Designs from ‘A World Beyond’

  • "Shabby Chic" modeled by fashion design major Sidney Imming of Ankeny and designed by Jaiden Ver Steeg of Pella.

Photos by Anthony Arroyo

Candy wrappers, book pages, trash bags, coins — these are some of the materials students used in their non-traditional designs that were presented during the fifth annual DFI Fashion Gala titled “A World Beyond” on April 19 in Des Moines. More than 20 student designers were chosen for the gala and their looks depicted various ‘worlds,’ from mythical to futuristic.
DMACC students not only created the fashion, but produced the rest of the gala, from marketing and food to decorating and designing.
More than 400 supporters poured into Mainframe Studios Friday evening to see students’ work and take in their imaginative looks.
The venue was set up like an exhibition — instead of a catwalk, each model stood on raised blocks or on the floor so attendees could move freely and interact with the designers and models. One of the gala’s interior designers, Conner Rittenhouse, said they used iridescent materials for the model’s spaces and illuminated them with soft LED lights for a surrealist effect.
Several designs kept to a whimsical theme such as “Something Sweet,” which consisted of a jacket, pants and hat all made from candy wrappers, designed by Ana Orescanin from Altoona and modeled by Andrea Moreno.
Urbandale High School senior Lydia Burg designed “Forgotten Garden” made with artificial flowers, moss and “lots of leaves.”
Some of the gala designers took the opportunity to make a statement with their ensembles. A dress titled “Cyberpunk — Technology to Take Over” was made by fashion design major Lucas Anderson with computer parts including multi-colored wiring for the top and train. He derived the concept from rising use and power of technology, pondering how it “soon will be part of our bodies.”
Emily Snyder created “Chelonia Mydas,” the scientific name for Green Sea Turtles, out of plastic products as a stand against polluted oceans. Her design’s description read, “This design uses all those materials to create beauty, instead of destruction.”

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