By Thomas Moran | Arts and Life Editor
On the top floor of the Mary Gibbs Jones Family and Consumer Sciences Building, tucked away in the farthest classroom, you can be sure to hear laughter and chatter, accompanied by low, constant humming of sewing machines. It’s an apparel design classroom, and the students inside are preparing for the annual Spring Fashion Show, during which the seniors will showcase their collections.
The many mannequins throughout the classroom come in countless shapes and sizes, some wearing unique pieces that represent countless hours of labor of work by a student.
The students started working on their collections about two weeks ago, with the first piece having been due Thursday. Waco senior Morgan Rollins said it took her about 20 hours to create her first garment from preliminary sketches to a completed piece.
“The hardest part is definitely the amount of time,” Rollins said. “It just involves so much time. I don’t really have a life outside of this.”
Despite the challenge, Rollins said she and her fellow students enjoy the process and find fulfillment in the work.
“The easiest part is that it’s just fun for me,” Rollins said. “I like to come in here because it’s my passion. I like to create and make clothes. God gave me this gift, so I’m just trying to use it as best as I can.”
For her collection, Rollins decided to create a line of five bridal gowns.
“I’ll have some white dresses, some pink dresses, and some out of the ordinary with different fabrics, but it will all be bridal,” Rollins said.
As diverse as the collections they’re creating, the students found their way into apparel design major in a variety of ways.
For some, the path wasn’t so straight. Portland, Ore. senior Kimmy Park started her college career as a biology major on the pre-medicine track at Portland State University. After transferring to Baylor because of its renowned biology department, Park found a new passion for apparel design.
Park decided to draw inspiration from parents and ethnic heritage for her collection.
“What I’ve been saying is ‘a modernization of traditional Korean clothing,” Park said. “My parents are from Korea and our whole family is Korean. I just thought it would be nice to take an abstraction of the idea of traditional Korean clothing.”
While the upcoming fashion show will be the first public showing for some of the seniors, a few have submitted pieces to the show in past years. Dallas senior Emma Brawner had a pair of pants in last year’s show. However, the collection she’s currently working on is unlike anything she’s worked on before.
“I’ve always loved the concept of juxtaposition, and so I am trying to juxtapose the styles during the Elizabethan era with modern-day street style and the re-emergence of athleisure,” Brawner said.
In previous courses, the students were given more strict assignments that were more focused on learning techniques and constructing specific garments. The fashion show is the first time the students get to create whatever they want with little to no restrictions.
“These are our brain childs, and so we can take them wherever and however we want, instead of having fabric restrictions or having to make a certain dress,” Brawner said. “It’s really cool to have that complete freedom. You can kind of bounce off the walls, which is fun.”
The students get to personalize not only their collections, but also the music and lighting for their portion of the show. Grandview senior Hannah Beth Midkiff is co-directing the fashion show for the second year in a row and said the faculty is working to hand as much creative power to the students as possible.
“In the past, the show had been planned and directed by faculty, and they’re moving away from that,” Midkiff said.
As each of the students’ collections begin to take shape, the excitement and buzz is growing. Although each student work primarily on their own collection, the process is collaborative in many ways, Park said.
“During the process of the semester we all help each other out,” Park said. “We are all trying to help each other out and make sure our collections are as good as we envision them.”
The show is April 27, with showings at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Student tickets can be purchased online through Student Activities for $10.