Students take upcycled, upscale fashion designs to the runway

On Friday, November 9, student designers from the Fashion and Apparel program at St. Catherine University put their best work to work for a very worthy cause: raising funds to help support metro-area families in need.

PROPerly Poised, in its third year, was founded by Liesl Beck. This gala event featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a fashion show. All proceeds from the event go directly to PROP. This 45-year-old food shelf compassionately provides comprehensive food and support to neighbors in need, creating a path towards self-sufficiency. Last year, PROP distributed 850,000 pounds of food to approximately 1,100 families and provided emergency financial/housing relief to 170 people to keep them in their homes.

“We were honored with this opportunity to collaborate for PROPerly Poised Fashion Show as the mission of PROP, and the theme of the fashion show aligns with our key value of community and social justice,” said Anupama Pasricha, Associate Professor & Department Chair, Apparel, Merchandising, and Design at the School of Business & Professional Studies.

The Fashion and Apparel program instills in students the understanding that our actions affect the environment and everything in it. The design students are inspired to create inclusive and sustainable designs to bring a positive change in the world.

Students in the Draping course formed teams and used the show as their projects. “Our student body taking this course represent a diversity of color, shape, and ethnicity,” Pasricha explained; the show’s 2018 theme was “no one is
you, and that is your power.” Show organizers wanted models representing a diverse population through height, age, body type and ethnicity.

Student teams created their person mood boards showcasing their inspiration, personal aesthetic, and design sketches. Fabrics were sourced from the donated fabrics collection within the department. These fabrics were bought and loved by someone else earlier but were never used. The teams then refined their ideas to the limits of existing fabrics.

The runway designs represent a partnership with TerraCycle, Sol Inspirations/Target Corporation, and ArtScraps. New Jersey-based TerraCycle runs a volunteer-based curbside collection program to collect non-recyclable pre-consumer and post-consumer waste, and then collaborates with corporate donors to turn it into raw material to be used in new products. The garments in the show are UPCYLCLED from tenting and packaging materials, including fabric used for Target’s hot air balloon.

The final runway looks were fully styled with shoes and accessories.

At the close of the evening, event organizers announced that $26,000 was raised during the event. Every dollar goes to helping families in need in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen.

“We are proud of our students’ commitment to core values of the university and innovative mindset,” said Pasricha. “These students are exemplary citizens of the world.”


PROPerly Poised team