Three sold-out shows for Fashion Institute’s “Midnight Metro”

Photos by Lara Jones

Story by Bella Perez

The DMACC Fashion Institute hosted its 10th Annual Fashion Show on April 18 and 19 in the Building 6 Black Box Theater.

This year’s theme was “Midnight Metro,” featuring an eclectic crossover between city nightlife and everyday commuters on the subway in the city that never sleeps, New York City.

All three Midnight Metro shows were sold out. The Black Box Theater was transformed into a New York City subway station, creating an immersive experience for the audience. The mock subway was equipped with working doors that would reveal the models and allow them to walk the runway.

Ann Gadbury is the fashion professor who oversees the show and over the years she said one of her favorite parts is seeing the confidence the students gain.

“The students who break out of their shells go into their careers with less fear because of the skills and confidence they were able to find from the show or the program as a whole,” Gadbury said.

Second-year student Jaelie Noglo, from Togo, is the director of this year’s fashion show.

For Noglo, fashion has been something that has been a part of her life since childhood. She loved playing dress-up and would watch award shows to see what celebrities wore. When she got to DMACC and started in the fashion program she realized how it was one of the only things she felt passionate about and saw as a career.

The passion and inspiration behind her pieces come from Zendaya and her stylist Law Roach. She talked about how they have become an iconic duo throughout their careers and are continuing to grow with each other as they evolve as people.

“They come out with something incredible every time and I hope one day I can reach that level of fantastic in the future,” Noglo said.

Noglo said the biggest struggle she has faced in producing the fashion show was the fear she felt over having to lead and direct the show.

“In the beginning, I was scared to go out for the opportunity but it has now allowed me to realize that I can do things as a leader.”

Despite her fears over the show, she said is still excited to see everyone’s final piece and for the public to see how everyone’s hard work paid off.

Sal Ludwig is one of the designers whose pieces will be displayed in the show.

Their passion for fashion comes from how it allows people to express themselves. They talked about how it’s often the first thing you notice about someone when you meet them and it also allows you to understand a lot about a person.

Ludwig found inspiration for one of their pieces from two Beanie Baby stuffed animals. Ludwig said the animals are friends who wanted to be friends forever and by incorporating them into their design they were able to do just that.

For students involved in the show, the biggest struggle has been trying to balance the show, other classes, and everyday life. But despite that, they are looking forward to seeing what everyone has done and having the show come to fruition.

Kaylie Coggins is the show’s community and vendor coordinator, and she also contributed pieces for the show.

Coggins has been interested in fashion since she was a kid. She began by drawing dresses and making paper dolls. The fashion show gave her an opportunity to pursue her passion into something greater.

She found inspiration in her designs from nature. She talked about how she is quite the homebody and that is one of the reasons she felt drawn towards nature. She pulled ideas from things like trees, the colors found in nature, and the overall feeling she has while outside.   

Her biggest struggle had been time management between regular classes, the show, and making sure her design was done in time for the show. Despite that, she stated that the end result would pay off in the end no matter how stressful.

“It’s a little cheesy but our team has been really great and it has been inspiring to see how hard everyone has been working,” Coggins said.

Dre Guhnics is both a designer and model in this year’s show.

He talked about fashion being something that allows him but also everyone to express themselves in the truest form.

“Fashion is mad cool and it’s an outlet that allows you to use your imagination to do whatever you want,” Guhnics said.

His inspiration for the show comes from British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and the feeling of being free. Guhnics said the feeling of being free in general comes from having confidence and feeling good about what you wear and not caring about what others think.

His biggest takeaway from the show as a whole is the experience it gives him. He said going forward, he will be able to use the skills he has acquired over the last couple of months.

The show ended with the crew thanking everyone who had helped them along the way and who made the last ten years of fashion shows a reality.

Fashion professor Gadbury reflected on the show: “When I launched the fashion show back in 2015, I envisioned it as a valuable experience for students. However, I was uncertain about its longevity beyond the first year. Fast forward to today, after ten successful shows, I am truly amazed by the remarkable evolution of the event. It has surpassed all my initial expectations, blossoming into a vibrant celebration of creativity, talent, and unwavering perseverance.”

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