'Hollywood's Revival' student fashion show reimagines iconic looks for the stage

Contact: Chris Hybels

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Hollywood is back in fashion thanks to student designers at Western Michigan University. During their annual spring fashion show on Friday, April 5, the Merchandising Opportunities & Design Association (MODA) registered student organization challenged designers to revive their favorite Hollywood fashions.

According to fashion merchandising student and MODA president Ally Wilson, designers and stylists had the autonomy to create their lines from any period of Hollywood's storied history.

"Each board member wanted to do something with Hollywood. I wanted the 1920s because they're one of my favorite fashion years. But then someone wanted to do current Hollywood and someone else wanted to do Broadway, so we chose Hollywood just broadly," says Wilson. "Then we decided Hollywood Revival because Hollywood is not putting out anything new these days."

Their largest event yet, the fashion show was held in front of a sold-out crowd of 400 attendees at the Delta Hotel. Completely student-run, MODA members were responsible for every aspect of the show, including marketing, planning and set-design.

"It's not as easy as it looks," says Madeline Fritz, MODA's head of marketing and public relations and winner of the Best Upcycled Line Award. "I feel like we have learned basically every aspect of working in fashion within MODA. The production of it, the marketing side of it, talking to people part of it, making invitations, posting about it, making informational posts and videos. We have done it all. I feel like we're a company in ourself!"


Designer Madeline Fritz, winner of Best Upcycled Style Line.

Fashion students Jenna Shrum and Ella Voeks tried encapsulating the glitz and glamour of Hollywood for their line.

"We tried to center it around that feeling of fame, like money and beauty," says Scrum. "And we both tapped into different colors. I have a lot of black and Ella has a lot of popping colors." 

Social work student and winner of the Best Upcycled Design Line Award Juan-Luis Gutierrez was influenced by the personalities and styles of famous Mexican actors.

"I really tried to not recreate their fashion but take specific aspects and make them my own. I also incorporated lots of lace and certain colors that are very big in Mexican fashion,'" says Gutierrez. 

Music student and winner of the Best Interpretation of Theme Award Kannon Lynch brought his passion for classic horror films to life when designing his line.

"It's inspired by horror, an iconic part of Hollywood culture," says Lynch. "The main textures are inspired by the things that make us human, like hair and skin. The color scheme mainly features black, white and bright metallics and fluorescent accents."

Four designers were chosen for awards at the end of the night, including: 

  • Juan-Luis Gutierrez: Best Upcycled Design Line
  • Kelsey Oprita: Best Designed Line
  • Madeline Fritz: Best Upcycled Style Line
  • Kannon Lynch: Best Interpretation of Theme

“Seeing everyone love your work as much as you do and appreciating your hard work is worth every second,” says Lynch. 


From left to right are Dr. Suzan Smith-Ayers, Alexandra Garza, Olivia Bologna and President Edward Montgomery. (Photo courtesy: Zak Pantuso)

WMU President Edward Montgomery and Dr. Suzan Smith-Ayers, chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS), presented two $1,000 scholarships to MODA members at the conclusion of the show. Selected by fashion merchandising and design faculty, students Olivia Bolognia and Alexandra Garza were awarded the scholarships based on their hard work and dedication within MODA.

"Receiving an award for MODA in particular is something that I appreciate because I have put a lot of time into this RSO ever since I was a member in my freshman year," says Bolognia. "It is an honor that the FCS department acknowledges my presence in MODA and appreciates the work that not only myself, but others have put into making MODA the RSO that it is known for today." 

Garza adds, "Being recognized for my accomplishments and potential by receiving this scholarship has increased my confidence and driven me to strive for greater success in MODA and as a WMU fashion student. It has also given me the chance to look into other educational opportunities that may widen my horizons, including study abroad or internships."

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.