The excited murmurs of design students, fashionistas and curious onlookers filled the hall, as the Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s Copley Cat Walk fashion show was poised to begin. Suddenly - hush - the start was announced, the music began and the crowd was enraptured. It’s Fashion Week in Boston.
The annual Boston Fashion Week is a showcase of the new, the emerging and the innovative. In a city with so many students, Boston Fashion Week focuses on the aspiring, as the week is completely devoted to student development and exposure to the realm of high fashion. With events, such as the Copley Cat Walk, showcasing the works of both professional designers and design students on the same runway, the week’s emphasis is truly on introduction.
The first show of the night unveiled a new line by the London-based professional designer L.K. Bennett. As the models took to the stage, silence overtook the hall. It was a scene of pure inspiration, as design students furiously jotted down notes, young children playing fashion designers drew models in crayon and fashion lovers watched, mouths agape. Hi-fi indie pop accompanied the graceful models, further accentuating the ethereal daze that seemed to envelop the captivated crowd.
As quickly as it began, the first show ended and a short intermission separated the professional from the student. Conversations resumed, although with noticeably less vigor, as the captivating atmosphere created by the professional display lingered over the audience, and the students were hurriedly finishing and meticulously reviewing their notes. During the lull, the crowd swelled with curious onlookers who decided to stay, and the volume of the hall once again escalated.
For the student fashion show, the hall was filled to capacity. With the announcement of the start came an entirely new tone, as the loud bass of house music reverberated throughout the room. Models wearing whimsically designed dresses - made of unconventional materials ranging from colorful pipe cleaners to Capri-Sun packets - walked the runway. The crowd put away their notepads and pulled out their cameras - snapping photos, laughing loudly and cheering for the student ingenuity. The functional design of professional work was replaced by the aberrant design of young, inspired students.
Fashion became art and the students’ eccentric designs seemed to revitalize the room’s intrinsic enthusiasm for fashion. What was once an audience of silent admiration transformed into a loud mass of excitement and sheer joy.
As the show’s student designers stood and bowed, the crowd erupted in passionate applause. The Copley Cat Walk fashion show became a celebration of both fashion and its innovators, thoroughly capturing the spirit of Boston Fashion Week.