Senior fashion designers show off styles on dirt runway


A model wears a dress made from plastic Saturday in the Cassady Electrical Company abandoned warehouse. The models wore clothing designed by IU senior fashion design students Casey Heck and Kate Murphy Bruce Carver Buy Photos

The building known as the Cassady Electrical Company was the setting Saturday for Heck and Murphy’s presentation of their own senior fashion collections.

The building had helter-skelter graffiti spray-painted on the broken walls, limestone blocks stacked in corners and a runway of black fabric in a wired warehouse.

“I think the venue is unexpected and it says something about the fashion design students — that they are a hidden treasure,” said Kathleen Rowold, apparel merchandising and interior design department program director.

Rowold said both Heck and Murphy did a great job interpreting their inspiration.

 Heck’s collection “Weathered Beauty” was inspired by aged, weathered barns, while Murphy’s collection “Constricted Construction,” was inspired by the construction of straitjackets.

“The venue was a perfect picture of what they wanted to represent,” senior Kacy King said. “I’m glad they found something so rustic and real.”

King, a model for Heck’s collection, said it was a struggle walking on the dirt pavement that functioned as the runway but with her adrenaline, it was easy to hide.

Junior Brandon Garr, a fashion certificate design student, has Heck and Murphy as teaching assistants in his classes, and said seeing the show gave him an idea of what to do for his own fashion show.

“They are innovative and bringing a different sense of fashion to Indiana that isn’t here,” Garr said. “Indiana isn’t fashion forward, but this gives a feel that it is broadening.”

Garr said he was really excited to see the couture garments worn on the models.

“I really liked the versatility of Casey’s line and her choice of color and fabric, but I also liked the design work and precision of Kate’s line,” Garr said. Heck’s line included corsets, pleated dresses and tailored jackets.

Murphy’s first piece was a dress made of plastic, followed by a biker jacket, high-waisted pants and pieces with zippers and wrapping to mimic the straitjacket theme.

Senior Dana Brêj said she came to the fashion show to support her fellow fashion design students.

“For the past two years, we have worked together 24-7, so we come out to support each other,” Brêj said. “It’s a hard process to compose a fashion line, it’s really stressful and you never sleep.”

Deborah Christiansen, apparel merchandising and interior design department lecturer, said she thought the collection was excellent and innovative.

“These are two people who have strived for the creative and technical excellence that you need to succeed in the industry,” Christiansen said. “They will work in the creative side of the industry, I have no doubt.”

Murphy said she plans on attending graduate school for fashion design after graduating in May, while Heck will not graduate until December because she will add an apparel merchandising major in addition to her individualized major.

“I think the show couldn’t have been better,” Heck said. “Now I’m taking a lot of deep breaths and I’m going to start making my own clothes.”


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