Threads Fashion Show models, advisor talk fashion and its role in culture

'I can be a different person every day'


Threads Fashion Show models Dyland Clifford and Jill Harrington pose during a publicity photo shoot. The annual student-run production is scheduled for 8 p.m. April 15 at Finch Fieldhouse. 

Threads, a student-run production at Central Michigan University, is hosting its annual fashion show at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, at the Finch Field House. 

Ian Mull, faculty advisor and professor in the fashion and interior design and merchandising department, said “Threads Fashion Show is a student-run event that is put on annually by the majority of our students in fashion merchandising and design. But it really is a multidisciplinary event.” 

Students can get involved in Threads in a variety of ways. According to, students can showcase their skills and talents in not just fashion design or modeling, but also in areas like photography, graphic design, public relations, stage lighting and design and video production. Mull said different departments get involved in marketing and broadcasting of the event. And if students want to model or design for their shows, he said Threads is always taking applications. 

Mull emphasized that this production showcases CMU students' talent.

“It gives [students] a broad skillset they can apply to any industry,” he said. Whether students learn teamwork, organization, designing and producing, networking, or marketing, he said there is something for everyone.

“All the different places, all the different departments, all the different people that Threads reaches … it’s a lot," Mull said. "It reaches almost every part of this university.”

This year, the theme is “Cosmic Odyssey - Fashion’s Final Frontier." Photos of models on give a glimpse into what these styles will look like, with bold colors, black leather and vintage jackets. 

According to, Threads collaborated with the Fashion Merchandising and Design Department, the Department of Communication Sciences Disorders, the Clarke Historical Library and student designers to create dis(ABLED) BEAUTY. Dis(ABLED) BEAUTY was a design competition that created an exhibition designed to highlight the importance and fight the stigma surrounding prostheses devices for people who are disabled. 

With this collaboration in mind, Threads is incorporating “adaptive garments” to their fashion show this year. 

“There’s certain groups that aren’t represented on the runway. One of those groups is people with disabilities,” Mull said. “How can we make fashion more inclusive?”

“Making [fashion] accessible to all different types of bodies was our goal this year,” he said. 

Getting a glimpse into Mull’s classroom, his students were busy discussing the upcoming show. Threads is a big part of Mull’s life, and he shared his enthusiasm for it. 

“It is always so amazing to me to just really watch how much [Threads students] grow and develop as human beings, as people, as professionals,” he said. “I see the benefits firsthand.”

What fashion means to CMU students

Dylan Clifford, a sophomore and fashion design major, as well as a model in this year’s show, discussed the link between fashion and personal expression. 

“Fashion shows each person’s inner workings and how they represent themselves,” Clifford said. “It’s fun to see everyone’s choices, what they choose to wear and how they wear it.”

Jill Harrington, a senior majoring in journalism, is modeling this year for the second time. She talked about why she enjoys fashion.

“I can be a different person everyday depending on what I wear," she said. "It also impacts my attitude and makes me more confident to be wearing something that I feel cool in."

For junior and fashion merchandising major Cheveney Koski, this will be her first time modeling with Threads. She expressed her excitement over getting the chance to change the fashion industry as people know it today — how models must be built one way and be one size.

“No one looks the same, no one has to dress the same,” she said. 

Maleah Yap, a freshman majoring in anthropology, will be modeling in Threads for the first time. She talked about what fashion means to her and how it’s important to look outside the box. 

“There are no boundaries. You can do whatever you want with it. They’re clothes. Wear them how you want to,” Yap said. 

Laura Lubahn, a freshman and advertising major, agreed Yap. 

“I wish more people played around with different [clothing] pieces,” she said.

Jude Eragbai, majoring in finance as a freshman, modeled in the African Student Association (ASA) fashion show. Eragbai wore traditional African attire and walked the runway to Afrobeats, music popular to the West African region. He said the ASA fashion show allowed him to share his culture with other people.

“It meant a lot to me,” Eragbai said.

Taking into consideration the fashion industry today, Mull said it influences everyone. 

“As I look at fashion and the fashion industry, it affects every single one of us. We put on clothes every morning,” Mull said. “We put on garments every day that represent who we are, how we feel about ourselves.”

Mull said he thinks a lot people assume fashion is exclusionary, but he disagrees. 

“It’s aesthetic, it’s social, it’s representational, but it’s also functional," he said. "It can create community, it can create a sense of belonging.”

Fashion Show Tickets

Threads tickets are on sale online at, or people can purchase tickets at the door on Saturday. There is also a VIP reception event, for which tickets can also be purchased online. This event includes a pre-party with drinks and appetizers, as well as special VIP parking, front-row seats at the show and a goodie-bag.