Photo: Amory Thome

USC Fashion Week concludes as Finale Show flaunts designers

701 Whaley show concludes week of retailing events

With a sigh of relief, Danielle Minter, president of the USC Fashion Board, reflected on the success of the Finale Show, the last runway event of USC Fashion Week, Thursday night.

“I am a bit of a perfectionist, and I’m really proud of how everything turned out,” said Minter, a fourth-year retail student.

The annual Finale Show, held at 701 Whaley, featured the designs of Student Showcase winner Paul Williams and top Columbia boutiques that sponsored the event. Among the sponsors were LaRoque, Just the Thing, Bohemian, Brittons, M Boutique and Van Jean.

While waiting for the runway show to begin, attendees were given free Sweet A Cupcake Company cupcakes while they browsed tables of local vendors, including Southern Tide and HandPicked. Guests were also given the chance to bid on silent auction items before entering the crystal-and-white-covered runway room.

“I love being able to see and sample the merchandise beforehand,” said Morgan Fogner, a second-year nursing student who came to the show. “The cupcakes and drinks aren’t a bad touch, either.”

Amory Thome
Amory Thome

Launching the show were the designs of Paul Williams, with menswear pieces that included colorful embroidered vests and bright pocket squares. M Boutique and Just the Thing followed suit, featuring bright, light fabrics and striped patterns in their designs.

LaRoque’s use of ruffles tied its collection together, while Bohemian and Van Jean stood apart from the others by including cutoff jean shorts, T-shirts and bathing suit tops in their designs. Closing the show were pieces from Rent the Runway, united in a theme of black sequins and lace.

Fashion merchandising students and Fashion Board members volunteered at the event. Dressing and managing the models, handing out refreshments and greeting attendees, the volunteers were given a glimpse into their future careers in fashion.

“I like helping out with this event because it exposes me to the ins-and-outs of the fashion world and gives me experience,” said Lauren Haile, a first-year retail student. “I also learned a lot about promotion from tweeting and managing social media.”

The local retailers donated to five scholarship funds of $500 each, awarded to notable Fashion Board members at the end of the show.

Faculty adviser Sallie Boggs said the Finale Show and all of Fashion Week served a greater purpose than solely displaying fashionable designs.

“Fashion Week promotes the entire fashion industry in Columbia and gets everyone ready for spring and summer,” Boggs said.

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