The eighth annual Katwalk show, “A Designer’s Metropolis,” at St. Catherine University’s Coeur de Catherine building featured designs by St. Kate’s junior and senior fashion and apparel majors, and by two St. Thomas students.
St. Thomas juniors Melanie Becicka and Yevette Willaert, who are also fashion and apparel majors at St. Kate’s through the ACTC program, produced mini clothing lines for the show in their pattern-making class. Juniors created mini-lines with three different looks while seniors created full lines with eight looks. Willaert’s clothing line, “Aspen Grove,” consisted of flowing cream-colored fabrics and vintage accessories.
“My general theme comes from the English countryside and its natural estates from the early 19th century, but my sister, Felisha, was more of my inspiration,” Willaert said.
Becicka’s line, “Allow Me to Introduce Myself,” featured shorts, a top and a dress she created using inspiration from the world around her, she said.
The juniors started working on their lines about halfway through the semester, and Willaert said she felt pressure.
“Not going to lie, you lose sight sometimes on what you are doing,” Willaert said. “It becomes a chore and isn’t too exciting, but once the runway show starts, the pride and happiness set in.”
The junior pattern-making class also took on a “Zero Waste” project during the semester. For the assignment, the designers had to create an outfit that used every scrap of a given amount of fabric. This project was the fashion and apparel program’s attempt to instill a sense of sustainability in its students.
As part of the sustainability project, students in the St. Kate’s apparel construction and analysis class reconstructed out-of-date pieces of clothing to create something new. The senior design students created garments from recycled corporate packaging donated by a company called Terracycle, which uses recycled packaging to create messenger bags and accessories.
After the junior designers presented their projects, the senior design class students exhibited their lines. Willaert said she enjoyed seeing all the designs on the runway.
“When you know the other designers so personally, all you can be is proud of them,” she said. “Yes, there are some upperclassmen who surprisingly don’t take much pride in their work, but for most you know that they put so much of themselves into their collection. Some girls really pushed themselves and you can tell when the designs hit the runway, and that really pays off.”
Maggie Clemensen can be reached at email@example.com.