May 19, 2020
From creating mood boards to sketching to patternmaking to prototyping, sourcing materials, picking fabrics and then finally sewing, Apparel Design and Merchandising majors intensely prepare for their senior year capstone experience. Students hone the skills they’ve learned to create a three-piece collection for Showcase.
Showcase is an annual apparel design runway-style fashion show from App State students in the program, meant to take place at the Holmes Convocation Center at the end of their capstone. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the show was canceled, though this didn’t stop senior Austin Juno.
Upon hearing the cancellation of the in-person event, Juno decided to organize a virtual student-led showcase.
“This isn’t gonna stop us from coming together and doing something special,” Juno said. “The fact that I’m sad about this not happening is OK. I just don’t want it to affect me to where I’m doing nothing.”
Normally, student models will walk the runway in pieces by student designers. At the virtual show, each participant will show their work via video.
Each designer has three to five minutes to show their concept, ideas, sketches and any physical thing they have made so far. Junk will stitch each student’s video together into one.
Juno said the pandemic has inspired more online fashion shows. While New York Fashion Week’s Resort shows have been canceled and Milan Men’s Fashion Week postponed until September, uncertainty is in the air about the future of fashion shows. Shanghai Fashion Week was recently held virtually over livestream.
Some App State designers were further in their processes than others before spring break. With the virus in mind, many students are in transitional periods and haven’t been able to fully dedicate time to finishing their work. Out of the 30 students in the class of 2020, Juno said more than a third of the class has submitted work so far.
Because of complications from the virus, Juno doesn’t want to put pressure on his peers to participate and instead said he emphasizes creative expression from his graduating class. He wants to give this experience as a parting gift to his class.
“This project, I’m putting it together, but it’s not my thing. It’s not my spotlight. I wanted to do it because it felt like something that’s bigger than who I was,” Juno said.
The student showcase can be seen on Youtube.