Fashion Focus: Fashion vs. COVID-19

By Abi Brown – 1851 Staff

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The School of Fashion has been directly affected by the decisions surrounding the annual fashion shows: Undergraduate and Senior Collections. Due to COVID-19, the Undergraduate Show has been canceled, while the Senior Collections show is to be determined. Despite these unprecedented times, students of The School of Fashion are adapting to these changes and ensuring the show must go on.

Senior fashion design and production major Kathleen Politica describes her experience quarantining. “This pandemic has turned my life upside down.” COVID-19 pushed her into self-isolation at home like the majority of Americans. 

Without the facilities they’re accustomed to, the primary workspace for sewing and assembling garments, students have to get creative at home to make it work. Politica is making the most of the situation and establishing her new “Donahue.” She “…had to move home and that meant no longer using Donahue, which had the industrial sewing machines…So, I turned my dining room table into my studio.” 

While some students are understanding of the circumstances, others are having a harder time dealing with the changes, such as a fashion design and production major who wishes to remain anonymous. 

For them, “the fashion show is something all fashion majors put time and effort into and the fact it’s canceled really is poor for the experiences we are supposed to have. The online class structure due to COVID-19  is really taking away from the hands-on learning Lasell offers.” 

While students can agree these changes were what was best for health and safety, there is still a heavy sense of grief. Senior Fashion Merchandising and Marketing major Francesca Cruz, a student involved with the production of the show, said “…the fashion show lets us see the hard work our designers put into these garments come to life. So it’s just not the same if it were to be virtual or canceled, it feels like we’re missing something.” 

Samantha Rego, a senior in fashion design and production, felt this mourning as well. “As a senior design student, the fashion show [that was going] to showcase my collection is what we have all been working toward for the previous three years, and for them to come up with not well thought-out ideas on how to replace it just seems like no one really cares how it affects us, our portfolios, and our feelings leaving this university.” 

Fashion merchandising and management senior Alyssa Corrente said, “this change happened to the whole world, so we all are learning how to cope with it.” Although she isn’t a design major, Corrente feels for students whose lives and workspaces have been flipped upside-down.

The collections that students are working on means something special to them, and the fashion show is supposed to be their chance to show their community what they have been spending all year working on.


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