The annual Mom’s Weekend fashion show last spring featured the work of 13 Washington State University student designers. It was an impressive display, considering that it was the first time many of the young designers had created a multi-piece collection.
Not so for Beth Hearnesberger (’05 AMDT), who was participating in the show for the second time. This year, she received one of the “Best of Show” Mollie Pepper Outstanding Student Designer Awards. Like many of her classmates, Hearnesberger traded sleep for sewing to prepare her collection. She even hand dyed the fabrics for her dresses.
The brief fashion show is the culmination of a year’s work, says KyeongSook Cho, assistant professor Apparel, Merchandising, Design & Textiles, who advises the students through the design process. The students take a preparation class in the fall, in which they create their designs and choose fabrics and models. They also watch videos of the last few fashion shows to learn from previous student designers. Then they create all their pieces in muslin before finally crafting them in more precious fabrics.
Many students who have taken part in the show have gone on to jobs in the industry, often as buyers for clothing companies. But Hearnesberger wants to keep creating. She is starting an internship with Seattle-based Kiko House of Couture this fall. She says her samples from the fashion show helped her get the job. “They could tell I was creative and that I wanted to do couture.”