Millett Hall was transformed Friday from basketball court to elegant fashion runway for a dramatic end to Miami University's Club of Fashion and Design (MUCFD) and Up Magazine's Fashion Week 2012.
Every year MUCFD puts on a fashion show of club members' own unique designs, but this year they partnered with Up Magazine to expand the show to a full week of fashion related festivities.
"A couple of girls here thought it would be fun to start Miami Fashion Week because girls here on campus are pretty stylish," junior Stephanie Dixon, MUCFD's public relations director said. "So we [MUCFD] teamed with Up Magazine to create Miami Fashion Week for the very first time."
The organizations started off last week with a launch party complete with freeze modeling (a type of modeling where models are frozen like mannequins) uptown at The Woods Bar. Up Magazine's Marketing Director, Kelsey Olsen said they decided to do freeze modeling because they wanted to bring a taste of a big city to Oxford, Ohio.
"I think that the freeze modeling was really interesting to everyone who came because its something that you usually see in a big city but we decided to bring it to Oxford," Olsen said. "Basically girls stood intermittently on the tables and held poses, and every few minutes they would change."
Last Tuesday, the two organizations were inspired by the website Pinterest.com to hold a DIY day in the Shriver Center where people could bring their own materials to create a headband or bracelet.
Wednesday they held a trunk show to supplement Oxford's limited shopping options with corporate retailers like Victoria's Secret and local boutiques and companies from Ohio. Finally, on the day before the big event, they hosted speaker Alexa Conkey to talk about the fashion industry in general.
"We chose [Conkey] because she was a past president of [MUCFD] and is now a buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue," Dixon said.
Fashion lovers gathered Friday in four rows of meticulous white covered chairs accenting either side of 100 feet of runway (one of the largest runways Miami has ever seen).
Senior Stacie Testaguzza was in the audience and was amazed by the difference between last year's show and this year's.
"Last year I went to [the fashion show] at Shriver and there weren't enough seats for everyone," Testaguzza said. "Parents and friends had seats but there were a bunch of us that just stood around the edge of the room. But this year is so crazy, I feel like I am at a professional fashion show."
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Despite Miami not having a fashion program, volunteer students fuel the show, from the planning, the designing and the modeling to its actual execution.
Sophomore Melissa Krueger, one of 14 designers in the show, said that preparations for the show started a year before the next fashion show and she was excited all year round.
"I get the most nervous right before my first model hits the runway," Krueger said. "I'm nervous about the reaction of the audience. [I am] always hoping it will be a good reaction."
The show started fashionably late at 7:15 p.m. Friday. All of Millett's lights were shut off, save for a few focused on the runway that made it glow.
Commanding sheer, white floor-to-ceiling curtains framed the runway and stood in front of a massive screen that flashed images of the show's inspiration, "vintage prep."
Music alternated in between collections and ranged in genre from classical to The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony."
The first item to grace the runway was a striking blue, floor-length gown by senior Tyler Rice.
Unlike a New York show, in which the audience is mostly silent, audience members participated in the show by yelling in approval.
One particular dress by senior Emma Gregory stunned the audience. The flowing white ruffle floor-length dress in combination with the white of the runway and the brilliance of the lights created a dazzling, ethereal effect.
After the show, designers, models and MUCFD members glowed backstage with satisfaction of another successful year.
Senior Lauren Pax, editor-in-chief of Up Magazine, sat in the V.I.P. front row and was amazed by the show.
"I couldn't believe that it was Miami students who were designing these outfits and making them because I literally wanted to wear them out," Pax said. "Each collection had its own unique style."
Olsen said the organizations want to continue Miami Fashion Week in the future.
"Hopefully in years to come it will only get bigger and we can continue to make it grow and get better every year," Olsen said.