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Student apparel designs showcased at gala

Click here for slide show.

Mary Jo Kallal (left), professor of fashion and apparel studies, with students Emily Gup (center) and Manya Mankiewicz
3:47 p.m., June 24, 2005--Among many art patrons, refined refreshments and an array of quaint boutiques, two UD seniors from the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies presented student fashions at a gala at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (DCCA) in Wilmington on June 16.

Manya “Tommie” Mankiewicz, of Chatham, N.J., and Emily Gup, of Coral Springs, Fla., presented four different fashion vignettes around their chosen theme, “Raiding the Closet.” Each vignette--classic, retro, urban and edgy--featured selections of clothing from 16 different UD student designers and followed a story line that Mankiewicz and Gup created.

The fashion show and party entitled, "The Dress Makes the Woman...The Woman Makes the Dress," raised money for both the Delaware Coalition for Breast Cancer and DCCA.

Mankiewicz said this was the biggest project she has ever planned and that she and Gup invested a great deal of time in the gala.

“Some students submitted their work to us,” she said. “Others we hunted down--I never made so many phone calls to people I don’t even know before.”

Mankiewicz and Gup also had their own creations in the show. Mankiewicz was represented by a double-breasted green jacket with a pencil skirt, and Gup presented a salmon shirt paired with a pin-up-curl skirt, complete with zippers to adjust the length.

“I really like presenting our work in a museum,” Mankiewicz said. “It makes the statement that fashion is truly an art. Some people don’t take fashion seriously.”

Gup said she liked the idea of bringing fashion and the fight against breast cancer together.

“It makes sense to have a theme that joins two things that both affect women as a whole,” Gup said.

Mary Jo Kallal, professor of fashion and apparel studies and the person
responsible for UD’s involvement in the event, said she thought the “raiding the closet” theme that Gup and Mankiewicz chose was “fabulous.”

When asked how the planning for the night’s festivities began, Kallal said a bit of luck was involved.

“I met a women in Paris at a little restaurant who happened to be from
Delaware,” she said. “I ran into her again in Philadelphia at a show, and she is on the board at DCCA.”

The DCCA board member, Ellen Bartholomaus, suggested that UD students participate in a fashion show at DCCA.

Kallal said her students were very excited to be able to work with DCCA and to present their work at the gala.

Throughout the night, the students’ enthusiasm for the project was evident in the detailed pieces that models presented, as Gup and Mankiewicz read the stories that went along with each piece.

“It takes a lot of patience and guts to make something like that and then
present it to a full audience,” Shelly Barcaly, one of the Barbizon modeling students who participated in the event, said.

In the fourth and final vignette of the evening, Gup and Mankiewicz presented award-winning pieces from different UD designers. Some of these pieces had previously received awards at UD’s own Synergy Fashion show held on campus in May. Others had received different types of acknowledgments, including one dress that was worn by Maria Sansone to the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.

While the students stood in the limelight at the gala, Rosetta Lafleur, professor of fashion merchandising at UD, had a different job behind the scenes. Lafleur spent her evening scanning the crowd in search of outfits that fit three themes: romantic, edgy and artistic. The chosen fashion queens received surprise awards.

At the end of the evening, Kallal asked the question central to the event: “Does the dress make the woman or does the woman make the dress?” Kallal said that it was certainly the women “making the dresses” throughout the night at DCCA.

Article by Leah Conway, AS’06
Photos by Duane Perry

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