Philadelphia University fashion design seniors Cassie O’Toole and Sierra Rocco had the thrill of seeing their collections come down the New York Fashion Week runway on Feb. 13 at the Emerging Designers show at the Affinia Hotel.
“There are no words for it,” Rocco said of seeing her designs inspired by 19th-century prairie life on the runway during one of the fashion industry’s biggest events. She hand-dyed, distressed and embroidered the fabric to meet her artistic aesthetic and love for texture. “I could not be more proud to represent PhilaU’s fashion program,” she said.
The PhilaU designs were enhanced by the contributions of textile design graduate students Ananya Bevinakatti and Sarah Mersky and recent
graduate Brett Udovich. “I’m so excited to be here,” Bevinakatti said before the show. She used textural yarns in cream, white and brown to help make Rocco’s designs come to life.
O’Toole’s collection featured both bright and muted tones inspired by watercolors on dresses and a culotte outfit that would be perfect at an upscale resort. “I wanted to make something different and unique but wearable,” said O’Toole, who collaborated with Mersky and Udovich to develop one-of-a-kind textiles rich in color and texture for her collection. “It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I will always remember it as a wonderful experience to showcase my hard work and design aesthetic.”