When the lights of the Trustees Theater dimmed, a modern and sultry tune kicked off the 2016 SCAD Fashion Show and set the tone for the evening; theatrical, experimental, seductive and elegant.
The SCAD Fashion show — in the past — has been held at the SCAD Museum of Art. The Trustees Theater — a space common for showing the Savannah Film Fest selections and the Cinema Circle films — was not the first place to come to mind when imagining the fashion show.
But for an event containing so many seams, the merging of space and content came together seamlessly. Bad puns aside, one cannot imagine a more suitable location for such a dramatic and artistic display of SCAD fashion.
The models — adorned in garments that only they could wear so effortlessly — sauntered down the catwalk with echoes of their walk projected on both sides of the stage, audience members could not help but be transfixed. It was theatre. The models were performers and the designers, directors.
The exhibition of months and months of labor was presented much like a play, with only 30 percent of the work on stage and the other 70 — all the blood, sweat and tears — masked by sculpted chiffon, bold sleeves, daring cuts and billowing skirts.
Each model emerged from the proscenium arch of the theater with intent and charisma, wearing each designer’s garments with pride and prowess, taking center stage as if walking to the front lines of war.
But not every design suggested battle or seduction; each designer brought something new to the stage. Where some played with classic black and white, others experimented with bright, contrasting colors, where some played with avant-garde (couture shapes and cuts), others played more along the lines of every-day wear and street-style.
The show blended every aspect of theatre. Of course, in this production, costume design was at the forefront. However, lighting, sound and set design played their part, with music that fit the mood of each collection, lighting that shifted between color palettes and metal shafts that created an urban, edgy feel.
When the last model exited the stage, the crowd erupted into applause and the designers — the directors of this dream-like production — took the stage for their final bow, with gold confetti spilling down on them. In just under an hour, theatre and art came together to showcase the talent of the 2016 SCAD Fashion Show designers and remind us all why SCAD really is the university for creative careers.