Oregon, and fashion. It’s hard to get some people’s heads wrapped around this combo, but in terms of accomplished and aspiring creative talent, there is every reason for the two to be synonymous. This is true as well when it comes to fashion education, with Oregon boasting institutions like OSU which actually houses both advanced and undergrad fashion degrees, PSU, Art Institute’s prolific program, and not the least of which, George Fox University. It’s easy to overlook how humble Newberg houses a US News Tier 1 University, and I had the pleasure of meeting a talented and ambitious group of George Fox students from various areas of fashion study. They had converged upon the Fashion Production class, where I visited them just 8 weeks ahead of their annual show. Energy was high, questions flew, and an albeit good-natured and good-humored tension filled the air with the realization of how much remained to be done in such a short time. Welcome to production. I got a chance to chat with some of the principals of the show, their instructor, and student directors, and, true to my usual fascination with fashion design inspirations, talked to some of their designers about just that.
glowbass.com: What are your fashion or other career aspirations?
Student designers Jen Price and Heidi Goetz: Jen: My aspirations are to work in the fashion industries anywhere I can. I just want to be involved in the industry as possibly a buyer or seller or merchandiser.
Heidi: My fashion experience lies within historic costuming for museums and film, and I would love to continue working in that direction. Opera, ballet, Hollywood…they are all aspirations of mine!
Student Director Shannon Danielle Donahue: Someday I aspire to work as a visual merchandiser for a company such as Nordstrom or Anthropologie. I also hope to coordinate events and possibly own my own boutique or bed and breakfast some day.
glowbass.com What made you want to take on this particular job with the fashion show?
Student Director Shannon Danielle Donahue: My whole life has consisted of designing and coordinating events from something as simple as a 50th birthday bash for my mom to a Haiti charity benefit. I love directing and creating something for other people to enjoy. There is nothing better than seeing people’s reactions to the final product and knowing that you produced that.
Student Director McKenzie Gorman: This job pertains more to the fashion design aspect of the show, and I’ll get to learn a lot more about constructing garments by helping Eileen [Instructor].
glowbass.com: Please describe the inspiration for your collection and how you plan to express it in your apparel.
Student designers Jen Price and Heidi Goetz: Our line is titled Qui Vive, meaning alert and on the lookout. Inspiration was found in the home furnishings store, Ikea, which is so popular with people our age. We wanted to explore what their style, mood, and patterns would look like in apparel. Several fabrics from their textile department are appearing in our line, but we also are working to express the boldness of Ikea alongside its traditionalism.
What atrracted Instructor Eileen Celentano to teaching?
Celentano: I had incredible professors at UCLA and mentors. They were so dedicated and inspiring. They would spend their non-teaching time making art and clothing. I decided at that time that at some point in my life I would love to give back, to encourage others to follow their passions, their dreams.
glowbass.com: What is the favorite part of your job instructing students in fashion?
Celentano: To see the growth and development of others doing what they love to do, to assist them in achieving their dreams, to witness the wonderful creativity and development of those creative thoughts and ideas, to see others become successful.
Couldn’t say it better myself so I shant try. Needless to say, never underestimate the ambitions of a young fashionista. I was taken aback by the thoughfulness of their answers, and along with the rest of G Fox’s student designs, I look forward to seeing IKEA walking down the runway.