Restore the Runway supports Habitat for Humanity

Restore the Runway supports Habitat for Humanity

By Betty O’Neill-Roderick
Special to the Beacon Journal

Published: December 9, 2012 – 11:25 PM
In Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O’Hara made a ball gown out of the parlor drapes. However she had nothing on the students at the Kent State University Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, who used newspaper, pizza boxes, bubble wrap, vinyl records, CDs and packing foam to create fashions for Restore the Runway.

The fashion show at the Kent State University Ballroom Saturday evening raised funds for Habitat for Humanity of Portage County. Senior students Daniel McKenna and Tye Clarke produced the show, which featured 100 models, all students at the university. Design students worked in teams to create garments from recycled materials and second-hand items that they deconstructed and repurposed into a new design.

Professor Vince Quevedo, who was commentator for the show, said, “You’ll see skirts become shirts and shirts become pants, all designed by freshman Fashion Visuals students.” The goal of the class is to make the students think creatively and also to get them involved in community service.

Guests were welcomed by Katlyn Carter, Alex Evans, Danielle Cefaratti, Tara Melton, Megan Briggs and Tara Casper, all members of the Habitat for Humanity chapter at Kent State University. The chapter is currently working on two houses in Atwater in conjunction with Metis Construction, according to Brian Reitz, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Portage County.

As fashion students glided down the runway to music by Dominick Rao of DRao Productions, Samantha Taylor stood by with tape, just in case the stunning garments needed a quick repair.

Special guests were Dave and Jane Palmstrom, founders of the Portage Chapter of Habitat, who enjoyed the show, along with Wayland and Joan Ritzman, Thad and Michelle Gauthier and J.R. Campbell, director of the Fashion School.

At intermission, Leigh West and Kara Oberdove introduced the Nova Jazz Singers, a group of student jazz artists directed by Dr. Chris Venesile.

The team comprised of Andrea Konopinski, Victoria Wallis and Emilie Richer took first place in the competition with a dress made from magazines, modeled by Electa Royal.

“We stayed up for three days making the rosettes from magazine pages,” said Konopinski. The team had two designs in the Top 10, including another garment modeled by Becket Thompson.

Runners-up were Morgan Woods, Annabelle Hemmeter and Madalynne Stanic, who designed a ball gown modeled by Emily Brogan.