Friday, April 12, 2024

Weaving a Sustainable Future at This Year’s Lynn Fashion Showcase

The annual Lynn Fashion Showcase is more than just a fashion show. Every look going down the runway of this year’s event was “dedicated to catalyzing positive change in the fashion industry by raising awareness about the paramount importance of repurposing post-consumer textiles into new clothing.” We have a long way to go with the current recycling rate of post-consumer textiles at a mere 1%. Fortunately, sustainability as a lifestyle is gaining popularity amid a growing awareness that we, as consumers, need to make better shopping choices. This year’s event showed how we can be eco-friendly without compromising quality and style. 

Sustainability was weaved into the event on and off the runway. The minute guests entered the completely transformed university library, they were transported into a fashionable world with an incredible amount of thoughtful details. We saw creative ways in which conventional fabrics, plastics, waste and other materials were successfully repurposed. Cesar Santalo, Dean of the College of Communication and Design, even lent his artistic talents by showcasing his collaging techniques using excess fabric pieces within the runway stage, adding an unexpected element to what otherwise would be a mundane black stage. Santalo believes that “a sustainable mindset enhances creativity and culture and that the world needs innovative minds to solve complex social, political, economic, and environmental issues.”

Ultimately, collaboration, another “it” word alongside “sustainability,” is the key component that makes this event successful year after year. Not only does it entail 150 students from across different academic departments, but the Showcase also brings in outside talent, specifically designers throughout South Florida. This year’s curated designer was “Project Runway” contestant Amanda Perna, whose bright and playful clothing and accessories brand, The House of Perna, is all about “maximalist style with minimal waste.” Even for Perna, the experience was beyond her expectations. “I felt like I was back at New York Fashion Week. From the moment you walked in the door of the library, you were delighted by every little detail,” says Perna. She was also impressed by the students’ “professionalism, work ethic and their ability to work as a team.”

A standout among the many great designs were the looks presented by Miami Fashion Institute alumni and students. They fabricated beautiful ready-to-wear pieces out of towels donated by the St. Regis Hotel in Bal Harbour. Swim and resort-wear were pleasantly in abundance with brands Aquamala Swimwear and Change of Scenery. Designer Sara Mique was back showing her signature sequins sportswear collection. 

It is a massive undertaking to produce a fashion show of this caliber, but the entire point of this project is to give students the rare opportunity to learn by doing. As the wise Confucius once said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Dr. Katrina Carter-Tellison, Vice President of Academic Affairs, is leading the wave on bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world application. “The Lynn Fashion Showcase is a prime example on how we are implementing hands-on learning. By engaging in this cross-disciplinary project, students hone their creative skills and gain invaluable insights, preparing them for success in their future endeavors,” says Carter-Tellison. 

It’s hard to picture how next year’s Lynn Fashion Showcase will top this one, but that’s already in the works and we can’t wait to sit front row to see it seamlessly unfold. 

For more from Olivia Hollaus, click here.

Olivia Hollaus
Olivia Hollaus
Olivia Hollaus is the Founder and Creative Director of Protect My Shoes, a brand focused on creating stylish, sustainable, and practical shoe care products. She loves fashion, design, and all things fabulous, so she’s always on the lookout for what’s new and unique. Aside from running her own business, Olivia is the proud mom of two boys who keep her on her toes. Follow her on Instagram at @oliviahollaus and @protectmyshoes

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