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Fashion design students strut their talents on the runway at year-end show
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Models walk through the Northeast Georgia History Center during Saturday afternoon’s fashion show, which featured the collections of three Brenau University fashion design and fashion merchandising seniors. The show featured the work of Kristie Carlson, Gabby Moss and Marie-Claire Willis, who are all graduating.

BY ASHLEY BATES

abates@gainesvilletimes.com

With vibrant, modern and whimsical designs, three Brenau University fashion design students presented their 2010 senior collections on Saturday at the Northeast Georgia History Center in Gainesville.

The event, attended by more than 100, culminated four months of work for the three students who designed and planned each collection themselves.

"I knew it was going to be hard and I knew it was going to be a lot of long hours and it didn’t bother me. I’ve been doing that for four years," said Gabby Moss, a fashion design major.

Her collection, called "Daring Perfection," had a strong, modern style inspired by Hollywood.

"My inspiration for the collection came from looking at strong women in film and I wanted to capture those characteristics for everyday women," Moss said. "I used really good lines and make everybody look fantastic. That was really the goal of the whole collection.

"I wanted to create a lot of texture, not overdo it with design elements, try to get more from the fabrics through style lines. I like things to be simple — I like things to be more simple than overdone."

The fashion show was a production of the Brenau University Art & Design Department for all graduating seniors. The project for each student took the entire semester and they were able to find help to sew their fashions for the show.

"We were allowed to help outsource and find somebody to help make our designs, so I found a wonderful woman named June," Moss said. "I did a little bit of each outfit myself so I still had a hand in it.

"It was a lot of help and I was very happy to find it."

Kristie Carlson’s collection, "Enchantment," featured evening gown designs clearly inspired by nature.

"My first inspiration was from when I was little girl, I used to play in my dad’s garden with my sister and it was just a place where we could escape and it was a very imaginative place," she said. "I take a lot of my inspiration from nature, taking elements like the silhouettes and flower petals and incorporating them into my designs."

The whimsical gowns included one multi-layered gown in shades of blue and a strapless, light green, wispy floor-length gown with elements on the bodice derived from butterfly wings. But it was a strapless taupe gown with a skirt of off-white ruffles that was Carlson’s pride.

"My mom helped me and I designed them and made all of the patterns and she helped me sew them together," she said. "It was very time consuming because all of these pieces were gathered and then had to be artistically placed."

Senior Marie-Claire Willis, originally from Jamaica, created a collection called "Riddim Nation." Inspired by the islands, rhythms and nature, Willis sewed every piece by hand.

"I love vibrant colors and flattering silhouettes," she said. "I like to accentuate figures in my designs."

She said her favorite piece was her plaid jumpsuit paired with a jacket with matching lapels. Another notable piece was a unique bathing suit wrap that was black on the outside and brightly striped on the inside.

"I definitely wanted it to be reversible," she said.

The fashion show lasted about an hour and was followed by three celebratory receptions across the Brenau campus in the designers’ honor.

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