Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The intricate process of the UMass Fashion Organization

Months of preparation go into the fashion organization’s final runway show
Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian (2017)

The upcoming fashion show put on by the University of Massachusetts Fashion Organization is no small production. To prepare for the runway in the spring semester, each member of its executive board collaborates to curate a professional show.

The Fashion Organization is involved in all things fashion, but its primary focus is preparing for the group’s spring show. This year, the theme is titled “Through the Aura” and involves a large team of designers, models and behind-the-scenes work.

Darwin Our, the creative director of this year’s show, wanted to center the theme around grief and what has been lost during the pandemic.

“We went into it, and I made it up and we all decided that it was a good idea to discuss the impacts of the pandemic,” Our said. “I think what everyone felt emotionally was a lot of grief, I think people lost a lot of things … it’s something you experience when you lose anything significant in your life, and so I decided that was a great theme and I pitched it to everyone.”

The 13 members on the executive board each have a different role and their tasks are simultaneously carried out for a final product.

“Everyone is specialized, so we have people who are focused on marketing, people who are focused on photography and videography, people who are focused on styling and event coordinating. So everyone kind of has their own specialized part of the show that they all put together,” said Nikki Hornedo, the Fashion Organization’s president.

The initial step is to compile and train models for the runway. The Fashion Organization’s model coordinator Esosasere Osunde prepared a four-week program in which the models learned how to walk, pose and move for the runway.

“I made a lesson plan … It was a four-week program called ‘Model 101,’” Osunde said. “The first week we focused on generic model walk, the second week was ‘ace the pace,’ where it’s your model walk and then pacing for music, the third week was … facial expressions and the fourth week was language of the body.”

While the models are trained, video and photo teasers are filmed to advertise the show, designers are preparing the clothes and the group reaches out to brands outside of UMass in hopes of collaboration.

“We are filming our teaser videos for the show. I decided to come up with an idea of doing five videos each in different locations, with a different set of models, with a different vibe, which has been really fun … it was like eight hour filming days, but we really loved it,” Our said.

“We are looking for capturing grief,” said Portteia Davidson, the head of photography. “We want to capture specifically the clothes, but also the emotion that the models show, so it’s a mix of both … I’m kind of going for capturing movement, but also emotion for the teasers and also for shooting the show.”

The fashion club itself is geared to be creative and individual. Each member of the e-board is allowed to have creative freedom within their role to add a uniqueness to each task.

“Everything we do is always different, photoshoots are always different … I really hate repetition and I hate repeating doing the s ame thing so it’s nice to come up with different ideas for stuff, and to collaborate… it’s like a learning experience,” Our said.

Rianna Jakson, the head of videography, enjoys that she is able to add her own personal touch to the content that she films.

“The way that I show that picture and put it in post is my own way, and I find that I have a lot of freedom in that,” she said.

With a show set for the spring, the Fashion Organization’s possibilities are endless. Through the ability to go in any direction the organization desires, Osunde feels the organization can reach into the creative realm of something completely different and new.

“The sky is not our limit, but our start,” Osunde said.

Eve Neumann can be reached at [email protected].

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