Last Friday, six K-State students competed in the sixth season of the Union Program Council’s K-State Project Runway to earn a prize and the honor of best designer.
The event is based on the hit TV series “Project Runway,” where designers are given a theme or material and have to construct an outfit in limited time. This year, the students had just two weeks to take a K-State Proud shirt and transform it in honor of K-State Proud’s upcoming 10th anniversary.
Last year’s theme was inspired by the districts of Susanne Collins’ novel “The Hunger Games.”
“I just think using the T-shirts as their design source of fabric and inspiration was a really fun idea,” Marla Day, senior curator in apparel, textiles and interior design, said. “I think they came up with some pretty creative solutions.”
The first and second place winners both transformed their T-shirts into dresses.
The students that placed in first and second did so with a similar idea: dresses. First-place winner Brooke Wallace, junior in apparel and textiles and first place winner, spent over 10 hours working on her dress for the show. Her piece was a purple and grey checkered dress made up of the two T-shirts provided. Wallace incorporated her signature color, green, with buttons, a train and careful shoulder straps.
“I was definitely very surprised,” Wallace said. “They said my name and I was like, ‘Wait, wait what?’ It was more of a shocker moment.”
Molly Fitzpatrick, sophomore in apparel and textiles, won second place with a ’80s-themed dress featuring a red newspaper layered skirt. Fitzpatrick had a crowd full of friends to support her design.
“I came to the show because I was supporting my Kappa Delta sister (Fitzpatrick),” Katie Wunder, freshman in athletic training, said. “She has been working on her dress every day and I am so proud of her.”
The contestants were judged on creativity, functionality, originality and more. Competitors were also given a signature color to incorporate into the design.
“It’s my least favorite color,” Maggie Stuart, third place winner and sophomore in apparel and textiles, said after drawing yellow as her color.
Stuart incorporated a gold trim on a split-front black and gray shirt. Stuart also modeled her own design.
“I love your gold trim on a piece that is otherwise simple,” Judge Stacy Lambert, cosmetology educator at Bellus Academy, said during the comments. “It’s beautiful.”
The T-shirt contest seemed to be a challenge for designers to incorporate colors and originality, while still having a functional piece to wear.
“You have to be innovative and have fun with it,” Manhattan drag queen Twyoo and surprise guest judge, said.
UPC also invited Whitney Thompson, America’s Next Top Model Season 10 winner, to guest judge the event and give a presentation on plus-size modeling and women’s self esteem.
“My message is that healthy is beautiful,” Thompson said. “Beautiful is not a size, age or procedure.”
The show was hosted by Julie Boyer, senior in hospitality and management, and Abby Krstulic, sophomore in hospitality and management. Sponsors of the event included UPC Arts, UPC After Hours, the LGBT Resource Center, Wildcat Watch and Pepsi.
For video from the event, check out coverage from Wildcat Watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1m-7NLEtSg