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O’More College of Architecture & Design Hosts Annual Fashion Show Coined ‘A Show with a Purpose’

Students design for a cause through partnerships with Tennessee Donor Services, Daybreak Arts and Pfaff Studio

The O’More College of Architecture and Design at Belmont University hosted its annual Fashion Show on Wednesday, April 26 in the Curb Event Center. The event was O’More’s first on-campus Fashion Show since 2019 and served as an opportunity to showcase the work of fashion design students. 

“This remarkable collection of work reveals the vibrancy of our students’ creativity and the fashion program’s tailored fit with Belmont’s goals to develop people of character and purpose, embrace inclusive excellence, and amplify inspirational storytelling,” said Jhennifer Amundson, Dean of O’More College. “The designs reflect each student’s vision, values, and sense of purpose, the development of which is a primary goal in the fashion programs at O’More. While this mission-based approach and emphasis on adaptive and inclusive design differentiates our academic programs, it is the creative work of our gifted students that truly distinguish us.” 

In line with the “Show with a Purpose” theme, the evening featured a partnership with Tennessee Donor Services that provided an opportunity for purposeful design and raising awareness for the lifesaving and changing impacts of organ, eye and tissue donation. Seven junior design students were paired with participants who have been directly impacted by organ donation—including those who received donations themselves and those who lost loved ones who chose to become donors. The students who worked with these participants worked with their models to hear their stories of the gift of life, and design custom pieces that celebrated their story. 

When deciding her design direction, junior fashion design major Macey Graham spoke with model Brittany Cameron to get to know her son Nathaniel, whom she lost last year. They talked about Brittany’s style preferences, along with Nathaniel’s interests—the outdoors, Japanese culture, snakes and cars, among many things. “I didn’t want it to be about how he passed, Brittany said.” But about his life before. Celebrating that he continues to give life. I think it represents him, and that’s why I’m doing it — it’s for my kid.”

This year also continued the Fashion Show’s partnership with Daybreak Arts, a social enterprise nonprofit founded by Belmont alumna Nicole Brandt Minyard, that creates artistic and economic opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity by providing them access to the creative resources needed to achieve personal fulfillment and success. O’More’s sophomore design students created collections inspired by their works of art that will also raise awareness and funds for the organization. 

O’More senior and Novato, California native Alisha Ascencio created a visual representation for the boldest version of self for her senior collection design, naming it ERA. “I’m a strong believer that tapping into this magic is as simple as slipping into a power suit,” she said. “This has always been part of the allure of fashion for me: the idea that wielding fashion intentionally can change how the world sees you and how you see yourself.” 

Pfaff Studio, the world’s largest sewing machine company was an additional partner of this year’s show, inviting students and faculty member Jenny Kemala to their headquarters to use the PFAFF® creative icon™ 2 sewing and embroidery machine and mySewnet™ Embroidery Software. Students designed capsules for Spring/Summer 2024 using the machine provided by the company. 

“It was an honor to partner with this year‘s organizations to emphasize how art and design can impact our community,” said Jamie Atlas, Chair of Fashion Design & Merchandising at O’More. “We are delighted to be a part of this meaningful experience for our students that allows them to see the power of their creativity at work. We are especially excited to see our graduates use their talents in the industry and welcome returning students for the next academic year.” 

To view additional images from the 2023 O’More Fashion Show.

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