CSU’s fashion show ‘Xposure’ highlights student design

Walker Discoe

Every year, Colorado State University’s department of design and merchandising presents the CSU fashion show, showcasing the capstone work of 15-25 students and their work designing and producing a cohesive line of garments. 2019’s theme was “Xposure,” defined in the show as “an act or instance or revealing or uncovering, unveiling, unmasking.” This year, 19 designers embodied these ideals by designing garments that both shocked and surprised the audience, creating a sense of mystery and wonder.

One such designer was Cameron Utter, featured in the “Dreamscape” portion of the show. His all-encompassing design aesthetic drove the creation of whimsical, fantastic and almost otherworldly garments. This year’s fashion show was an important event for Utter; his collection won the award for Best Construction.

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“I’m feeling elated, euphoric, overjoyed, proud, accomplished, a lot of things,” Utter said after the show. “I have worked on my collection for 11 months, and it only stopped in February, but I never stopped working on my outfit. I love this collection with all my life. … For me, this feels like one of the biggest accomplishments I’ve ever had.”

Other designers echoed Utter’s sentiments, like Mika Bernal, also featured in “Dreamscape” and winner of the Most Innovative award, who still couldn’t believe the event was over.

“I was not expecting to win anything,” Bernal said. “I was expecting to come to the show, have a nice night, see my collection and then fly back to New York. I wasn’t expecting anything this big to happen.”

I think that everyone here was impressed with the quality of the garments, as well as how designers take a concept and develop it.”-Carol Engel-Enright, internship coordinator for Apparel and Design program.

The overwhelming attitude surrounding the show was one of pride, not only with the designers and their work but with parents, faculty and friends of the designers. Perhaps most proud was Carol Engel-Enright, the internship coordinator for the program and host of the event.

“That was an exciting show. … I thought it was so beautiful,” Engel-Enright said. “And I know all the ins and outs, what could have gone wrong, and nothing went wrong. It was like perfection. And all the designers, they’re beautiful. They just keep getting better and better every year; they’re so on trend. … I sit there with the judges, and they go backstage and look at the clothes before the show, and they can’t believe the quality. A lot of programs don’t teach construction; we teach design and production together. And I think that everyone here was impressed with the quality of the garments, as well as how designers take a concept and develop it.”  

With this year’s show over, Engel-Enright looks to the future of the CSU fashion show and is excited by the possibilities.

“Well, the process begins anew, and the next class will be coming up with the theme for next year in the coming couple of weeks, and then it’s another year of development and practice, trial and error,” said Engel-Enright. “You know, we’re really doing theatre here but with things that are tangible and beautiful, things that could really go to market and be successful. It’s just a lot of fun, and I’m really excited.”

Walker Discoe can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @wdiscoe.