“Dazzle” is the 2014 installment of the annual student fashion show. Showcasing over 40 looks from 15 designers, the backstage area before the show was surprisingly calm. Volunteer models glittered from head to toe with help from the college’s cosmetology program students. The pre-show scene was well organized, thanks to program faculty’s attention to detail, but the night really belonged to the designers. “The students have really done everything, from choosing the music to the plan for hair and makeup to the publicity, they’ve done an incredible job,” said fashion studies professor Melissa Heischberg.
The show took the audience on a ride through looks categorized into vignettes with titles like ‘glam,’ ‘astonishing,’ ‘spellbinding,’ ‘alluring’ and the formal finale, ‘glitterazzi.’ Many of the designers themselves modeled their own clothes, an extra special touch for the audience. The MC opened the show saying “everyone has something to make them shine,” and “Dazzle” certainly delivered on that promise.
Much of the runway presentation was on-trend: black and white, cutout detail, subtle midriff bearing two pieces. Former Miss Illinois contestants/winners modeled formalwear from Valeria Baker, a student featured in the Future of Chicago Fashion runway show over spring break. Her full length, red beaded gown was an absolute show stopper – ready for any ready-to-wear collection.
Construction really was the star of most garments, impressive draping techniques and work with delicate textiles spoke volumes about the talent in the program.
Program coordinator Sharon Scalise addressed the crowd after the show to present the 2014 award winners in design: “All of our students have worked so hard this year. From drawing the patterns to draping on mannequins to sewing garments together to fitting models, everything here is done from scratch.”
Award winners were chosen from a jury of of fashion professionals and are listed at the top/bottom with their designs. Congratulations of Taylor Armstrong, the Chicago Fashion Group’s chosen scholarship winner for this year.
The “Spring College Dance Concert” gives students and faculty of the dance department a chance to share all the hard work that went into choreographing, learning and perfecting their routines. The show also serves as a chance for COD dance students to enter into the Chicagoland’s dance community conversation.
More than 35 students performed in the show, but also choreographed. Auditions and interviews for student choreographers were held at the beginning of the semester. The show includes several different genres of dance, from ballet to jazz, hip hop and everything in between, offering a program as diverse as its students. Many pieces are choreographed by students though special this semester was Jon Sloven - professional dancer with Thodos Dance Chicago who served as a guest choreographer. Some pieces were put together by the dance program faculty as well.
“‘Great Gatsby’ was a lot of fun, but I think the ‘Death and the Maiden’ ballet concept piece would be my favorite,” participating student Chris Chapa reflects on his first time ever dancing ballet in the show. Featured in both the dance and fashion show, Chapa says the shows were learning opportunity that exposed him to something completely new. “This was my first year dancing and I definitely don’t have any regrets. At times, it definitely got stressful balancing school and dance, but I know that dancing here will definitely be something I will always look back upon with great memories.”