Fashion and film: Stephens College student showcases are back in-person | Higher Education

It’s days before the big show. Beneath a sparkling disco ball, there’s a frenzy of students organizing their garments and models practicing their walks.

For the first time in three years, the annual fashion show at Stephens College is back in person.

Since 2020, student showcases at Stephens have been either canceled or moved online due to COVID-19. This semester, events like the Best of Student Film Showcase and the 78th Annual Student Designer Fashion Show are in person.

“People are extremely thankful and happy to be able to be together again, to be able to kind of share in that camaraderie of when really talented people work together and what you can create in person,” said Monica McMurry, head instructor of the fashion show.

Fashion majors at Stephens have spent all semester creating their garments to present at the show this Saturday. This year’s theme is “Reflections.”

“Our goal is to offer hope and to offer a moment of happiness and contemplation at the same time, and just see what … students have been through over the last couple of years and how that’s reflected in what they’ve created,” McMurry said.

Seniors and other students who were on campus in 2019 may have experienced the fashion show in person, but many others may have never seen it performed on a stage.

As part of her freshman year project in 2020, junior Alexandra Henry-Allen created a children’s dress to be in the show. Yet, the show had to be canceled.

In 2021, fashion students did photo shoots and recorded videos of their work to present online. Senior designer Madilyn Kell said it’s nice to have something “big and theatric” this year.

“This year, being able to see the runway and see all my stuff on the runway is very, very rewarding,” Henry-Allen said.

Anadelia Medina is in charge of the show’s choreography and a co-chair of the publicity committee. She said “it’s a drastic change” to go from virtual presentations to organizing an entire show. However, she’s seen how this work has affected the student body.

“Almost every single event that we have, you would probably see most of the campus there because people are engaging again and just being a part of their community together,” Medina said.

The 78th Annual Student Designer Fashion Show will be at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. Ticket information can be found online.

“Hopefully other things are kind of opening back up that (people will) be able to find or maybe reengage with that creativity that they had in the past,” Kell said. “So hopefully people are able to find that excitement that kind of seemed dampened during the pandemic.”