Behind the “Euphoria” fashion show

Story by Jasmine Arroyo, photos by Alyssa Monroe

The 2022 DMACC fashion show revolves around the idea of avant-garde fashion and focuses on the concept of using sustainable products to design fashionable clothing and items in collaboration with the date of the fashion show being on Earth Day. The show was held Friday, April 22 in the Black Box Theater at the Ankeny DMACC campus.

The show is overseen by Ann Gadbury, a fashion design professor at DMACC. Gadbury has always been interested in fashion ever since she was a child; her mom was a family consumer science teacher and taught fashion and sewing.

In her time outside of teaching, Gadbury works on designs for herself and her son. She also works on alterations and a bit of graphic design on the side.

Gadbury’s love for teaching fashion comes from seeing the creativity come alive in students as they work on their pieces. She also enjoys viewing as her students grow in their confidence and pride in the pieces they make over the semester.

When it comes to the fashion show, Gadbury is most fond of the excitement that can be felt in the room as students are getting ready to show off the fashion pieces they have been working hard on for the past weeks.

Gadbury teaches a class at DMACC that is in charge of organizing the fashion show. Students do everything from choosing the theme of the show, which is Euphoria this year, to decorations fundraising, working as makeup artists, and finding models to walk the runway. You name it and the students in this class have done it themselves with the help of Gadbury along the way.

“Every year the students are always upping the bar, they see last year’s show and they are like we can do better we can do something more, the ability to find different themes and ideas and the amount of dedication and work that the students put into it is so refreshing you can tell they are passionate,” Gadbury said

When starting her garment, second-year student Natalie Phillips did not know what she was going to do, but after thinking for some time she pulled inspiration from her senior year prom dress. Philips is not experienced in sewing and this is her first time making a garment, so cutting fabric and applying it has been a struggle, but she has learned to be patient through this process.

Philips’s favorite aspect of making her garment has been putting the marbles onto the dress: “I am excited to see how it looks once it comes out because when you look at it closely you can see your reflection.” Philips plans on pursuing a career in interior design but has fun trying out the fashion path in making a garment.

Participating in the DMACC fashion show for the first time is Ankeny high school student Carson Doss. Doss’s interest in fashion started around his sophomore year of high school during the COVID-19 quarantine. During this time he learned to express himself through the pieces he was making.

Doss designed a 60s mod silhouette dress with comic books as the pattern design. This dress is more particular in the sense that the silhouette required Doss to make the dress from scratch, which is more of a challenge when it comes to first-time sewing. Doss currently does drag as a hobby but would like to turn this hobby into a career later in life. “I want to be able to create my custom to perform or help others create their customs,” Doss said.

While the fashion pieces are the focal point of the show, there are also students in the class who worked on the interior design of the show space. One of these students is Elizabeth Bartels. Bartels is going to school to get her interior design certificate. Deciding whether to do a garment or an interior design was a tough decision for Bartels but in the end, the interior felt like the better option.

Following the idea of reusing products, Bartels decided to make a table out of products found in her garage that were not being used.

Bartels discusses the struggles of making the table from scratch: “The most challenging part was probably the base part of it because I had to find scrap wood to get it to stay stable … I wanted to make it to where if someone wanted to place something on it, it wouldn’t fall over,” Bartels said.

“I think our show provides an opportunity for many programs to get involved in a fashion event that is produced by fashion students, but I think there are still a lot of opportunities for other disciplines to get involved and I would love to continue to grow and see that happen,” Gadbury said.

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