Fashion show celebrates the work of Tech Center students in the fashion and textiles program at the school.
Just as in its name, Beautiful Nightmare, the Carroll County Career and Tech Center's 2016 fashion show was an evening of contrasts and contradictions.
The music ranged from modern pop hits like Lady Gaga to the nostalgic sound of Eurythmics. Some students came out in old-fashioned hooded cloaks, while others did their little turn on the catwalk in futuristic jumpsuits.
The event, which the center holds annually, celebrates the work of the center's students in the fashion and textiles program. Students are responsible for every aspect of putting together the show, from designing the clothes to managing crowds and creating fliers.
Will Martinez, a senior at Liberty High School and lead fashion designer for the show, said this was his first opportunity to help put together a show like this.
"This is a year's worth of work, and we all have so many different styles, and we've worked so hard to get here," Martinez said. "Now everything's coming to fruition."
Each of the 11 students in the program displayed their work from the year, either on themselves or on volunteer models. The show began with a tour of countries, from India to Spain, Morocco, Russia and Greece before branching off into different categories of dress. After an intermission, students presented costumes, outerwear, evening wear and avant-garde pieces.
Zoie Henry, a senior at South Carroll High School, said the avant-garde outfit was her favorite look, a black satin ballgown covered in broken mirror pieces.
"I've learned a lot about how to design for myself," Henry said. "We learned what shapes work for us and we honed our techniques."
Cathy Harris, who teaches textiles and fashion at the center, said she was incredibly impressed with this group of designers, with each bringing in fresh, new ideas throughout the year.
"I'm so excited for them," Harris said. "They're constantly looking forward in fashion. The big thing that has them all excited now is technology intertwined with fashion."
Just before the show started, designers were frantically putting the final touches of makeup and hair-styling on one another in the darkened wings of the show space, often lit only by a cellphone.
Once the show started, each student took their own personality out with them onto the catwalk. Some walked fiercely, turning with intensity, while others smiled sweetly as they displayed their hard work. Martinez stormed out dramatically in a Xander Cage-style fur coat, during the Russian segment of the evening.
Despite the variety of attitudes and clothing choices, they all reacted identically to making their way off the stage — with a mad dash to the dressing room for a quick change before their next outfit was due to be displayed.
Henry said it was the variety of the show that first drew her to fashion when she was little.
"It's all about being unique and making a statement," Henry said. "That's why I love fashion. It's always innovative. It's always something different. You can never expect what someone's going to come up with."