Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Red Hot Runway

Where do I even start? First of all, I'm so sorry for my lack of updates lately; I know excuses aren't cool so I apologize and I hope I can make up for lack of posting with this update.

Tonight was amazing. I've never seen Columbia students shine so brightly on so many levels. Not to brag about my school, but we know how to work and work it. This year's Red Dress Party, nationally known for hosting a benefit each year to raise money to help fight HIV/AIDS, had a little publicity from Columbia College. Columbia's PRSSA Vice President Kate Jacobsen, senior, decided that the best way to utilize the PR skills of its members was to integrate a fashion show in with a charity.

PR + Fashion + Red Dress Party = Perfect Combination

Not only were Columbia designers featured in a fashion show, but all the proceeds collected at the event go towards the charity event held on April 16th, at 525 W. Monroe. 

When I met up with Kate, it was all smiles. The event went so smoothly you'd think professionals organized it, when it was Columbia's great PRSSA team. Kate's thoughts after the event were just as positive, "Everything just fell into place...We just meshed the two ideas of organizing a fashion show along with using the PR skills we've worked on in classes." Among all of the sponsors for the event, Agency Galatea helped tremendously. The Director of Runway at Galatea, Publicist for the Chicago Red Dress Party and fellow Chicago blogger (The Bowtie Memoirs), Ryan M. Beshel felt great about the Red Hot Runway and is excited for the publicity to hit the streets and the papers, "With publicity--period-- it's about getting the word out. It's all about exposure for the event in April." With the sheer amount of students, press, and Chicagoans at the event, the news will fly across the city in no time.

I interviewed PRSSA member Miranda Cummings on the event and she filled me in on all the details. The sponsors were excellent in providing prizes for the top three designers, Fisherman's Fabrics donated $500 total in award certificates so the designers can get more fabric, Apple's Columbia store donated an iPod nano for the first prize winner, gift certificates to The Shops at North Bridge, along with the top three designs being featured in a display window at the 900 North Michigan Shops. Agency Galatea provided models used during the show. All of the sweet treats at the event were provided by CCC's Marketing Communications Department and the beverages were provided by SmartWater and VitaminWater.

The contest began a month ago, with the application process for the designers. All applicants could send in their resumes, portfolios, and sample pieces to be chosen as one of the lucky 15 designers to compete in the show. Thirty applicants were cut in half and their designs were judged based on the runway walk, wearability, concept of design related to the cause and construction. The judges were Kevin Aeh of Time Out Chicago, Miriam Cecilia Carlson designer, Candace Jordan of Candid Candace and Jerry Svec, founder of XOXO. There was a lovely reception before the runway and naturally an abundance of stylish Chicagoans. 

Mixing prints!

Bryan Villalobos.
New fashion friends <3

The bowtie: Vintage Valentino.

Love the mix of textures.

Just a splash of red.

Kate Jacobsen (VP) and Lauren Hadeed (Pres of PRSSA)

Rachel Lynch.

Sarah Elabdi, far right.

Bright red & polka dots.

Suspenders & bowties.

Fashion writer for Echo.

Love a good MOD look.

Maddy Browning.

Follow her: Sweet-Talk

And now for the runway:
(Dresses are in the order they appeared, if you know the designer of the dress, please tell!)

It's the most amazing tulle dream. Ever.

Leather & studs. 
Designed by Kelly Coll, senior. Follow her at Medusa & Merriweather.

Wait for it...

I am obsessed with the backs of dresses.
This dress would win in my book, for the back alone.

Designer: Jiayin Zheng

Designer Jiayin Zheng, post festivities. 

Miranda Cummings & Kate Jacobsen.
A job well done, ladies. 

Thanks for reading followers!
See, I made up for my lack of posting with lots of info, photos and fashion.

See you all soon. There's an event at Juicy Couture on Thursday, hope to see you there.

"I am married to fashion and I will remain faithful." - Dirk Bikkembergs


  1. nice! I am Kelly Coll the designer of the leather studded vest and dress!

  2. Nice and edited!
    Loved the jacket, by the way. =]

  3. I was there too :)

    Awesome event.

  4. I (Kristin Gillespie) designed the backless dress and loved what you said about it, thanks! I'm obsessed with the backs of dresses too.