Men and women of varying body types strutted their style Saturday along a catwalk set up at Oregon State University’s Memorial Union quad.
The Rain Check Fashion Show — Fight for Positive Body Image, was a showcase for student designers and local retail clothing stores – and organized entirely by students.
“It has a dual theme,” said fashion show organizer Charlie Rose Hormann, a 20-year-old junior. “One is the show’s going to be outside, and so it’s somewhat of a challenge to design something fashionable that you can still wear in Oregon weather.” Rain wasn’t a problem Saturday, when sunny weather drew nearly 100 onlookers to the runway.
The other theme, Hormann said, was designing for people whose body types don’t fit the fashion industry norm. Tall, ultra-slender models typically showcase styles although only a small percentage of the general population fits that high-fashion ideal. Hormann understands such contradiction.
“I’ve never battled with weight, but I’ve always been inspired by women’s curves,” Hormann said. “As a woman who wants to design for plus-size women, I want to break down the barriers. You don’t have to be 90 pounds in order to be beautiful.”
She and a friend had the idea last spring and sent out an e-mail on the design and human environment listserv. Anyone who wanted to be a model or have their designs modeled was welcome to join. Hormann has a double major — apparel design and merchandising management — and a minor in business.
“A friend of mine and I randomly threw out this idea of, how great would it be to put a fashion show on the Quad?” she said. “I’m silly enough to actually run with it.”
The models attended weekly practices for more than two months. Ten student designers and nine representatives from local clothing retailers provided styles for the show.
“It’s a chance for the audience to see upcoming designers but also the clothes that are available to them locally,” she said.
Hormann put the show together with no budget. Second Glance in Corvallis donated money to fund the stereo equipment and the stage, and The Golden Wishbone beauty salon donated employees and products to style the models with a fierce fashion warrior look.
“I thought it was really cool,” onlooker Christine Doran, 20, said. “I didn’t know much about it, just word of mouth, but the clothes were really nice.”
Junior Jana Boyl’s design embodied both themes. Standing about 5 feet 5 inches tall, Boyl’s body style was the opposite from that of the model who wore her design: Whitney Grissom is a sophomore at Linn-Benton Community College and is six feet tall and curvy. She showed off a purple raincoat with a cape-style collar during the style show.
“I’ve only made clothes for myself my whole life,” Boyl said. “I wanted to explore with different measurements and challenge myself.”
Grissom said she loves the raincoat she modeled.
“It hides my bust, but accentuates it at the same time,” she said.
“She just looks plain hot,” Boyl added with a laugh.
Emily Gillespie can be reached at
541-758-9548 or emily.gillespie@gazette