Designer profile: Student readies for the PLNU runway

The faint buzzing of the sewing machine is all too familiar to Jana Russick, who’s busy creating her latest designs for the PLNU Annual Fashion Show. She’s currently working on a fun floral dress that will be one of the six women’s outfits and two men’s outfits that will be featured in the show.

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Russick just arrived back on campus after taking fashion classes in Paris fall semester where she also had the opportunity to work for a designer during Paris Fashion Week. Back with a new perspective and ready for the fashion show at 7 p.m. on March 27, Russick already bought fabric and patterns for her designs. On the weekends, Russick sews to create her new looks.

Russick said she had an amazing experience last year with the show and gained a great deal of knowledge in Paris that she will apply to this year’s fashion show at Liberty Station Conference Center. Russick said this time she wants to focus more on the building of the outfit as opposed to the textures and colors.

“Last year, I did more ’50s fashion, more feminine and floral,” said Russick. “Lots of dresses, very puffy style, and I am going to do some of that this year, but I want it to be a bit darker…I think I want to do something that comes more from the structure and less from the fabric.”

Last year, one PLNU designer did an all men’s fashion line, which has inspired Russick who is hoping to try to include men’s fashion in her own line this year. She has a few models now but is looking for more. Students who are interested in modeling for the show need to contact the designers themselves through their PLNU Gmail.

“I’m considering doing men’s fashion because that’s what I want to go into as a career,” Russick said. “I think that men’s fashion is cool but it’s a little lackluster right now. I think it’s always been that way because if you look back on men’s fashion, it hasn’t really changed that much since the 1900s, and I want that to change.”

Russick has been designing since she was a young girl, learning to sew at age 12. She sews with her sewing machine that she brought with her this year from home. She purchases a lot of her material from Jo-Ann’s and Michaels and her ideas are inspired from her time in Paris, as well as the design books she’s purchased.

“The theme this year is ‘Make a Statement!’ and that’s what we hope our guests will embody,” said Derek Kirk, ASB event coordinator and junior political science major, via email.

This show is one of the most popular PLNU events. A handful of students can make designs to walk down the runway for all their peers to enjoy.
“Anyone can participate, not just fashion merchandising majors or the FCS [Family and Consumer Sciences] Department,” said Kirk.

Students interested in participating in the show just need to email Kirk for a spot. The deadline for students who want their designs in the show is Feb. 11.

Kirk said many new added features to the show will really create a spectacular evening.

“When students arrive they will have the opportunity to walk the red carpet with their friends as they enter the venue,” said Kirk. “We will have not only the fashion show but the art department will also have a space that they will use to display a gallery.”

As the evening begins, students can enjoy refreshments and view PLNU student artwork in the art gallery. After the show, there will be a disc jockey and a dance.

“I am pleased to say that we have given the designers and stylists the opportunity to sell their product after the show, so hopefully we will have some people take part in that,” said Kirk.

Eight designers are signed up to display their work so far: Delaney McCraney, Jazmine Brown, Courtney Volek, Elle Merrill, Marissa Hernandez, Katie Fogelstrom, Keet Veylupek and Russick.

“This gives fashion design majors work to put in their portfolios and real-life experience,” said ASB officer Samantha Watkins who is helping out with the event.

Doing this fashion show is just step one for Russick, who wants to take her fashion to newer and higher standards than her previous work.

“If I ever do become a fashion designer, I want it to be affordable for everyone,” Russick said. “There are so [few] people that can afford designer clothing; I don’t think that’s right. I can’t afford it and I don’t think most people at this school can afford it, so I think that should change.”

Kirk said this event is definitely one students should look forward to in March.

“We are actively working with professionals from the FCS Department to make this the best show yet. Luckily for us, we have a strong base from past shows, this year we will just tie in all aspects of fashion from the Point Loma campus” said Kirk.

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