‘Threads Fashion ID’ showcases diversity, inclusion

Designer Chloe Tugetske walks behind her clothing collection "Pretty in Punk" on April 6 in the Biosciences Building.

Witch hats, veils and dogs were all various accessories seen accompanying models strutting down the runway April 6 in the Central Michigan University Biosciences building.

The unique assortment of accessories were just a surface look into the overall diverse theme presented in the 21st annual Threads Fashion Show.

The theme, “Threads Fashion ID,“ focused on inclusion and diversity by highlighting that fashion is for everyone. Twenty-four student designers incorporated the theme into their 27 collections and brought it to life through 122 student models. 

Threads producer and Bay City senior Alivia Ferguson said this year's show had more models than ever.

In addition to the number of models growing, the location for Threads moved from Finch Fieldhouse to the Biosciences building.

"Whenever you make changes there is a little bit of growing pain," said Ian Mull, Threads faculty adviser. "I feel that this Threads (went) pretty well considering all of the changes we made."

The show was a sold-out event, with an audience of more than 1,000 people lining the runway to enjoy student designs.

Grand Blanc graduate student Cecilia Alfaro, Threads producer, said that, similar to past years, the collections included a large number of dresses. 

Clothing by designer Li Jiang is shown during the Threads Fashion Show on April 6 in the Biosciences Building.

The collections ranged from bridal wear, mystic fashion, to gothic designs and everyday wear.

"For the past 20 years, we have had the wonderful privilege of honoring our student designers within CMU's Fashion Merchandising and Design program," Alfaro said.

Timothy Van Atter, Carmel, Indiana graduate student and model, wore a piece from the collection "The Earth's Bounty," by student designer Tiffany Griffiths. 

"I think our collection is really cool because it has a spectrum of formality starting with least formal to most formal, sort of a big, medium and small sort of thing,” Van Atter said.

He wore a dress-shirt dyed with an avocado pit, and a vest and pants that were dyed with blueberries.

“The title of 'Earth’s Bounty' works really well with all the natural dyes and it is all very eco-friendly," Van Atter said.

Flint senior and model Brandon York also modeled for Griffiths and wore an embroidered shirt with loose-bottom pants, both dyed with indigo.

York said the collection gives more of a classical design to the show, which he said he hasn't seen much in past Threads shows, or fashion in general lately. York also attested to the spike in diversity in this year's Threads show.  

“I have seen more diversity in this show than I have in the past,” York said. “As boundaries are being pushed and more inclusiveness is being widely accepted through the fashion industry as a whole, I see CMU and especially Threads representing that well.”

Designer Liz Skryzmoski waves during the Threads Fashion Show on April 6 in the Biosciences Building.

Student designer and Erie senior Elizabeth Skryzmoski created Threads' first ever completely plus-size collection, entitled "Water Ways."

“There are three main elements to my collection," she said. "One: Everything is designed to fit me. Two: Everything is designed to have different dye techniques. And three: Everything is designed off of the way Lake Erie looks during the summer."

Skryzmoski said that since she is plus-size, a size 20, she wanted to design clothing that she could wear, especially if she was going to spend nearly $1,000 on the collection.

“I did more of a lifestyle collection, so following someone through their everyday life,” Skryzmoski said.

Her collection had several different outfit designs including a bikini, a tent dress, a halter top, shorts with the shape of the Great Lakes sewn into the pockets and a denim skirt that stretches.

“This is what fashion is to me, this is my fashion ID. This is what I envision — what I think fashion should be,” Skryzmoski said.

Clothing by designer Kathryn Montgomery is shown during the Threads Fashion Show on April 6 in the Biosciences Building.

Six designers received awards for their collections:

  • Kathryn Montgomery- Avant-Garde Award, Best in Show and Viewers' Choice Award
  • Tiffany Griffiths- Textile Design award
  • Holly Bazarewski- Bridal award
  • Dani Chen- New Comer award
  • Analiese Zaleski- Creative Yet Wearable award
  • Li Jiang- Graduate Student award 

The winners of the Ultimate Cotton Influencer Competition, which challenged CMU students to create and dedicate an Instagram post to textile and fiber cotton, were also announced during the Threads Fashion Show. Out of 81 entires, eight winners were awarded:

  • Ruestasha Walker: Lifestyle Video winner
  • Grace Woudenberg: Lifestyle Carousel winner and Viewers Choice 1st place
  • Diana Mejia-Lugo and Brianna Borowiak: Sustainability Video winners
  • Zoie Vanderbush: Sustainability Carousel winner and Viewers Choice 2nd place
  • Mariah Bahr and Rachael Thomas: Luxury Video winners
  • Alivia Ferguson: Luxury Carousel winner