More than sixty students, one hundred models, and an entire audience filled a single room this weekend. The Purdue Fashion Show, an event that allows Apparel Design majors to showcase their work, was held this past Saturday at the Cordova Recreational Sports Center. Over the course of two and a half hours, the sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the program exhibited their craftsmanship via models who walked through the crowd on a grey runway.
“I have two models this year. Next year I’ll have upwards of five to seven,” Dillon Gerstung said. Gerstung is a second-year student whose work was on display Saturday afternoon. As one of two men in the major, he focuses mostly on menswear. “I do menswear because I’m comfortable making stuff that I want to wear,” he said. When asked about his own work, he explained, “It’s kinds of exaggerated and loses function in the context of creating something unique and exaggerates features of clothes that you take for granted… [it does] something original, but takes inspiration from something that’s always been there.”
Although Gerstung is most at ease designing apparel for men, other students did not hold back in creating clothing for others. “I’ll shout out to Brandon Jones,” Gerstung said. Jones, the other man in major, designs mostly womenswear. “For him to go out of his comfort zone and make something that he is never gonna try on, never gonna wear, but he still appreciates it and has respect for it, puts the time in to make something – that’s pretty… I don’t know… inspiring.”
Jones and Gerstung were not the only inspiring people at the Fashion Show that day. The event is also where professors from the department present awards to various students who have shown exemplary craftsmanship and design. Dana Smith, on top of winning two awards from the department and a $500 scholarship, was granted the Outstanding Woman at Purdue Award on behalf of the Office of the Dean of Students – an unannounced honor that surprised Smith as well as the rest of the audience.
As the event came to a close, the audience delivered an uproarious applause, and the students were ecstatic that their work was well-appreciated. “[The point of the Show is] to display the progress that students are making and the talents and skills that the professors are bringing out in the students over a year’s worth of work,” Gerstung said. “Thanks for coming out and taking pictures and further showcasing the work that students put in. Shout out to the Review.”