The Future of Fashion at Drexel

By Jessica McGuinn
 The ‘Future of Fashion’ was on display April 18  when a group of graduating fashion design students shared the first completed looks from their collections with members of both the local and national media at an exclusive press preview event. The event was hosted as a collaboration between the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (you know, the folks who “spread the love” throughout the city with their XOXO Philadelphia billboards?). It marked the first time that the students’ work has ever been on display prior to the annual fashion show, which is scheduled for Saturday, June 8th at the Urban Outfitters Headquarters. 

Writers from publications including Glamour, Ebony, BUST Magazine, Zink Magazine, Fashion Bomb Dailyblog, and Philadelphia Style Magazine,among others, filled the lobby of the newly renovated URBN Center to admire the students’ sketches and high quality designer pieces. However, before the evening officially kicked off, they were treated to special guest appearances by Deborah Riley Draper, writer and director of Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution, and international supermodel Pat Cleveland who were on campus to host a special screening of the documentary. 


      Allen Sabinson, Dean of the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was filled with pride as he gave opening remarks while Paula Butler, Vice President of Communications for GPTMC, conveyed the importance of emerging local designers to Philadelphia’s growing fashion scene. Ms. Butler was followed by Lisa Hayes, Fashion Design Program Director,who said:
Students come from around the globe to be a part of Drexel’s fashion design program and can’t help but fall in love with Philadelphia as a source of creative inspiration for their work. I am so grateful to be able to share my experiences with them in their journey to success.”

     The press attendees met individually with each designer to learn about the inspiration behind their collection and to examine the details of their looks.

Additionally, they took a private tour of the Drexel Historic Costume Collection and marveled at over 7,000 garments dating from the 18th century to the present day. Overall, they were very impressed with what they saw and many asked to stay in touch with the student designers for future opportunities. I even felt some excitement brewing for the fashion show in June! Philadelphia’s fashion scene is sailing into the spotlight, and with these students at the helm, the future is bright! 


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