Attendees of the Spring in Bloom Fashion Show sponsored by Belk and University of South Carolina’s Fashion Board filled 701 Whaley Wednesday evening.
Fashion enthusiasts spent the first hour of the evening mingling with one another while sipping on Lil’ Duck Kombucha and eating cheese and crackers. Upbeat music played in the background as people took Instagram-worthy pictures in front of a white flower backdrop.
Attendees shopped at booths for clothing and accessories from vendors that would be showcased in the fashion show.
Meg Schwieterman, first-year fashion merchandising student and Fashion Board member, has been looking forward to this event since before she was a student.
“It’s exciting, too, because we’ve seen the clothing, but right now that doesn’t even really feel like part of it,” Schwieterman said. “It’s more about the atmosphere and seeing all of the students come out.”
The two runways were lined with rows of chairs on all sides, and bright spotlights illuminated the floor. People began taking their seats and crowding around the runway to find the perfect viewing spot. Several students came to cheer on their friends modeling in the show.
“It definitely looks like a professional fashion show,” said Claire Rich, first-year fashion merchandising student.
The fashion show portion included collections from local boutiques modeled by USC students. Belk began the show with several looks – monochromatic, natural instincts and ladylike feminine – that will be staples this spring, accoring to Belk representative Stephanie Bingham.
Collections from Wildflower, Dakotas, Vestique, Fab’rik and Fame and Partners showcased a wide variety of spring apparel including desert neutrals, bold colors and petite florals.
The Student Designer Showcase featured two designers: Valentina Giraldo and Sarah-Jane Long. The students were challenged with creating a sustainable design that incorporated one recycled item.
Giraldo created a full-length white gown with small red flower details. Long’s design included a two-piece denim outfit with scraps of denim as the skirt. Long’s design won the competition from audience votes.
While the student designers showed their artwork on models, there were other fashion-related art pieces on display, too. Maggie Ryan, a third-year graphic design and marketing student and Fashion Board member, showcased her artwork she created both throughout the year and for the event.
“I actually studied abroad in Paris last semester and I worked fashion week,” Ryan said. “I got really inspired by a lot of the things I saw and different trends.”
She uses real clothing brands as inspiration for her pieces, including Moschino and Versace. She focuses on the intricate details and mixes materials to add a unique touch. One design included newspaper clippings while another featured pieces of real fabric.
Sarah Fowler, first-year fashion merchandising student, said she was impressed by Fashion Board as an organization and their ability to create this event.
“I really think that it’s cool that it’s this well put together and it’s done by students,” Fowler said.
Even after 12 years of this annual fashion show, each one is a little different. Monika Perry, fourth-year fashion merchandising student and Fashion Board member, said there was more energy this year compared to previous years.
“I feel like we came in full-force this year ready to tackle it,” Perry said.
The show was the result of several months of planning, leading up to the seniors' last student fashion show. Perry said fashion week as a whole was unlike previous years, partly due to their partnership with Belk.