Decorated designers: Collections honored at CSU Fashion Show

From left are pieces from the collections of Lauren Lotspeich, Khristian Gilham, Peyton Stouffer and Rachel Hartman.

Story by Kristin Breakell

The annual Colorado State University Fashion Show, presented by the Department of Design and Merchandising, highlighted 22 collections created by graduating apparel design students in an unforgettable full-stage theatrical production on April 1. Four of those collections were chosen for special awards.

The theme for the fashion show was “Elemental,” representing both the great beauty and the tumultuous unpredictability of our world.

After each collection was judged, awards were given to the designers with stand-out collections. The judges in attendance were Nathalia Faribault, CJ Riggins and Heather Okimoto.

About the judges

Faribault is the co-regional director of Fashion Group International of Denver and has found a great amount of success designing a female golf accessory called the Birdie Belt.

Riggins has experience designing ready-to-wear, private-label collections and technical apparel for Adidas-Salomon. She is the former director of sourcing and product at Pearl Izumi and is currently competing in the CSU Collegiate Challenge business pitch competition for Roar Sport, a plus-size female athletic apparel company.

Okimoto is the co-founder and editor in chief of Denver Style Magazine. She guides creative content for the publication, manages DSM team development, teaches workshops and provides local fashion industry members with the tools to increase brand awareness and growth.

Awards the judges presented included Best Construction, Most Marketable, Most Innovative and Outstanding Designer.

The winners

The award for Best Construction was given to Lauren Lotspeich. Her collection, entitled PETRICHOR, was presented as the finale of the show and consisted of bridal and evening wear. “Petrichor” is the scientific name for the smell that occurs after it rains. This inspiration translated into a line incorporating falling vertical pleats and beads meant to symbolize the pouring rain. Lotspeich is participating in an internship in London, England, during the spring semester. After graduation she hopes to work in the bridal and evening wear industry in Denver.

Khristian Gilham received the award for Most Marketable. Her collection, K. YNEZ, incorporated modern silhouettes and contemporary black and leather fabrics. Inspiration for this line came from bone structure, film noir, femme fatales, deep tans, leather, repetition and gestural artwork. Architectural lines, similar colors and opposing silhouettes created cohesion within the line. Gilham is interning with a women’s contemporary design apparel company, Öhlin/D, in New York City.

‘Most Innovative’

The award for Most Innovative was given to Peyton Stouffer for her collection entitled Forget. Me. Not. Each piece in the collection created its own statement as it transformed from evening wear to lingerie. The garments were romantic, delicate and intricate, constructed with the idea of minimal limitations, texture, movement and unpredictability. Stouffer is now an associate/junior buyer on the women’s buying team for The Buckle in Kearney, Nebraska.

The award for Outstanding Designer was given to Rachel Hartman. Hartman drew inspiration from the Colorado sky for her collection, Cloud Tones. The sky is nature’s most tangible interpretation of a dream, and its unpredictability is what inspired Hartman’s collection. The collection consisted of contemporary sportswear separates and incorporated soft, lush fabrics. The flowing silhouettes in the collection were reminiscent of a cloud and encouraged the audience to dream. Hartman is currently studying in Spain for a semester abroad and completing her second bachelor’s in marketing.

The Department of Design and Merchandising is in the College of Health and Human Sciences at CSU.