Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fashion In Detroit – Student Show


Detroit’s future in

fashion design!

In it’s 2009 Inaugural year, Fashion In Detroit put the city on the fashion map by producing an exciting New York style runway event with top design talent.  The show’s dynamic executive committee (Joe Faris, Karen Buscemi, Leslie Pilling, Lians, K’Kio Hardin and Rino) basked in the glow of success and quickly started planning to make 2010 even better.  And it was. 

For the second year, I had the sincere privilege of coordinating the student show for Fashion In Detroit.  I’ve been working with faculty at Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, Northwood University and International Academy of Design & Technology for the past several months to select the top design talent from their fashion programs to participate in the show.

Twelve students were selected and challenged to design what they do best.  We wanted students to show us their strength and what represented them as designers.  This approach brought an eclectic mix of style and was an impressive showing of the future of design talent in Michigan.  Because I’m so proud to have been affiliated with these talented individuals, I’d like to share a little bit about each of them and show off the designs from the show:

Wayne State University

x2_31cedfcWayne State University showcased four designers from their Fashion Design and Merchandising program.

Kim Wiechers designed the gorgeous dress at the opening of this post (left: Kim poses with her model, Kylie, fresh off the runway).  She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in fashion design.  As a child, she remembers always looking for ways to alter her brothers “hand-me-downs,” a passion that has grown with adulthood.  Her grandmother started her on the path to a fashion career by teaching her how to knit when she was a young girl. Unfortunately, her grandmother passed away last year after battling cancer.  In her honor, Kim recently named her brand “Bella Bridgette,” after her and hopes to one day have a very successful company.




Katie Rizak is 22-years-old and hails from Dearborn.  She is a senior at Wayne and has been sketching and sewing for over six years.  After graduation she plans to move to New York City to pursue a fashion design career.  She describes her design aesthetic as hard edge, sexy, dark and dramatic.








IMG_9048 Originally from Belarus - former Soviet Union Republic, Mila Pershyna’s relationship with fashion began when she started making paper dolls and dressing them at seven years old, making mini outfits for Barbie.  She enjoys creating garments that will fit the body flawlessly and express individuality.  Mila Pershyna - Wayne






Staying current on market and fashion trends has helped her to develop a strong eye for color, fabrics and silhouettes.  She enjoys a challenge, problem solving and learning about the product process.

 IMG_9034 Jamie Powell is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. She has participated in the Fashion Design and Merchandising Organization as Public Relations Chair, producing a successful fashion show in 2009.  She also became a Gordy Foundation Scholar in 2010. Jamie Powell - Wayne







Not only has she appeared in numerous local fashion shows and chosen as a student designer for Fashion in Detroit 2009, but her Spring/Summer 2010 Collection “Ahoy Boys” was featured in Detroit Free Press (Metro Mix). Jamie’s future plans are to obtain an MBA degree and begin career in fashion design.

Michigan State University

We were thrilled to have Michigan State on board this year with designer, Jennifer Henry, from the Apparel & Textile Design program at the school.  

IMG_9037Jen Henry is a senior graduating in May.  This year she is serving as fundraising chair for MSU’s Student Apparel Design Association.  When she graduates, she is looking forward to moving to NYC or continuing her education by attending grad Jen_Henry_Headshotschool







for a Master’s in Design.  She loves designing evening dresses and innovative pieces that are eye-catching on the runway.


 Eastern Michigan University

IMG_9042Two designers from my alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, participated in the show.  Melody Murdock received her BS in Apparel, Textile and Merchandising and is a current graduate student at EMU.  She is a dressmaker by trade and a lover of all things textile. MMurdock photo









IMG_9038 Dayna Lewis-Jones is a senior at EMU, pursuing a Bachelors degree in Apparel, Textile and Merchandising and a minor in Marketing.  She is a member of student organizations including Fashion Forum and Fashionality of Dernier Cri.  Dayna is actively working toward a career in design.  Her line, antiWIFEY Clothing, was founded in 2008 to display confidence in women from the inside Dayna Lewis Jones





out.  It is a crochet line that offers unique dress, swim wear and accessories to fashion forward individuals.



 International Academy of Design & Technology

IMG_9028Three talented designers from IADT rocked the runway.

Indie rock music publicist by day and fashion designer by night, Janelle Rogers lives by the motto “green light go” (the name of her music pr company).  Incorporating a vintage flair and touch of whimsy, her clothing line, Envious Takeoff, often merges that rock and roll lifestyle





with her clients and favorite bands serving as inspiration for the pieces she creates.  Her ultimate dream: to see one of her dresses worn by actress and songstress, Zooey Deschanel.



IMG_9022 At 23-years-old, Denae Graves, is excited about life after college.  She is a fine arts student from IADT and loves designing pants – “You can hand paint them, make them fitted or loose and even add things like chains and studs.”  Her theme for Fashion In Detroit was urban chic/glam.Denae Graves - IADT

  IMG_9031Janelle Schneider was inspired to begin sewing and designing clothing by her mother and grandmother at an early age.  Her favorite genre to design is woman's sportswear.  She currently is starting her junior year at IADT Detroit and hopes to stay in the greater Detroit area after graduation.


Northwood University

IMG_9018Two students from Northwood University’s Fashion Marketing & Management program showed their outstanding work. 

Julie Mason comes all the way from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  She is a senior at Northwood and will be graduating in the winter with a BBA.  She loves to travel, sketch, all kinds of music and of course costume design.  She was recently honored to serve as the Student Design chair for the 2010 Northwood Fashion Show where some of her designs were showcased. x2_31c892d Her dream career is to wwork with directors and music artists to collaborate on looks for film and stage.

Lauren Moore is a sophomore at Northwood IMG_9025and has participated in




various student programs such as the Northwood Style Show and Auto Show. Lauren also is a member of fashion group, DECA, and Alpha Chi Omega. After college, she plans to attend the Art Institute of Chicago to further her career in fashion design.



Each of the students documented in this post has a bright future in fashion design.  Those of us that love this industry know that the business isn’t easy to break into and it takes a lot of passion, hard work and dedication.  These women have what it takes and I’m excited to see what they accomplish!

Finally, I want to send a BIG thank you to FORMzine and photographer Winnie Jeng for allowing me to use these amazing runway photos for my blog.  Winnie captured each garment beautifully and gave me (and the student designers) memories to treasure forever.  Please do get acquainted with them:

FormZine: web, Facebook, Twitter

Winnie Jeng: web, Facebook, Twitter


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