Carroll County Times

Carroll students design for the catwalk

A dress from Stevenson University's fashion exhibition "Io, Tu, e La Moda Italiana" (Me, You, and Italian Fashion)is shown.

High-fashion designs and installations that pay tribute to the fountainhead of the style were created by local students and are on exhibit at Stevenson University. "Io, Tu, e La Moda Italiana" (Me, You, and Italian Fashion) will be on display through Jan. 18, 2014, in Stevenson's St. Paul Companies Pavilion on the Greenspring Campus at 1525 Greenspring Valley Road in Stevenson. The Italian-inspired haute couture will then go on tour to New York and then Italy.
The exhibit features original fashions created by senior and junior fashion design majors with fabrics made in Italy and influenced by Italian fashion designers. Students in the Textiles and Fashion Careers program at Carroll County Career and Technology Center collaborated with Stevenson's design students to create and install original displays for the high-fashion garments.
The fashions are based on styles of an Italian designer chosen and researched by each student, said Stevenson senior Fara Topolsky, of Eldersburg.
"Valentino's Red collection inspired me. All of his dresses from the Red collection are stunning," she said.
Topolsky said she designed an evening gown that is longer in the back. The bodice, she said, is reminiscent of the style of the Renaissance. Fabric poufs out of slits in the bodice. She said that was something done historically for ease of movement. The dress is made from red Italian silk and sheer black fabric.
Topolsky said she has already been talking with recruiters about career opportunities as a designer after graduation, and she believes this exhibition will give her a leg up.
This year has been designated the year of Italian culture in America, said Sally DiMarco, program coordinator and associate professor of fashion design at Stevenson. Multiple departments at the university are showcasing Italian themes in consideration of the designation.
Students were inspired by the design houses of Armani, Cavalli, Ferretti, Moschino, Pucci, Versace and others. CCCTC did the installation and display work for 15 student collections, said DiMarco.
"This is a way to showcase the talents of our students in a supportive environment," she said. "It's also a way to explore design skills and give them experience in the design process."
DiMarco said the fact that students can add this whole experience to their resumes will put them in good standing with recruiters and expand their job prospects.
The exhibition will open at the Manex-France Display showroom in New York City and be on display during Fashion Week Jan. 30 through Feb. 14, 2014. In March, it will go to Prato, Italy, for a one-day showing at the Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci (Contemporary Art Center Pecci Museum). The exhibition will return to Stevenson for a fashion show finale April 26, 2014.
In addition to giving the design students at Stevenson a boost in the workplace, the experience is also designed to give CCCTC students an opportunity to see options that could be available to them.
"Our collaboration with Stevenson University has given CCCTC students an opportunity to be part of a larger perspective. There is also the benefit of helping students to get a glimpse into the next phase of their educational journey," said Catherine Harris, textiles and fashion careers instructor at CCCTC.