Design and Dionysus

Last Friday the Festival of the Arts (FOTA) kicked off its 2005 season at the Smart Museum, where an assortment of French wines and grape leaves greeted several hundred buzzing students, primed for the evening’s fashion show. Promptly at 10:05, with the Smart lobby packed, second-year fashion designer Andrea Fjeld’s student models got the party started, introduced by one of several well-built, shirtless men wielding billboards.

Leading off with yesterday’s news—a dress made of old Maroons—Fjeld featured everyday products in her designs, including playing cards, electrical tape, and garbage bags. She wrapped up with her most crowd-pleasing numbers: a slender dress made entirely of neckties and a revealing ensemble featuring a white fluffy skirt and a Saran Wrap top.

Next up, first-year Elizabeth Shaeffer favored bold colors, including an aqua-green corset that one fan termed “gorgeous.” Then second-year Lila McDowell offered a short, dark assortment, set to Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus.” Part of an eccentric, hula-hoop heavy collection, Asta Hostetter’s (AB’04) most popular piece was a bright pink ruffled dress, though the enthusiastic response likely owed more to the model’s decision to expose her knickers than anything else.

With her name scrawled across the final hunk’s chest, second-year Alta Buden presented the show’s last set, an eclectic compilation featuring the classic T “Where Fun Goes to Die,” an 80s-style ripped yellow top with blue knee-highs, and a man in a sarong. For the grand finale, two of Alta’s models staged a mock fight.

When the spectale ended, the models took a bow, sending the crowd outside to finish off the last of the grape leaves, and, of course, wine.

John Fitzgerald

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Photos (from left to right): Andrea Fjeld's playing-card number; Asta Hostetter's ballerina; the models take a curtain call.

Photos by Lila McDowell

May 20, 2005