Ones To Watch…

Tradition and Innovation was the theme this year at the Abright College Annual fashion showcase & runway show held Saturday, May 10th 2014. Before the runway show started, the fashion department showcased the final projects from the 2014 graduating class. Final projects demonstrated an emphasis on specialty design including costume design, fashion illustration, accessory & jewelry design, and portfolio display. Other work included in the showcase featured illustrations and storyboards from sophomore and juniors enrolled in the fashion program.

Costume Design

Costumes designed for Civil War Preservation Ball

Fashion Illustration Class

Examples of Fashion Illustration class work bottom: Ryan Schaffer posing next to her sketch


Amanda Way  Senior Seminar Project

Amanda Way Senior Seminar Project examined 20 top fashion icons over the last 100 years and influence on trends.

Accessory Design

Accessory Design


Amber Grace (Founder, Director) & Elizabeth Witman (Senior Volunteer) started G.R.A.C.E., Girls Rising Above Circumstances to Exceed, a non-profit mentor organization dedicated to empowering girls as part of their                                   2014 Senior Seminar Project

Amber Grace & Elizabeth Witman

Amber Grace & Elizabeth Witman


Four of the senior student designers featured in the showcase and the runway show were gracious enough to let me interview them about their final projects.


Tanesha Brightful fashion design & merchandising major made a major change after she spent a semester working with jewelry. Tanesha always thought she wanted to be a fashion design in the traditional sense, until she spent a semester interning with local costume jewelry manufacturer, Sorrelli Inc. Her love for design was rekindled so much that she was inspired to create her own jewelry collection. Tanesha’s 23 piece collection, titled “Ugly Duckling, “was designed and created using old unwanted jewelry, from friends and family. She chose to recycle the pieces, that would inevitably end up in a landfill somewhere and create something new and beautiful.

Tanesha Brightful senior seminar project titled "Ugly Duckling."

Tanesha Brightful senior seminar project titled “Ugly Duckling.”

Stephanie O. Reyes has an impressive portfolio that reflects her love of art, photography, and fashion. Taking photos and capturing a moment in time is Stephanie’s favorite medium. Stephaine creates lookbooks depicting products worn by models on location or in the studio. Look at some of her work.


Work & images by Stephanie O. Reyes

Van Gilyard used his technical draping and patternmaking skills to create three menswear pieces. The designer said, “I wanted to create a collection of blazers that could translate from school, or work to evening that were well constructed and affordable for a male between the ages of 17-24.” Van used denim twill, wool, and dyed cotton twill to add versatility and broader appeal. He is currently pursuing a career as a technical apparel designer in the fashion industry.

Van Gilyard Logo & Portfolio

Van Gilyard Logo & Portfolio


Van Gilyard Menswear Blazer Collection

Ebony Henson, fashion design & merchandising major, combined her interest in African culture and history, with her passion for fashion to create a collection of skirts for the runway show. Ebony designed three different skirts, in modern cuts, that were constructed using traditional African textiles. For Ebony’s senior seminar fashion merchandising class, she had the opportunity to create an African wedding magazine. After graduation, Ebony plans to attend graduate school in Atlanta to study international business. Her dream is to start her own fashion business and franchise in Africa or the Caribbean. Ebony was the winner of “The Best of Runway.”


Skirt Collection by Ebony Henson images by Albright Professor & Professional Photographer  John Robert Pankratz

Backstage, the designers took one last look at their garments, before the house lights came up, and the models hit the catwalk. Thirty-five garments representing the graduation fashion design class showcased a variety of ready to wear designs for women and men. Garments constructed in woven and knit fabrics for career, casual, sportswear, menswear, and evening wear.

Garments from the Runway Show

More garments from the Runway Show

N08ff4614-2 g     N08tt4673   Following the Runway Show the judges tallied the votes before the awards were given to the designers.


Judges: (left to right) R. Scott French (Fashion Designer and co-founder of ;  Melissa McGraw (Owner and Founder of The Fashion Potential) ; and Pamela Ptak (Designer, Instructor & Founder of Arts & Fashion Institute in Riegelsville, PA)

David Tanner the director of the Center for the Arts at Albright College thanked all who help to make the show a success. Then it was time for Doreen Burdalski, Chair of the Fashion Department to announce the WINNERS!


David M. Tanner Director, Center for the Arts at Albright College


Doreen Burdalski, Chair of the Fashion Department standing with several of the winners.

Congratulations to the Senior Fashion Design & Merchandising Graduates! I am sure we will see BIG things from you.



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