The University of Rhode Island’s Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design is ready to present their 12th annual fashion show this Friday, an event showcasing student’s designs and awarding scholarships towards future fashion endeavors.
Amanda Palombo, a URI senior TMD major, and Shondel Padgett, a URI senior TMD minor, are in TMD 442, a class dedicated to organizing the show. Padgett explained how the idea of a fashion show is first presented to the department and then students begin to pick which designs should be a part of the show, although the designs mainly end up being picked by TMD professors. The student designers are typically juniors and seniors, who want to showcase their work. The next step is getting sponsors. Companies can either donate or pay for an advertisement to be placed in the pamphlet handed out the night of the event. From there, the students start putting together the show and plan it for the rest of the semester.
The students in TMD 442 are split into various groups, who work on different aspects of the show. For example, Palombo said that one girl in their class worked a lot with finding models, while another student worked on the promotion aspect and raising money to simply put on the show. Student designers are in charge of picking models for their work, so that they know exactly what size to make their clothes. Some models are picked from model agencies, while others are simply friends of the designer. These designers also create the invitation design, but Palombo said that her class chooses which one they will use, since they have the final say.
Palombo explained how the night before the show will be the most strenuous. Although the students prepare for most of the semester, Palombo claims “there’s only so much planning they could do in advance, and then it’s crunch time.” Before the show, students still have to decorate, make centerpieces and hand out the flyers they designed and printed. The morning of the show, the department will do a “run-through” to make sure everything is in place and flows accordingly.
Money raised from ticket sales and sponsors will go towards scholarships for the designers. Padgett referred to the show as a “fundraising fashion show,” since there are multiple design prizes and scholarships given out. Last year, scholarships were given to students from companies including TJX Foundation, E.B. and S.S. Textile Conservation, among others.
Palombo and Padgett detailed how although they are not creating designs for this show, their roles are still very important. Rather than designing, both girls are interested in the business side of fashion.
“This show gives the fashion designers a chance to be able to show what they have been working on and the progress they’ve made,” Padgett said. “This also gives them the chance to showcase that TMD is more than just fashion, there are a lot of things that go into it.” She said that a lot of people think the show is all about designing, but there are important elements like organizing and promoting that go into creating such a huge event. TMD 442 is preparing students in the class by giving them the experience needed if they choose to go those routes.
“There’s a lot within this department that a lot of people don’t know about,” Palombo said. “We’re just trying to really let people know what we’re about.”
Palombo continued, saying that she is excited to see this year’s show because the designs and preparations have improved from previous ones. Padgett claims it is going to be “a night to remember.”
The fashion show will be held this Friday night, April 10, at 8 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium. The cost is $15 for students and $20 for non-students.