Behind the Runway: 2018 Fashion Show Spectrum

Teagan Smith


April 6th! Is it in your calendars yet? Mark it now, because the tickets are selling FAST! CSU’s annual Fashion Show will lighting up the stage this year with garment collections like nothing before. Each year, students in the department challenge themselves to create better and brighter designs than the years past.

Thompson Jacket, wool slim fit suit jacket – $190, Thompson suit pants, wool slim fit suit pants $109 Flex, wrinkle free, slim fit dress shirt – $44.99 Chambray tie- $24.99 Chambray pocket square $14.99 Model : Max Fries Photo by: Teagan Smith
Floral Dress- $29.99 Hoop Earrings $2.99 Suede moto jacket $29.99 Braided Burks $14.99  Model : Emma Robinson Photo by: Teagan Smith


We met with Carol Engel-Enright, a professor in the Department of Design and Merchandising at CSU, and asked for a ‘behind the runway’ look at the timeline, and what must be done to create SPECTRUM 2018.

During the Fall semester, directors from the previous year create the artwork for the show and generate sponsorship packets. The event averages about 30 generous sponsors to fully fund each year’s student-run show. The directors must raise sponsorships, and be persistent in trend research to create the perfect theme for the following show each year.

The name is chosen a year before the actual event, and reservations are made to present at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, CO. This year, Spectrum will focus on sharing the variation of colors and bringing to light, the actual spectrum. Designers tease their audience of what styles they may see in the show, by sharing their inspiration through @CSUFashionShow on Instagram.

A class of students work tirelessly throughout the semester to make sure every thread is in place for the event. Consisting of four committees, they audition models to present the garments, stage the choreography, and work with professionals to create the perfect mood through lighting and sound.

As a model in the show for two years now, I’ve seen an outside perspective on all the hard work and long hours that the students partake in to create the event. This year, the audition had lines wrapping throughout the halls of Gifford, energized with models eager to strut what they’ve got. The auditions are followed by fittings, finding on average 2-3 garments per model. The students running the show take photos of the models in the outfits, and then review them to finalize which models, will be walking in which collection.

The doors at Lincoln open to CSU’s Design and Merchandising students the day before the show for Dress Rehearsal and that day may be one of the busiest I’ve ever seen. Models are pointed to their rooms to try on their garments for final touches and hit the runway to perfect their walks for the big day.

The High Impact Practice of CSU’s Fashion Show prepares students for the real world industry through deadlines and teamwork. The CSU’s Fashion Show experience is like no other, both for the audience and students involved. Do you want to know what the future of fashion looks like? Come to the show and find out, you don’t want to miss these collections.