The theme of Play found literal and extravagant interpretations in a spectacle of beautiful fabrications and glam theatrics at this year’s Fashion Schau. A parade of twenty-three models showcased the coutourial panache of student designers from the architecture and landscape architecture sections of the Knowlton School at the annual charitable event.
Now in its ninth year, SERVitecture’s 2020 Fashion Schau raised $1,810 for Dress for Success Columbus, the local chapter of a national non-profit organization that provides women with workforce readiness tools and services.
Eschewing the futuristic palette of last year’s show, the evening’s stylings opened in a haze of nostalgia as designers riffed on the play-toy accessories of a youth remembered. Mixing minimalist and maximalist references, the runway was a triumph of billowing fabric and slim silhouettes, tulle poufs and sleek crinolines that doubled-down with whimsical accents in a play of shimmering surfaces and dimensions.
Designer and model Marley Renner wore a two-piece slip assembled from a forty-five-gallon garbage bag, an evening shawl made of cling wrap and a cereal box accessorized into a neck collar for a street art aesthetic of giddy abandon. Avee Oabel fashioned a shoulder-to-waist bodice and large trailing skirt from a month’s worth of collected receipts in a playful critique of lavish overspending. Autumn Harvey’s singular garment—a cloud composed of paper airplanes, origami cranes, feathers and pink lemonade— was a rebuke to society’s fashion frameworks of flattering, slimming and impressing.
“The craft keeps getting better. The imagination keeps getting better,” commented nine-time juror and Professor of Architecture Jacquelyn Gargus as she presented the evening’s winning designs. The Golden T Square, the schau’s top honor, went to Carrick W. Reider, a senior double-major in Architecture and Italian. “The design was very original and exquisitely crafted,” stated Gargus on the unanimous choice for first place by the five-person jury.
Accentuating the gestural flourishes that traditionally accompany runway presentations, Reider’s two models enacted a loose interpretation of the Harlequinade that paired the trickster Harlequin and Pierrot, the sad clown. After a comic de-sashing, the two models flung open their outwardly drab kaftans to expose colorful rainbow diamond checkers and reflective strips in a sartorial reveal that garnered a thunderous response from the full-capacity crowd.
In crafting the kaftans, Reider used recycled material of discarded fabrics, duct tape, and safety pins. Evincing the dramatic and whimsical nature of the pantomime, Reider commented, “This design serves as a pastiche not only to the “play” of the theater but to the “play” that comes to define the jollity of every child, every day in this world.”
The awarded designers and models were:
1st Place: Carrick W. Reider (designer) / Sofia Brown-Scanio & Fiona Minich (models)
2nd Place: Autumn Harvey & Maryan Warsame (designers) / Lilly Harvey (model)
3rd Place: Brett Wedding (designer) / Izzy Rich & Callia Tellex & Taylor Wedding (models)
People's Choice: Emma McMonigal & Amanda Miller (designers) / Camille Victor (model)
Honorable Mention: Dylan Hart & Patrick Sardo (designers) / Natalie Perri (model)
Honorable Mention: Courtney Masters & Sofia Kuspan & Kristen Perng (designers) / Kristen Perng & Sofia Kuspan (models)
Housed in the Knowlton School, SERVitecture is a student organization that promotes volunteerism among Ohio State students, regardless of academic major. In its twelfth year of providing students with volunteer opportunities, SERVitecture sponsors spring break service trips for Habitat for Humanity projects in addition to the annual Fashion Schau.