Runway 2021: Recap of the first digital shows

By Rachel Shepard, Kait Bedell & Claire Crittendon – Copy Editor, News Editor & Co-Editor-In-Chief

Senior Brian Allen pictured in his Tailoring garment. This look was shown in 2021, and was awarded the popular choice in its category. Photo courtesy of Brian Allen.

After the cancellation of 2020’s Runway, the excitement of students, faculty, and staff was palpable when Runway 2021 was confirmed for May 7 and 8 at 7 p.m.

“The students were able to do things beyond my expectation. They decided they were gonna make this happen, that they were gonna celebrate the designers and they took it to a whole new level,” said Assistant Professor of Fashion Kristin Kinsky.

Kinsky said a lot of students were “leaders” in class and stepped up to help everyone adapt to producing a virtual show.

“We had some students who had never touched any kind of digital editing and they learned how to do that and then we had some that were amazing and they helped the
others and we ended up with this project that was just gorgeous,” Kinsky said.

According to Kinsky, having the digital aspect of the show allowed more people to watch the events and created a larger portfolio for students’ resumes.

“We are dreaming in our hearts that there’s a way to bring people together to celebrate because I think we all miss the traditional fashion show,” Kinsky said.

Allen pictured in his menswear look which, like its tailoring counterpart, won the popular choice award in its category. Photo courtesy of Brian Allen.

Senior fashion design major Brian Allen was fully remote last spring semester, but he doesn’t feel as though that held him or his process back. “I really believe that when you’re boxed in, that’s when true creativity comes out,” said Allen. “Because you’re like, well, I don’t have the resources that I need,
so it’s like, you’ve got to think on your toes.

Allen enjoyed the virtual platform, stressing that anything was better than what happened the year before. “Anything at that point was exciting.”

Design students with approved garments were asked to film their looks on models and submit video clips as well as photos.

“I didn’t have any crazy editing friends, like everything was filmed on my iPhone,” said Allen. “I live in the sticks, so I had access to some pretty cool scenery, which was nice.”

Allen continued to explain how no matter where someone is, the only thing that matters when filming is the frame of the shot, saying to “make your world in that frame.

A key member of the digital aspect of Runway was Noor Lobad (‘21), the lead graphic designer for Runway 2021. She was the leader in growing awareness of the event through campaign promotions.

“Since ours was the first virtual show we wanted something kinda futuristic, a little abstract, and we wanted to use the color purple because it symbolizes unity,” said Lobad.

However, the Runway production class didn’t officially know what the final version of the show would look like until the day of the show. “When it was showtime, we were looking through and we were just amazed at what was in front of us. It all really came together in ways we hadn’t thought,” said Lobad.

Converging technology and in-person skills for the fashion show last year allowed for new changes in the way the School of Fashion (SOF) will be approaching the upcoming Runway 2022 show, according to Dean Kathleen Potter. Specifically, emphasizing the collaboration of disciplines within the SOF through digital media that wasn’t previously utilized.

“We know there will be some digital content. That is sort of a given, and we have already reworked curricula and processes around that to an extent. Now we’ll set out to do the challenging but exciting work in the next several weeks with what that looks like,” said Potter.

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