Scissors, straight pins and measuring tape litter the tops of tables, and bolts of multi-colored fabric drape over the backs of chairs. Models dressed in a hodgepodge of runway pieces and street clothes make their way to the front of the room as designers scramble to make the nips and tucks necessary to perfect their designs.
Every Thursday night, Campbell Hall ceases to be the site of lectures and exams when the Ohio State Fashion Production Association holds its weekly meetings there. The building then transforms into a “Project Runway”-esque hub of creativity and design.
Members of FPA work year-round to produce original garments to be displayed at the organization’s annual spring fashion show.
The show is slated to be held in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom in the Ohio Union Saturday.
This year’s show centers on the theme of “Incrementa: Seasons of the Self,” said Alyssa Martig, a third-year in fashion and retail studies and the marketing chairperson for FPA.
“’Incrementa’ means something to do with change, time and seasons,” Martig said. “Basically the concept is the whole idea of the passage of seasons … but also combining this with the idea of ‘seasons of the self.’ So how we change as people, how we grow. (The show) has a lot to do with confidence.”
The show’s theme has been a challenge to incorporate into the garment designs, said Anna Busi, a third-year in fashion and retail studies and marketing.
“This year has been a hard show in its concept,” she said.
A member of FPA for three years and the organization’s current co-president, Busi said she has worked to incorporate the “Incrementa” theme into her designs through a process of self-reflection.
“Every time I make a garment, my design has a persona, so I really used the concept of ‘seasons of the self’ to create those,” she said. “I’ve tried to trickle those (personas) into my design while still staying true to my aesthetic.”
Busi is a part of the design group within FPA. This group of members is responsible for creating the garments to be presented in the show.
This year, the show will feature four of Busi’s garments, she said.
Allison Newby, a fourth-year in fashion merchandising and co-president of FPA, is a member of the production team. This portion of the organization is responsible for marketing, designing the set and organizing the logistics of the show.
Newby said the production team has worked hard to incorporate the “Incrementa” theme into the show’s staging and marketing.
“We were trying to make the concept of the show a little bit more known to the audience,” Newby said. “This is definitely a more conceptual idea than previous years.”
For instance, a past theme was “Colors,” requiring only that designers use a larger palette of colors in the garments for the show, Newby said.
Each year, the FPA hosts a silent auction of donated items in conjunction with the fashion show, Newby said. The proceeds of the auction are donated to a different local organization each year.
Last year, FPA raised $1,700 for Dress for Success, said Nancy Rudd, fashion and retail studies professor and FPA adviser and director.
Dress for Success is a local organization that provides women with professional attire and career development skills, according to its website.
“We do not have a specific monetary goal each year for the silent auction proceeds,” Rudd said in an email. “But I suppose we could hope for at least $2,000 to go to our selected charity organization (this year).”
This year, the money raised from the silent auction is set to be donated to Worthington organization The Center for Balanced Living, a center dedicated to providing support for those with eating disorders.
Martig said she thinks the theme of this year’s show supports The Center for Balanced Living’s mission.
“It is an organization that has to do with self-image,” she said. “So it kind of ties into our theme this year.”
Newby agreed and said she thought the “Incrementa” theme touched upon the topic of body image and consciousness.
“This year, our emcees are kind of having to explain this idea of body image,” she said. “How we dress ourselves based on how we think of our bodies, whether it is positive or negative, reflects on our daily life.”
FPA currently has approximately 50 members from a variety of majors, all of whom participate in the annual fashion show, Martig said.
“In one way or another, everyone’s participating,” she said. “(The variety of majors is) nice because you get different perspectives.”
Martig expects the show to encourage students to be creative, even if they are not majoring in fashion.
“It is kind of inspirational, even if you aren’t interested in fashion, to just go see the show … and know that people as young as us are capable of creating these designs and putting on a really cool show,” she said. “People of all different backgrounds and majors can be like, ‘Oh, I can really create something and do something and be innovative.’”
Tickets are available in advance for students at $5, or $10 the day of the show. General admission tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.