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WSU student-created fashions return live to Beasley Coliseum

Closeup of someone's hands guiding fabric through a sewing machine.

Washington State University students will present apparel collections celebrating endurance and the transition back to normal life at “Vitality,” the 39th annual WSU Fashion Show, 7 p.m. Friday, April 1, at Pullman’s Beasley Coliseum.

For the first live show since 2019, student designers in the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles created collections around energy, strength, and renewal.

“There are always challenges—it’s how you persevere and push through,” said senior Amiah Brooks, whose collection, “No Limits,” exuberantly incorporates rhinestones, boots, and cowboy hats. “Don’t limit yourself, your creativity, your dreams, or what you think you can do in the world.”

Brooks and fellow designers pushed their own limits in the final weeks before the show as they turned prototypes into finished gowns, streetwear, and jewelry.

Keyondra White, a merchandising and design major, was excited to share her work with the public. White’s “All You: Unlocked” collection kicks off the senior show, empowering wearers to stand out and be themselves. “Everyone has so many different parts of them that make up who they are—I wanted to tap in on that.”

“It’s exciting to see ideas come to life on the runway,” said stage manager and senior McKenzie Duquaine, who helps lead the all-student production crew behind the scenes.

“We’ve been working on this since August,” said Duquaine, one of a small group of crew members who took part as freshmen in the previous live show. For many of her peers, it’s a completely new experience.

“It’s rewarding seeing people get inspired and excited by something that they’ve never seen before,” she said. “The energy level is buzzing.”

Keyondra White using a sewing machine.
Keyondra White

Roughly 50 models, recruited from the community and trained to walk on the runway, will show senior designs as well as junior- and sophomore-made upcycled denim garments and clothing created in a computer-aided design course. Past senior designs, never featured live before, will also be shown.

“There’s a lot of diversity among designers and their ideas,” said Ally Steigmann, a show promoter and part of AMDT’s show production class. “Everyone will like something in the show—there’s a lot to offer.”

“The show brings together all aspects of our program: merchandising students making it all happen backstage, designers bringing concepts to reality,” said Shanna Hiscock, show advisor and AMDT academic coordinator. “It brings excitement for our alumni and prospective students and helps the Cougar community see what our students can do.”

Tickets for the 39th annual WSU Fashion Show are $20 in advance, $30 at the door, $60 VIP, and are available at Ticketswest. The event also includes a silent auction and a wine and beer garden from 5 to 6:45 p.m. Learn more at the Vitality website.

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