Form to Fashion

By Shannon Thomas

If you’ve ever wanted to judge or critique those fabulous original fashion designs featured on shows such as Project Runway, your chance is coming to Natick Collection. Grab your stilettos and pretend your Heidi: choose which local college designer is either “in” or “out”.

Beginning April 3, the exclusive Natick Collection will not only play host to fabulous labels, but also to the original designs of local fashion students.

This spring the Natick Collection is sponsoring an exhibition, Form to Fashion, which will include a series of garment displays showcasing the talents of four local schools: Mount Ida, The School of Fashion Design, Framingham State, and Lasell College.

“We are thrilled about the debut of Form to Fashion,” said Nicole Guglielmucci, Marketing Manager of the Natick Collection. “Who knows - we may discover someone who ends up in the Fashion Week tents in a few years!”

Each school will install a three-week display of both student and alumni designs within the Neiman Marcus court; shoppers will be encouraged to vote for their favorite garment.
Mount Ida will kick off the competition April 3 to April 23 and Lasell College will set up their garments on May 3 and display until May 23. During June 7 to June 28, The School of Fashion Design will be featured. Lastly, Framingham State will present their designers’ creations from September 10 to October 1.

“Showing work at the Natick collection aligns Lasell and the designers with prestige, quality, and luxury,” said Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, Lasell College’s Chair of the Fashion Department.

The Form to Fashion competition will not only indirectly pit design schools against one another, but also students within the same college. Designers involved in this competition are able to display their best work, regular garments and non-textiles, with the chance to connect with future clients – and get their feedback.

“The designers have the opportunity to provide business cards as well, so the potential for being contacted by interested parties is high,” said Ruppert-Stroescu.

For Lasell College and Mount Ida, Form to Fashion will be a second chance this year to showcase their designs to others. A similar competition at the Boston Symphony earlier this year, Project Mozart, also featured the colleges’ student designs.

“This project differs from Project Mozart in a couple of ways. The designs presented in Natick will have already been created, while for Project Mozart, the designs were created specifically for the competition,” said Ruppert-Stroescu. “Showing several pieces at the Natick Collection competition that were completed independently really gives the viewer a sense of the designers’ aesthetic and capacities in a holistic way.”

Votes will be tallied in early October to determine one winner from each school; a “fashion week” inspired celebration will spotlight the designers and their winning garments.

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