Last week, on April 4, was the annual FMDS fashion show, this year themed Cirque: Beauty in the Madness, and let me say, it was nothing far from spectacular. By 8 p.m., the lights were set, the curtains were hung, chairs were out, and everyone was full of jitters for yet another sold out show.
Under the guidance of the FMDS advisor, Dr. Gaskill, show coordinators Blythe Boyd and Kitty Wu were able to turn the newly renovated Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires into an upscale circus extravaganza. Cirque: Beauty in the Madness was the end result of months of preparation, marketing, designing, and planning. The show consisted of 39 designers, 42 models, and over 90 designs! Boyd and Wu enlisted 12 committee members to help them plan and prepare for the show, with 10 stagers to help behind the scenes on the day of madness. After recruiting student designers and student models, designing and practicing were already well underway; meetings and practices were on the weekly schedule and big dreams and ideas were being drawn up.
Blythe and Kitty have worked countless hours with their committee to plan an amazing event. With the help of Misganaw Mengiste, Cat Piper, and Loren Skinker, they were able to bring their image to life through promotional videos, photoshoots, and marketing advertisements leading up to show day. Well, it all paid off; by 2 p.m. on the day of the show, Cirque: Beauty in the Madness was sold out. Over 600+ seating tickets were sold and by the time the show was about to start, committee had to start selling standing tickets at the door for $3 a piece.
With varying red and white curtains hiding the back of the stage, antique lights hung in the front and CIRQUE was spelled out center stage using antique marquee letters, thanks to Dylan Huffman. The chairs were lined with red tulle and bows and each aisle was completed with twinkling birdcages decorated in flowers of various reds and pinks. Thanks to the musical talent from DJ C-Jay, also know as Cody Lopez, the theme was not only portrayed on the stage through the designs, but also in the music as well, as he managed to perfectly capture the image the committee was reaching for all the way to the end of the night.
With Blacksburg being such a close knit community and especially supportive of the Virginia Tech Fashion Merchandising and Design Department, FMDS was able to feature four local boutiques at the beginning of the show; 310 Rosemont, Belk, Greenhouse, and Fringe Benefit displayed their best summer wardrobe pieces on the runway leading into the amazing student designs.
In awe, the audience was drawn into the theme through every design that walked the runway. From clowns to acrobats, to even just the famous circus tent, students were able to capture their own image of the theme and share their creativity through their designs.
Vendors like VT Thrift, Zappy LLC, and Jewels by Jess were featured in the back of the ballroom during and after the show, as well as Belk and Intern Queen, Lauren Berger! Providing a small shopping experience and a chance to network, people were able to keep themselves occupied while they waited to be engulfed by the fashion show and the talent they were about to see.
Special guests Amber Miller (Pretty as Peaches Fashion Blogger), Emma Topp (Youtuber), and Anah Taylor (Miss Blacksburg USA) could be found front row alongside the committee members. The judges, FMD Faculty, chose Helen Ryser’s design as the winner of the garment competition. Allowing the viewers to also get involved committee also provided a “fan favorite” category where Angel Haynes stole the show.
After the Enchanted Fashion Show last year, Blythe and Kitty had some big shoes to fill, but they were able to fit in them perfectly and put on an amazing show. Congratulations to everyone involved and we cannot wait until next year!