Students showcase ‘Confluence’ designs in Fashion Show

The Colorado State University Fashion Show had a little something for everyone this time around.

CSU apparel design students from the Department of Design and Merchandising showcased their talents at the CSU Fashion Show on April 3 at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. This year’s theme was “Confluence,” meaning “the coming or flowing together to one point.” It featured diverse collections designed by seniors in the program, including children’s, maternity, rock climbing, yoga, transformational, day and evening wear in one fabulous fashion production.


Each design student defined his or her own unique inspiration, target market, product category and price range, then sketched designs, draped or drafted original patterns, chose fabrics and fully constructed each garment in his or her four- to six-piece collection.

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Stage Manager Nichole Killion keeps an eye on the action at a March 26 Fashion Show walk-through. (Click to enlarge)

“For my collection, I knew I wanted to design evening wear and I was inspired by the 1930s and 1940s Hollywood glam,” says senior design student Maya McGowan, currently interning at Marchesa in New York. “I made sure to incorporate silhouettes and significant design details from that era such as high necklines, open backs and cowls.”

“I really wanted to create a collection about what I was feeling after experiencing London,” says senior design student Christina Kidney, currently interning at Patrik Ervell, a menswear designer in New York. “Each one of my looks is versatile and intended to accommodate various activities for a day in the city.”

Students create their own apparel for the show. (Click to enlarge.)
Students create their own apparel for the show. (Click to enlarge.)

The fashion show is planned, produced and promoted by a class of students in the Fashion Show Production and Event Planning class. The students work together in committees to secure sponsorships to fund the show and manage a budget to plan every detail, creating a cohesive, entertaining and successful event. The full stage production requires theatrical set building and lighting and the coordination of more than 40 models.

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

Rehearsing for the runway. (Click to enlarge.)
Rehearsing for the runway. (Click to enlarge.)

The department offers programs in apparel design and production, merchandising, product development, and interior design.






Students launch design contest

Two CSU students who launched a clothing company with the help of the Venture Accelerator Program in the Institute for Entrepreneurship kicked off a contest on Friday at the beginning of the CSU Fashion Show in which one of eight student apparel designs will be chosen through an online voting system and manufactured in Denver.

In addition to having their apparel produced and publicly available for sale, the winning student will receive a $500 cash prize and a percentage of the proceeds.

Crimson Oak Clothing, which was created by international studies senior Mitchell Friermood and College of Business senior Menno Axt, worked with Department of Design and Merchandising faculty member Carol Engel-Enbright to provide the fabric for the clothing designed by the senior apparel design students who entered the competition.

Live models showed off the eight selected designs during intermission of the Fashion Show  on April 3. People can vote for their favorite designs at

Friermood said that while the contest may only be held a few times this first year, Crimson Oak intends to make it a monthly competition in which sales from winning designs help support prize winnings and costs of manufacturing by the Fashion Design Center of Denver.

In addition to support from CSU’s Venture Accelerator Program in the Institute for Entrepreneurship, the company raised $1,000 to help launch the effort through an online campaign by Community Funded. Friermood said Crimson Oak prides itself on being local, all the way down to using a Fort Collins high school sophomore as the photographer for the images of CSU student Maggie Andersen modeling the selected apparel used on the website.