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Katwalk 2014 showcases culmination of student design work

An early look at this year’s senior design collections featured at the Katwalk by (from left): Maddie Skaalrud '14, Emily Trevor '14, Pachia Vang '14 and Catherine Huss '14.
An early look at this year’s senior design collections featured at the Katwalk by (from left): Maddie Skaalrud '14, Emily Trevor '14, Pachia Vang '14 and Catherine Huss '14.
Photos supplied.

What’s in the next wave of local fashion trends? And in a material world, how can fashion be more sustainable? Find the answers to those questions at Katwalk 2014: Fathom, held on Saturday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. in The O’Shaughnessy.

This year’s event showcases original work from over 30 students in the apparel, merchandising and design program at St. Catherine University.

St. Kate’s Fashion Association, a student organization, coordinates all aspects of the annual Katwalk from the design of print materials and event marketing, to staging and music.

Featured senior designers

Apparel design seniors will present full collections, which represent a culmination of their work at St. Kate’s.

Christine Bergmann ’14 is presenting “Gardenia Street,” a spring/summer collection of daywear that mixes feminine and urban pieces. Inspiration for the line was drawn from city streets, including the colors, prints and overall mood of the line.

“Anacapri” is a beach/swimwear line by Catherine Huss ’14. She was inspired by the vivid shades of teal and purple while visiting the island of Capri, Italy. The one-piece suits in her collection are designed to reminisce vintage and retro femininity while allowing a woman to look forward with confidence and class.

Inspired by northern Minnesota, the “Sticks & Stones” fall/winter collection by Maddie Skaalrud ’14 features plaids, wools and other heavy fabrics. The daywear collection features sporty elements with feminine silhouettes in colors that are muted and neutral to have an earthier feel.

The fall/winter collection “Velveteen Rose” by Emily Trevor ’14 is inspired by her mother’s grim childhood. The collection’s dark color palette, multiple textures and playful silhouettes combine to evoke a broken innocent milieu while remaining feminine and wearable. The pieces throughout the collection are meant to be worn alone or layered in order to address different climactic regions and styling needs.

Trevor showed a thirteen-look collection last fall at MNFashion’s “The Shows,” based on her junior collection from last year’s Katwalk. She currently works for Tara LaTour, a bridal couture designer, as an assistant designer and dressmaker.

“East Romance” by Pachia Vang ’14 is a spring/summer collection of evening wear featuring pastel colors, floral prints and lightweight fabrics that give a very feminine and romantic style. The line is inspired by Asian elements taken from tradition Japanese kimonos and Korean hanboks that are incorporated into a more modern look.

Junior designers showcase mini-collections during Katwalk. This year’s designers include Janet Bishop ’15, Megan Buysee ’15, Alisha Caldera ’15, Mandy Kaczmarek ’15 and Xee Vang ’15.

“Surprisingly rigorous” program

One of this year’s featured seniors is Pachia Vang ’14, who is double majoring in apparel design and international business/economics, with the hope of someday taking her work to the international stage.

Since she was a young teen, Vang knew she wanted to pursue a career in fashion. She chose the apparel design program at St. Kate’s because she felt it offered a more well-rounded curriculum than other programs she considered.

“Some of the art schools focused solely on design. But at St. Kate’s, we get the liberal arts perspective which broadens our world view, we get the business and marketing aspect — because fashion is a business where you have to market yourself — and of course, we get a strong foundation in design,” says Vang.

“We pack a lot in this degree, which makes the program surprisingly rigorous,” says Trudy Landgren, associate professor in the apparel, merchandising and design program. “I think the broader community does not realize the math, science and critical thinking skills required in apparel design and pattern making — it’s extremely technical work.”

Sustainable practice is also incorporated at every level of the program curriculum, from re-purposing textiles to creating looks from recycled material. Each year, this commitment is showcased in the Katwalk.

“We’ve tried something new with the seniors this year. We challenged them to create one design in their collection that is zero-waste,” says Landgren.

In apparel design “zero waste,” she explains, is a technique that eliminates textile waste at the design stage by planning and arranging pattern pieces like a jigsaw puzzle.

“We’re not telling the audience which design in each collection is zero-waste. It will be interesting to see if the audience can pick them out, because they shouldn’t be able to tell,” Landgren adds.

Saturday's show also features Sarah Cook, a junior from the University of St. Thomas and Kathy Jerde ’09.

Katwalk is open to the public. General admission is $15 ($8 for students) and tickets are available at The O’Shaughnessy.

Story update, May 20, 2014:
"Katwalk 2014 delivers impeccable design with a sustainable focus" Twin Cities Daily Planet

Photos from Katwalk 2014 available on flickr

May 14, 2014 by Sharon Rolenc

See also: Arts, Leadership, Liberal Arts, Students