Bright lights, a long runway, the latest fashions, dozens of models right here in Western Wisconsin. This week students at UW-Stout got to showcase their style.
In today's Wandering Wisconsin segment, we're backstage at a fashion show in Menomonie.
Kathy Kujawa UW-Stout, Assistant Professor: We're ready to go everyone's lining up. This is our Silhouettes 2008 Fashion Show. It's a yearly event and it's really the cumulation of an entire year's work. It's everyone from freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors. We like to have every involved from the first year they get here. 100 people work on the show and also put their clothes in the show.
Hannah Spies Student Show Coordinator and Megan Wendt
Student Show Coordinator: It's like having a second job. It gets chaotic from March on.
Teacher: We really want to push the experience. We tell them to do it for themselves to find out if they want to be here because you really have to have the passion to work this hard. They go to class all day, then they have show meetings all night, then they go home and do homework all night.
Students: It's the process from start to finish . We do the design, pattern making, all the way to the finished product. We learn everything we need to know at Stout to prepare us.
Teacher: They start sketching in December. Then, over Christmas break they shop for fabrics, choose their models, and work on patterns and fittings. Then we reject their ideas, make them redo it until we accept them. It takes a long time and a lot of work.
Students: Sewing on the buttons took 10 hours. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it. It's awesome to see it go down the runway.
Teacher: We're in the middle of nowhere, let's face it. We're not in a big city. our crowd appreciates real clothes. You don't see a lot of craziness. There's a lot of real clothes on our runway.
Students: Bobbin Magazine called us the best kept secret in apparel education. We are a small town, but it helps us to find different kinds of inspiration instead of the same things in the city. You have to dig deeper, but it's there. It makes you think.
Teacher: This year we have lingerie, swimwear, resort wear, mens wear, evening wear, cocktail dresses, suits, some clubwear, and lots of dresses. Lots of dresses this year.
Students: It's the cumulation of a full years work so seeing the final product go down the runway is great.
Teacher: I'm happy if they're happy. To see them grow as designers, as creative thinkers... Students that have had problems and disasters and they're crying and they don't want to go on and they want to quit and they pick themselves up and they fix it and it's something beautiful to see.
This year 240 designs made their way down the runway.