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Make a Run for Fashion at the Cain’s

Author: C. L. Harmon
Date Published: August 22, 2018
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Make a Run for Fash­ion at the Cain’s

CL HARMON

 

*This is not a paid adver­tise­ment and we have received no com­pen­sa­tion for the pub­li­ca­tion of this sto­ry.

So I heard about this event where there are beau­ti­ful mod­els sport­ing some of the coolest garbs around. There will be wine flow­ing like stream­ing rib­bons and catchy music play­ing, and it’s at this real­ly cool old build­ing to boot. It’s kind of a New York meets Paris meets Tul­sa soiree, and you are all invit­ed. Sound fun? It is! So fun in fact that even the fash­ion police join in.

From some­one who has expe­ri­enced this event, I can only describe it as a liv­ing atmos­phere where ideas, pas­sion, and art jump to life cre­at­ing a col­lec­tive per­son­al­i­ty of ener­gy, tal­ent, and excite­ment. It was like find­ing buried trea­sure in my backyard…or for a woman, a clos­et full of design­er clothes in their home I would guess. Clary Sage Col­lege in Tul­sa has tak­en the best ele­ments of the fash­ion indus­try and sewn togeth­er an ensem­ble that is run­way wor­thy.

 

 

The fash­ion scene in Tul­sa is grow­ing,” Depart­ment Head for Fash­ion Design at Clary Sage and own­er of Dyana’s Designs cloth­ing line, Dyana Har­ri­son said. Clary Sage Col­lege is a cos­me­tol­ogy and design learn­ing insti­tu­tion where stu­dents are trained to be pro­fes­sion­als upon com­ple­tion of stud­ies as opposed to tra­di­tion­al col­leges where stu­dents are pre­pared to enter pro­fes­sions at an entry lev­el and then learn indus­try skills. This teach­ing phi­los­o­phy lets the instruc­tors cre­ate real busi­ness expe­ri­ences for the stu­dents through an 11-month pro­gram that allows stu­dents to cre­ate their designs from con­cep­tion to cre­ation. These skills include sewing, pat­tern mak­ing and illus­tra­tions among many oth­ers that are rel­e­vant to the fash­ion world. Also, stu­dents learn the skills nec­es­sary to enter the indus­try as pro­fes­sion­als with knowl­edge about fash­ion trends, design con­cepts, mar­ket­ing strate­gies and the hands-on expe­ri­ence of actu­al­ly cre­at­ing prod­ucts that can be the mar­ket­ed.

Design­er Ralph Lau­ren said, “Fash­ion is not nec­es­sar­i­ly about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about some­thing else that comes from with­in you.” This quote describes the atti­tude behind the Clary Sage Run­way Show and pro­gram because it encour­ages and fos­ters orig­i­nal­i­ty and char­ac­ter in each student’s designs. With this orig­i­nal­i­ty must come to the approval of their con­cepts by the pub­lic who then become clothes con­sumer. The Clary Run­way show encour­ages cre­ativ­i­ty to flour­ish. From 3‑D print­ed gar­ments to a wed­ding gown or a dress cre­at­ed from zip ties, one nev­er knows what will flow down that run­way. Clary Sage pulls out all the stops to give this oppor­tu­ni­ty to its bud­ding design­ers.

Accord­ing to Cam­pus Direc­tor Pam Mar­tin, every­one gets to be involved. Skilled servers pour­ing wine and offer­ing hors-d’oeu­vres, inte­ri­or design­ers cre­at­ing the per­fect set, mar­ket­ing team mem­bers strate­giz­ing, hair, make­up and mod­els, the entire col­lege plays a role. The event is planned and imple­ment­ed through­out the entire year. So plan­ning for the next year begins as soon as the cur­rent show is over, she added.

Our fash­ion show is an event, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a par­ty where we are pro­mot­ing all of the pro­grams in the school with the fash­ion being only a part of the par­ty,” Har­ri­son said. The show has been per­formed for sev­en years grow­ing larg­er each year. Har­ri­son cred­its this, in part, to the cre­ativ­i­ty of the design­ers but acknowl­edges that it is the sup­port of the whole col­lege that makes the event so fun and suc­cess­ful. She explains how much fun it is for the atten­dees to expe­ri­ence joint cre­ativ­i­ty that they rarely see any­where else. She added that the design­ers high­light the event by using their imag­i­na­tions to incor­po­rate objects not asso­ci­at­ed with cloth­ing to cre­ate a gar­ment that is tru­ly unique as well as beau­ti­ful and ele­gant cre­ations that would be appre­ci­at­ed on any run­way.

More than just enter­tain­ment for fash­ion enthu­si­asts, the event is a fundrais­er for the col­lege. Clary Sage is a 501(c)(3) non-prof­it cor­po­ra­tion and pub­lic char­i­ty. Mar­tin said that the show is the major fundrais­er for the year and that all of the pro­ceeds go for stu­dent schol­ar­ships so that more stu­dents have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn a skill and pur­sue a pas­sion. Last year the show brought in over $100,000. This year the col­lege has set their goal for $200,000. Although it is a high goal, Mar­tin expressed how those who spon­sor Clary Run­way and the tick­et buy­ers under­stand that they are invest­ing in the futures of those who will even­tu­al­ly enter the work­force, pay tax­es and add to the bet­ter­ment of soci­ety.

We had a great response last year. I think Cain’s Ball­room is a great venue and atmos­phere that sells itself. We have music, wine, audi­ence inter­ac­tion and so many oth­er activ­i­ties hap­pen­ing. It’s excit­ing. As I said, it’s a par­ty,” Har­ri­son said. She explained that the school goes this extra step to give the show excite­ment and ener­gy because peo­ple who have nev­er been to a fash­ion show or those who have been to “flop” shows have pre­con­ceived ideas of a snooze fest and are appre­hen­sive about com­ing. The extra step, how­ev­er, is work­ing as the show out­grows its venues every two years.

Sev­er­al spon­sors have stepped up to help make the show pos­si­ble, but more are wel­come. Mar­tin said. These spon­sor­ships include the Plat­inum $15,000, Dia­mond $10,000, Gold $10,000, Sil­ver $5,000,  Bronze $2,500, VIP Tick­et $250 and Gen­er­al Admis­sion tick­ets at $50. Each of the spon­sor­ships come with dif­fer­ent and/or addi­tion­al perks so check out claryrunway.com to learn what each pack­age con­tains. Pur­chas­es and dona­tions may be made on the site as well. The show is Sep­tem­ber 22 at Cain’s Ball­room locat­ed at 423 North Main Street in Tul­sa. Doors open at 6 pm.

Check out the show!

 

 

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C.L. Harmon is a journalist and author of "In The Midst Of Reality". He has worked for several newspapers as a reporter and was the managing editor for a daily before publishing his own paper, The Mannford Reporter in Mannford, OKlahoma. In addition, he has worked as a freelance writer for various magazines writing feature stories on people and events.
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