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Steampunk Fashion: Inside a Collaborative Exhibition

Posted March 27, 2015 in Classes & Presentations

Steampunk-inspired garments created by KCAD Fashion Studies students and vignettes created by Ferris State University Hospitality students were recently showcased in the Steampunk Fashion Event held in Big Rapids on Feb. 26, 2015. This blog series will explore the process that powered this dynamic collaboration, as well as its results!

Part Five - Calling the Shots

by Jennie Reid | Fashion Studies student

I never would have thought that I would be a part of a steampunk fashion show until I started the Fashion Show Production class this spring. I knew that we all would have a position in the show to take responsibility for, but I didn’t think that I would be the director. Fashion show director is a big position. You have to oversee all of the different people involved and you’re normally the contact person for the show. I was chosen to be the director for this show and I tried to manage the show like a supervisor rather than a boss. I helped others when they needed it, and let others excel in their specialties. Being the fashion show director gave me a great opportunity to learn how a proper show is run and how to handle different situations.

During the show prep, I helped other students fill out paperwork and make decisions like choosing the number of models for the show, deciding which we wanted to feature, how we wanted the models to walk, and what type of music we needed. After the team talked and made our final decisions, we decided on using four models, six student made garments, a routine for the walk, and a whistle sound for the queue.

Fashion Studies students at Steampunk Fashion showKCAD Fashion Studies students pose with Ferris State University students and Steampunk Fashion Show models

I was a runner between the model room and the event room. I ran back and forth to let everyone know what was going to happen. Things like room size and layout were an issue, but we put our heads together and came up with good solutions. I also helped prep the models during the rehearsal, because we had made a few changes due to the room layout.

During the actual show I let the models know when to enter the room and I gave staging queues for everyone. Overall the show was a hit with a full house plus two rows of standing room only. After the show we had a photo opportunity for all of the guests, and managed to get a group shot of the whole team. We then packed up and headed back to Grand Rapids feeling accomplished and proud of our work!

Steampunk Fashion Show modelsThe models rocking some awesome KCAD student-designed steampunk garments

Thanks for tuning in!

Part Four - Makeup and Accessories

by Rachel Krause | Fashion Studies student

Everyone was in charge of a certain part of the show. I was hair, makeup, and accessories coordinator. As a preliminary step of inspiration, our class visited the Grand Rapids clothing archives to get an idea of Victorian area garments and accessories. This was a great start to the mood board I created for the hair and makeup looks for our models. Steampunk is a Victorian style with a punk-industrial attitude.

For hair and makeup I researched the traditional style of the times. Hair was set in curls, then styled and pinned in a numbers of ways. Makeup of the time ranged from very elaborate to very simple depending on your social class. With this information in mind, I took the voluminous curls and added a bit of chaos. The models had their hair set in a traditional way, and it was then overly teased to bring an avant-garde sculpture-esque feeling to the style.

The makeup was a neutral color pallet with a bold, dramatic look to make it more modern. I collaborated with another stylist and a local makeup artist. I created mood boards as a visual reference for all of us to base our creative plans on. After talking to two other freelance artists about the amount of time they would both need with the models, I created a hair and makeup schedule for the models and the stylists to follow.

As for accessories, I worked closely with my fellow Fashion Studies student, Matthew Pozsgay, who was in charge of creating cohesive garment pairings. Most of the looks were student-made, but some outside pieces were needed to complete everything. Matt and I communicated very closely about the overall look we wanted to accomplish. We decided that finding a balance between Steampunk and modern would be the best fit. We visited and borrowed pieces from the Civic Theater in downtown Grand Rapids. This is where a bulk of our accessories such as gloves and hats were found. Finally, we sourced jewelry accessories from the Ferris State Universty art gallery, where there were several pieces on loan from Erik Deary, an artist who creates Steampunk inspired pocket watches, brooches, and necklaces.
As plans progressed, I kept in close contact with the modeling agency and the freelance artists.

The evening before the show I transported all products and tools needed to Kendall, where models would be prepped, so that the morning of the show could go as smooth as possible, and it did! The hair and make up schedule went very close to the plan. After the girls were finished, I took a small bag of touch-up items to the location with me. As for accessories, Matt and I had everything organized for each model, and once we were at the show location we were able to grab the Erik Deary accessories for the final touch.

I really enjoyed my part in this show. I love making schedules and organizing people. I learned a lot about the power of communication and how important it is to make sure that people have similar ideas, expectations and common goals.

Stay tuned for more!

Part Three - Finding A Niche

by Matthew Pozsgay | Fashion Studies student

Styling for a fashion show is quite a bit more difficult and rewarding than one could ever imagine. This past February, I was fortunate enough to be the stylist and merchandise organizer for KCAD and Ferris State University’s Steampunk Fashion Event. The fashion show was put on by KCAD’S Fashion Show Production Class and also featured vignettes created by Ferris’ Hospitality Department.

Students Matthew Pozsgay and Rachel Krause work with Professor Lori Faulkner on looks for the showStudents Matthew Pozsgay (right) and Rachel Krause (foreground left) work with Professor Lori Faulkner (center) on looks for the show

Within the Fashion Show Production Class, we were each assigned roles in order to tackle this project. I was happy to find out that I was selected to be Merchandise Coordinator for the show. I worked closely with Rachel Krause, who was the Accessory and Hair Coordinator, and we created four final looks for the show, showcasing original pieces by KCAD students.

KCADÃ���Ã��Ã�¢Ã��Ã�¯Ã��Ã�¿Ã��Ã�½Ã��Ã�¯Ã��Ã�¿Ã��Ã�½s Fashion Show Production class speaking with representatives from Endless Model Management.KCAD’s Fashion Show Production class speaking with representatives from Endless Model Management

Our plan of action for the styling was to find looks within our student collection and then fill in any holes that we found with borrowed garments from the Civic Theater in Grand Rapids. We were fortunate enough to have an excellent selection from both resources, and we created wonderful looks for our four models, who were generously provided free of charge by Endless Model Management. On top of our wonderful selection of garment and accessories, we also had the chance to use jewelry from Moon Glory Gears accessory pieces that were featured in Ferris’ Fine Art Gallery.

Models Shania, Clara, Sarah, and Ally (left to right) lined up for the final showModels Shania, Clara, Sarah, and Ally (left to right) lined up for the final show

As much fun as I had with the merchandising assignment, I did put in more time and energy than I ever thought I would. With hours dedicated to going through KCAD’s and the Civic Theater’s collections, model fittings, and constant reassigning of garments, Rachel and I managed to fill up our schedules working on this project. I’m thankful, however, for how much time we put into our looks. We received great feedback and recognition after the show and helped make this collaboration a big success.

Three of the four tentative looks, put together by Matthew Pozsgay and Rachel KrauseThree of the four tentative looks, put together by students Matthew Pozsgay and Rachel Krause

Stay tuned for more!

Part Two - A Model Life

by Rose Stone, Fashion Studies student

When I heard that our Runway Production Class would be working with Ferris State University's Hospitality majors to create a runway show for the opening of the Ferris State University Art Gallery, I was absolutely thrilled! This was our first fashion show that we would be producing this semester, and the dreamlike allure of the Steampunk theme had all involved excited for the challenge. The collaboration of different majors is always such a creative way to problem solve as well as get inspired.

Planning of Garments in the KCAD Fashion Studies Lab.Garment designs in the KCAD Fashion Studies Lab

For this Steampunk show, I contributed to the success of our team by working as the model coordinator. This was a change for me, because I have been in a myriad of past fashion shows as a model, so this was a complete change of perspective in terms of what all goes into to selecting, training, and being responsible for the models in a fashion show.

A few model tear sheets from the model application processA few model tear sheets from the model application process

When all of the paperwork was done, the models were prepped with a written summary of the show. That summary was then put into action as we practiced the choreography for the show in the hallway of Kendall, outside of our Fashion Lab, just hours prior to the show. At 3:00pm we hopped on the bus and headed to Ferris. It was my duty to ensure headcounts for the models were accurate so that no one got let behind.

Model, Sarah, from Endless Model Management, came in for a fitting on the Tuesday prior to the show. Sarah from Endless Model Management came in for a fitting on the Tuesday prior to the show

When we got tthere we were put in a staging area where the models could change into their garments. From the time we got to Ferris and the time the show was over was all sort of a dream. My job while there was to be aware of the models and where they were, be sure that they knew what they were going to do, and make sure that it all went off without a hitch!

Models getting prepped the afternoon of the show a Fashion Studies student designer Models getting prepped the afternoon of the show a Fashion Studies student designer

I’m glad that I got assigned this job for our first fashion show, because I felt like it was an area I was familiar with, and it was exciting to be able to work with a real model agency and models. I think that the show was definitely a success - with so many attendees that we had to bring in two more rows of seating! Collaborating with Ferris has been a pleasure and I can’t wait for our next runway show/collaboration.

Steampunk models after the show, posing for photosSteampunk models after the show, posing for photos

Rose Stone (left) poses with model Allyson Faulkner (right)Rose Stone (left) poses with model Allyson Faulkner (right)

Stay tuned to learn more!

Part One - The Seeds of Collaboration

by Lori Faulkner, Fashion Studies Program Chair

The Steampunk Fashion event held on Thursday, February 26 at the Ferris University Center was a partnership between the KCAD Fashion Studies Program and the Ferris Hospitality Management Program. This production began last August when Ferris Art Gallery Director, Carrie Weis Stermer, approached the KCAD Fashion Studies and Ferris Hospitality Programs to combine their efforts to create a Steampunk Event to celebrate the opening of the new gallery. Carrie explained, “The art concept is about an alternate universe where our technology was never created, a world that still employs steam power to manufacture products with references to the Victorian era and the Wild West.”

KCAD and FSU students collaboratingThe whole gang of KCAD and Ferris State University student collaborators!

models showing off the KCAD-created garmentsModels showing off the KCAD student-created garments

The students in the fashion studies program were presented with the steampunk theme and asked to create one project during the fall semester. KCAD's Fashion Show Production Team started work on the event at the beginning of spring semester with a trip to the Grand Rapids Public Museum Archives to look at Steampunk inspired clothing and accessories pulled from the collection by Andrea Melvin. The Team decided on the direction for the show and put out a call for garments. Merchandise coordinator, Matthew Pozsgay, choose the looks to be used in the show from all entries. The students partnered with the Grand Rapids Civic and choose key items from their costume collection to tie the looks together.

A model showcases an outfit created by student Matt Pozsgay.A model showcases an outfit created by Fashion Studies student Matt Pozsgay

Amodel shows off an ensemble by designers, Rose Stone and Erika Gustafson.A model shows off an ensemble created by student designers Rose Stone and Erika Gustafson

The Ferris Hospitality Program was charged with creating backdrop scenes called vignettes for the fashion show which included steampunk inspired inventions including a zeppelin and flying machine. “Planning the transportation of very large and delicate artwork and finding creative ways to suspend large items was a challenge for all of us; however for the students, the education has been unparalleled,” said Amy Dorey, assistant professor in Ferris’ Hospitality program.

A model shows off a stduent fashion design in front of a zeppelin vignette backdropA model shows off a stduent fashion design in front of a zeppelin vignette backdrop

The Model Coordinator, Rose Stone worked with Endless Model Management of Rockford, Michigan for the models for the show. Rachel Krause, Hair, Makeup and Accessories Coordinator decided on the makeup looks and created the hairstyling for the show. Other students enrolled in the fashion show production class who planned the event include Jennie Reid, Director, and Dani Hoag, Stage Manager. Layla Jones, Promotions Manager created the media releases and music playlist for the show and also partnered with the KCAD Digital Media Department to film the event.

A model shows off student designed garments in front of a backdrop designed by Ferris State University Hospitality studentsA model shows off student designed garments in front of a backdrop designed by Ferris State University Hospitality students

The student designers need to understand before they enter the job market that they will be working with many people to create products, and this experience partnering with Ferris helped them understand the process.

Stay tuned to learn more about this exciting collaboration!


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