Completing a long-term project often feels surreal, as if there are still a thousand more things to sort out or as if the event never happened at all. After a simultaneously long yet too short winter break, the fall fashion show feels ages away. With months of preparation condensed to an hour long event the whole process has quickly become a blur, an abstracted time in my life where all I could think about was sourcing clothing and building paper-mache masks.
In the past, the Contrast Fashion Show was held separately from our magazine launch and typically took place in early November. It was runway style, included a guest speaker, and was held in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. The clothing was student-sourced, with historical pieces lent out by the Drama Department. Though I enjoyed the structure and was pretty familiar with it because I’d help plan it for the past two years, I decided that it was all a little too familiar. For my last year involved with the org, I wanted the chance to get as creative as possible.
With support from Contrast Exec, our GB and friends, we were able to start from scratch and reimagine the way an event with it’s own lived tradition could be executed differently, reframed away from its original structure. From the beginning, I was interested in using the word “identity” as a jumping off point for our magazine and the show itself. Conversations with one of my best friends (who’s literally Contrast’s fashion closet) Mollie K., helped to get the ideas rolling and resulted in the creation of the “heads” that the models wore throughout the show. These heads and the built up scenes in which they were placed were intended to obstruct identity and the ways we navigate and imagine domestic spaces, all of which are ultimately curated landscapes meant to evoke ways of being and seemingly predetermined actions. On top of this theme, the show was also just a fun creative project, a way for viewers to somewhat escape Vassar’s campus without leaving it, through the attempted transformation of a super familiar space.
With help from student artists Bella Deng, Dakota Peterson and Olivia Guarnieri, we were able to incorporate student made clothing into this years show. Allowing us to showcase student talent and creativity and help make the entire process more collaborative. DJ duo robôryñon set the mood with their atmospheric melodies and a video showcasing our behind the scene processes played on loop. It was all in all a beautiful way to end our semester, to share the fruits of our labor with the Vassar community and to witness all of our ideas come to life.