Philadelphia University fashion design students wowed a packed crowd at the Academy of Music April 28 at the University’s annual fashion show, featuring the best of this year’s student designs.
Before the runway show, acclaimed menswear designer John Varvatos was honored with the 2012 Philadelphia University Spirit of Design Award. Varvatos, who previously served as head of menswear design for Polo Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, launched his eponymous menswear collection in 2000 to rave reviews. He currently is a mentor on NBC’s new series “Fashion Star.”
One of the evening’s top winners was Caitlin Quirk, who won best senior collection for her silk, cotton, jersey knit and tulle eveningwear collection inspired by the Victorian era with armadillo influences. Her black and white gown with a tulle top layer, which was part of the collection, also was awarded best of show.
This year’s show theme was Fashion in Motion, celebrating innovation through design that takes fabric, form and color to extreme limits, while enhancing the human figure in ways that speak to individuality, fluid designs, artistic expression and societal trends.
The Fashion Show, emceed by NBC10’s Bill Henley and Lori Wilson, was part of the Verizon Philadelphia University Evening of Innovation, presented by PVH Corp. This year’s audience included more than 2,000 students, family members, faculty, staff, alumni, apparel and fashion industry executives and honorees. The event is the largest fashion show in Philadelphia each year.
“The fashion show embodies the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature intrinsic to the fashion industry and encompasses the multifaceted world of design,” said Clara Henry, fashion design program director.
“Showcasing the work of fashion’s rising stars in the Academy’s elegant setting is tailor made for our industry guests and potential employers seeking to recruit creative and talented designers,” Henry said. “John Varvatos’ inspirational words of encouragement contributed to a spectacular and memorable evening for all. We are very proud of our designers, who never cease to amaze.”
The fashion show is produced by the student organization Fashion Industries Association, whose president, Casey Lamke, said, “This year’s fashion show was one of the most beautiful and spectacular yet. Many long hours, hard work and dedication went into making this night possible and I could not be happier.”
Student winners at the 2012 fashion show included:
COATES BROTHERS CLOTHING AWARD
Eco-Fashion: Alessandra Massa
Design Excellence: Katherine Khorassani
WHITE HOUSE / BLACK MARKET AWARD
Design Excellence: Kaitlin Waligorski
DESTINATION MATERNITY AWARD
Excellence in Sportswear Design: Katherine Possage
FASHION INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION (FIA) AWARDS
Best of Show: Caitlin Quirk
Most Creative: Sarah Harris
Best Senior Collection: Caitlin Quirk
Best Senior Collection Honorable Mention: Katherine Possage
FASHION DESIGN FACULTY AWARD
Design Excellence: Gabrielle Nadolny
FRANK AGOSTINO AWARD
Eveningwear Award for Excellence in Design and Execution: Kaitlin Waligorski
MICHIE TEXTILE INTERNATIONAL AWARD
Excellence in Swimwear: Ariana Gross and Jessie Hutt
N.A.M.S.B. FOUNDATION AWARD, INC.
Joseph Klein Award for Excellence in Menswear Design: Heather Feehan
NEIMAN MARCUS AWARD
Most Saleable Collection: Christina Brzozowski
NICHOLAS L. PALUMBO AWARD
Outstanding Junior Design: Sarah Fitzgerald
YOUNG SPIRIT AWARD
Excellence in Childrenswear: Nicole Wilson
Other honorees for the evening included Philadelphia University’s Leader of Innovation award winners: Dr. D. Walter Cohen, D.D.S., chancellor emeritus of Drexel University College of Medicine; William “Bill” L. Jasper, chief executive officer of Unifi, Inc.; George Y.V. King ’69, H’11, managing director of Wearbest Garment Manufacturing Co., Ltd.; Francis “Fran” J. Shammo ’83, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Verizon Communications; and Eileen J. Martinson ’86, chief executive officer of Sparta Systems. Click here for more about the 2012 Evening of Innovation honorees.
In addition to the Evening of Innovation title sponsor, Verizon, and presenting sponsor PVH Corp., other sponsors included Unifi, Inc., Federal-Mogul Corp., Sparta Systems, Edison Ventures, Iron Stone Strategic Capital Partners, Charming Shoppes, Polartec, Inc., Martinson Family Foundation, Macy’s, Inc., Mebane Charitable Foundation, CCA, Chico’s, Fox Rothschild, Independence Blue Cross, Parkhurst Dining Services, TD Bank and Wells Fargo.