Various hues of purple, red, black, blue and the traditional white graced the runway of the fourth annual K-State Project Runway on Friday. Designers were challenged to take a vintage wedding dress and recreate it using their own inspiration and style to make it look modern.
Each contestant was given an old wedding dress bought from eBay or thrift stores and instructed to make it their own. Each dress had its own individual touches and showcased the designer’s skill.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the creativity of the K-State students and seeing what they can do with something that is timeless like a wedding dress and making it more modern,” said Ethan Hawkins, senior in marketing.
K-State Project Runway was held in the Union Grand Ballroom. The show featured Austin Scarlett, a designer from Lifetime Television’s “Project Runway,” and eight K-State students competing for a $100 prize. The event, hosted by the Union Program Council, has become more popular every year.
“This year the selection process was pretty competitive; there were 13 applicants,” said Shannon Hush, UPC forums co-chair and junior in architecture. “This was the first year we had to turn people down to get it down to the eight contestants.”
The designers were chosen through an application process where they were required to submit five to 10 previous designs. Once chosen, designers were given a wedding dress supplied by UPC and a $15 gift card to a fabric store. The designers had a week to create their dresses and had to provide their own models.
“I was really excited to find out I would be a part of Project Runway,” said Hannah Sigvaldson, senior in apparel, textiles and design. “It is my fourth year doing the show, so I was really hoping I would get to do it my last year here.”
The show started with Scarlett giving a speech about his personal experiences in the design world. He described his struggles as an up-and-coming designer, and how he began his career. Scarlett explained how his experiences led him to where he is now, and encouraged young designers to continue to work hard and follow their dreams.
“I could tell he was nervous, but I thought it was cute because it made him more relatable to me,” said Alexandra Venerable, junior in apparel design and production.
After Scarlett’s speech, the fashion show began. Audience members surrounded the runway, both seated and standing, to see the creations. The three judges were introduced, one of whom was Scarlett. The others were TyWoo, K-State theatre alum, and Madeline Heck, manager of Kieu’s. Judging was based on technical quality/design, creativity, originality, construction, functionality/wearability and how the garment addressed the challenge.
“TyWoo, one of the judges, is teaching the models how to strut, because she didn’t think they did that well at last year’s show,” Hush said.
Audience members were shown videos of the original wedding dresses and the designers’ reactions. The designers were then given the chance to talk about their inspirations, as well as some techniques they used. Their models were revealed featuring the designs with their own unique struts down the runway as audience members cheered.
“I thought it was very gratifying to see all the hard work. I appreciated that every dress was beautiful in its own way,” Hawkins said.
Collin Campion, senior in apparel and textiles, who created a sheer jacket and a shorter dress, took third place. Arianna Levin, sophomore in apparel and textiles, designed a red dress that took second place.
Using her engagement ring as inspiration, Hannah Sigvaldson, senior in apparel, textiles and design, took first. This year there was also a People’s Choice Designer chosen by audience members through a cell phone survey. The award went to Lauren Nutt, junior in apparel and textiles.