Five years ago, Russ Wheelhouse, owner of Antiques by Russ, envisioned the fashion designs of University of Idaho Clothing, Textile and Design (CTD) students making their way down the runway.
Persevering and honoring this vision inspired by Wheelhouse, UI lecturer Erika Iiams, and Body Con founders Crystal Truong and Kate Mills, Moscowrade wearable art fashion show is celebrating its fifth year highlighting upcycling waste materials and repurposed fashion designs composed by UI students and Moscow community members.
The fifth Annual Moscowrade will be held 7 p.m. Saturday, April 18, in the Vandal Ballroom of the Bruce Pitman Center, formerly the Student Union Building. The event will start with a cocktail hour, including desserts and a bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The fashion show will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and $12 for the general public, available at Antiques by Russ and on campus.
CTD senior Taylor Dinning and marketing seniors Dallas Moreno and Ethan Sumpter have been hard at work in hopes to make this year’s show the biggest one yet.
Not only do all the proceeds from the show go to Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, Moscowrade is working in partnership with the UI Sustainability Center’s Earth Fest 2015 to promote a culture of sustainability in the community.
“We want it to be a community thing,” Moreno said. “Not just centered into Clothing, Textiles and Design, but as well as literally anybody can submit anything.”
Upcycled garments, repurposed garments, general sewing and skirt submissions by CTD students are the four categories displayed at the event, Moreno said.
“Our upcycled garments are anything made out of old textiles — so curtains, shower curtains — I made something out of an old dress and an old skirt,” Dinning said. “Repurposed is anything that’s a non-traditional — so cardboard, plastic, anything like that.”
In the past, the show featured designs made up of newspapers, candy wrappers, garbage bags and even coffee filters to create one-of-kind wearable fashion apparel. This year will feature several men’s apparel designs for the first time, Sumpter said.
The entertainment line-up this year consists of an opening act performed by UI dance majors, volunteer models from UI and Moscow community members and an intermission featuring local Moscow band, Skinny the Kid. The audience will also be given the opportunity to talk with the designers, models and instructors that contributed to the show, Sumpter said. Moreno said thanks to the sponsors from local businesses, there will be prizes awarded at the event.
This year’s Moscowrade will be held on campus for the first time– an aspect Dinning, Moreno and Sumpter said they hope will draw a bigger crowd than previous years. The event also falls on UI’s Moms’ Weekend.
“I think we’ll get a stronger college atmosphere this year, which will be nice,” Sumpter said. “It will be easier with everyone with the location.”
For more information visit the Moscowrade Facebook page or follow Moscowrade on Twitter and Instagram.
Dinning spent three months in London training under a fashion show producer and has big plans for her future in the fashion industry. She said she is currently looking at going to grad school at UI and wants to focus on the historical aspects of dress.
“The biggest influence in my life right now — I’m working on a project called Chasing Nata,” Dinning said. “It’s named after my great grandmother’s work in the fashion industry. Her name was Nata Chase, and so I’m reproducing some of her designs that she did back in the ‘30s.”
Dinning’s project will be one of the featured designs in this year’s Moscowrade.
While Moreno is not in the CTD program, she spent the last three years as a dedicated member of Moscowrade.
“I was asked my freshman year last minute to be a model, so I did and then I did it the year after that and the year after that because I loved it so much,” Moreno said. “I just really wanted to be involved in the production side of everything, so I signed up for the internship and it’s been awesome.”
Moreno said she likes the community involvement aspect of the show. After living in Moscow for a few years, she said she’s realized the community is all about helping and supporting each other.
“That’s been really cool to see the community come together and donate prizes and sponsor us,” she said.
Sumpter transferred to UI for his sophomore year and got involved in Body Con after Truong and Mills came into his class to talk about people getting involved in the club. Sumpter said his main focus when it comes to fashion is on the business and marketing side of it. He has been an intricate part of Moscowrade for a couple of years.
“I love the planning and the business side of fashion,” Sumpter said. “I do not design whatsoever. I’m in the styling part and then I’m also one of Iiam’s men’s fashion people. That’s my ultimate goal. I want to make men dress better than what they usually do.”
Sumpter is also looking into planning a Halloween or Christmas themed fashion show for the first time during the next fall semester.
Emily Vaartstra can be reached at email@example.com