TAPP design show: Back to the basics

In its 22nd year on the runway, the UNI Textiles and Apparel Program (TAPP) spring design show was "stripped."

TAPP design show
This year's Textiles and Apparel Program spring design show was stripped back to bare basics.

"In years past we had heavily developed themes in our show," said Samantha Frederick, one of the show's two co-directors. "This year, students wanted something that was more cut back, more traditional, original runway style, so the whole theme of it was stripped back to the bare basics."

According to the show's second co-director, Liz Sedlacek, the minimalist theme allowed students to focus on the designs themselves rather than the theme. TAPP students seemed to be enthusiastic about the show's bare feel as well; 130 pieces were submitted for this year's runway, which is a huge turnout for the program.

All students enrolled in TAPP classes this academic year were encouraged to design and construct original garments for the show. Some students took things a step further and created their own printed fabrics.

"We have a computer-aided design class in the program where we learn how to make prints using Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop, and then we print designs onto fabric," said Sedlacek. "Those original prints then get showcased on the runway."

Once garments were designed and constructed, they went through a jury process to be selected for the show. This year's pieces were juried by Holly Humke-Williams and Stephanie Barness, TAPP alumnae currently working for Powers Manufacturing in Waterloo. Garments were chosen based on details such as construction and creativity.

In addition to creating pieces for the show, TAPP students were also responsible for recruiting models, developing and teaching choreography for the runway, stylization, staging, creating artwork and promoting the show. According to Frederick, the comprehensive process prepares TAPP students for work they may do in the future.

"Every aspect of the show is something that can go on a resume," said Frederick. "We shoot every piece that comes through, and all of the photographs go in students' portfolios, which is really helpful when looking for jobs." To put together such a large-scale production, dedicated student volunteers and faculty were necessary. More than 100 students were involved in this year's show.

"Now that we're done, we just want to give a huge thank you to everyone on campus who made this happen," said Sedlacek. "There's no way we could have put this together without them."

*Photos are courtesy of Mitchell Strauss, professor in the School of Applied Human Sciences.

TAPP design showTAPP design show
The theme of this year's TAPP design show was stripped back to the bare basics.
2014 TAPP spring design show piece
TAPP design showTAPP design show
2014 TAPP spring design show piece
2014 TAPP spring design show piece