Norton Fashion students show off their skills in sustainable sources runway show featuring man’s best friend.
What more could you ask for this fall season than a glamorous canine fashion show, where the mutts are adorned in reimagined, recycled garments designed by the fashion students at the Norton School of Human Ecology?
Students, employees, dog and fashion lovers alike, gathered to catch the latest canine looks at the annual Dogs N Denim Fashion Show hosted by the Fashion Industry’s Science and Technology students and faculty.
The Dogs N Denim Fashion Show was first created several years ago by associate professors of practice Charlette Padilla and Elizabeth Heuisler. They believe that this event is the perfect student-led project, as it allows students to learn and experience all the essential components of designing, creating, promoting, and running a fashion event. This year, the event was spearheaded by new member of the team, associate professor of practice Hope Simpara. She and the students of FITS 215 spent weeks planning the event, from setting the stage to designing and hand-crafting the collection.
“The students were able to really be hands-on with this project. They had to do some event planning, work on graphics, think about social media, work with different vendors and entities in the community, and create a sewing sample book that allowed them to develop the initial techniques and familiarity with a sewing machine,” Simpara said. “This first-hand knowledge and experience sets them up to continue to grow their design journey.”
Nearly a hundred people gathered on the University of Arizona Mall stage to catch a glimpse of this year’s program, The Mutt Gala. The perimeter of the venue was lined with exhibitions of the students’ design portfolios and the main stage was taken over by master of ceremonies, Edith Head (aka Susan Claassen).
One by one, dogs strutted down the red carpet to show off the hand-designed capes that were available to bid on at the event’s silent auction, of which the entirety of proceeds benefited fashion students’ clubs.
“This whole experience has definitely impacted me in more ways than I could have imagined,” said Maddie Raeann Smith, a senior majoring in Fashion and Consumers and aspiring celebrity wardrobe stylist “Prior to FITS 215 with Hope Simpara, I had never constructed anything on a sewing machine, however when I got the chance, I found myself in the sewing lab for multiple hours a day getting to know the process of what it takes to produce quality garments on these machines.”
The annual Dogs N Denim fashion show is a beloved event by everyone at the Norton School and in the Tucson community. Students are already looking forward to selecting the theme for next year’s event!
Interested in donating or purchasing an outfit from the collection?
Contact Hope Simpara at firstname.lastname@example.org