‘Threads’ weaves together 21 collections

Lauren Craddock, Staff Writer

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The fifth annual Narrative Threads: The Gallatin Fashion Show showcased 21 collections designed by Gallatin students, alumni and staff at the Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts on Friday. The collections connected literature and fashion by representing the themes, characters and plots of each designer’s favorite story.

Rhonda Garelick, a fashion, literature, arts and politics writer, spoke about her recent book “Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History,” emphasizing Chanel’s ability to enhance a character in a story through fashion.

With this mantra in mind, the designers ranged from simplistic in “Under the Radar” by Andrew Kaufman, which featured a t-shirt, crew neck and jacket, to Gallatin junior Rachel Wang’s “Anderson’s Nightingale,” with feminine add-ons to her free flowing dresses.

Stand out collections included Tamara Leacock’s “The Goddess of Nobody.” Leacock vision was to express the divinity in being nobody. Models wore masks down the runway to hide their identity, and the garments re-invented the ideas presented in Emily Dickinson’s “I’m Nobody, Who Are You?”

Gallatin freshman Victor Leonard’s “Odyssey in Fashion” featured practical pieces based off Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey”.  He created a line that is functional without sacrificing couture-like beauty. Watching his designs come to life in physical clothing was a moment of relief for Leonard after the incredible learning process he went through to create the show, as it was the first time he had sewn.

“I’m so relieved that the show is over, partially because it was absolute hell in creating the clothing out of my Palladium dorm common room, but also because the culminating experience of seeing my clothes walk the runway was something I’ve only dreamed about, and it reaffirmed that this is a valid path for me to take,” Leonard said.

Gallatin sophomore Matthew Russo also produced his designs for the first time. The poet and author Charles Bukowski’s, “here at 3 a.m.” served as inspiration. Russo confessed how the image for his designs didn’t translate into the physical product.

“Throughout the process I taught myself a lot and it was fun, exciting and challenging to try and figure out how to adapt what I had actually produced to the ideas I had earlier in the process,” Russo said. “So when the finished product came out not looking like I expected it, I had to figure out how I was going to use it still and reconcile that what others would see is not what I had originally wanted them to see.”

The show also included two jewelry collections and one hat collection. “The Philosopher in A Minor” by Chloe Byrne and Andrew Sapienza was filled with natural gold and silver earth tones. “Cisne” by Ines Bustamante was a six piece collection depicting Delmira Austini’s poem “El Cisne.” The collections were presented through video during the show.

The show overall showcased the interdisciplinary spirit of Gallatin by intertwining fashion and literature. The clothes may have been based off of literature, but they told their own individual stories of each designer’s interpretations and personal experiences.

A version of this article appeared in the March 4 print edition.  Email Lauren Craddock at [email protected]