department dazzled Upper Convo on a Thursday night in November during the ‘Green is the New Black’ fashion show. Students of Dr. Nancy Morris’ Fashion Promotion class were in charge of organizing the show.
Seniors Alexis Berdine and Laura Carley were the co-directors, while Teah Kullman was the lead of merchandising and Olivia Morris was the lead of promotions.
Dr. Nancy Morris, associate professor of fashion merchandising, suggested the theme ‘Green is the New Black,’ which was based on a 1970s T-shirt displayed in a fashion show a few years ago. This year, fashion students took it to a whole different level.
“Black is timeless, classic and chic. Every woman should have her favorite little black dress that she can throw on anytime, for any occasion, and feel beautiful,” said Berdine. “‘Green is the New Black’ encourages people to see that recycling should have that same timeless, classic and chic feel that throwing on a little black dress does for a woman.”
Models were dressed in both retail clothing and student-made garments that showcased recycled looks and this year’s fall trends.
The retail clothing displayed styles from Target, Mainstream Boutique in North Canton, Ohio, Clothes Minded and BeHumble in Ashland. Stores were chosen based on proximity in order to leave a low carbon footprint on the environment.
For the student-made garments, students were encouraged to shop at Goodwill and make the garment into something current and wearable. The materials students used to make and design their garments varied from trash bags, to shredded paper, to broken CDs, to wood. Students were not limited when it came to materials.
“I told them to come up with something creative,” said Dr. Morris. “But I didn’t want to see a lot of trash bags and magazines because that was already done.”
Alexis Berdine, senior Fashion Merchandising student and co-director of the fashion show, made a dress out of a Goodwill dress base, a Goodwill purse that had a basket weave and fake flowers.
“I came up with the idea through a lot of Pinterest browsing as well as researching upcoming trends,” said Berdine. “My look was not one that you would wear everyday but it was created to show how recycled goods can transform a look.”
Haley McDonald, sophomore Fashion Merchandising student, designed a wooden skirt and vest combination. The skirt was made out of thin, flimsy strips of wood that was glued together on a basket weaving material at the waist band. McDonald used scrabble pieces for the vest design.
The first scene of the show displayed garments from retailers, which were organized by color and style of the outfit. The second scene of the show displayed the student-made garments.
“For the student-made looks, we wanted to start off with something bold and bright because we wanted to ‘WOW’ the audience and end with something that gave an extra ‘POW,’” said Carley.
Audience members commented on the hard-work and creativity that students put into the design and development of their garments.
“I’ve been to many of the Fashion Merchandising shows and this is by far the most creative, innovative and best fashion show that the students have ever put together,” said Sue Heimann, vice president of Student Affairs.
Dr. Morris and her students were beyond pleased with the turnout of the show. With over 300 attendees, the Fashion Merchandising department left a great impression on the Ashland University campus.
“I think we had a lot of good audience reactions, friends of models and of us, were cheering people on and it was a really fun, awesome show,” said Carley.