Design students at Kent State University were outraged this week when the Fashion Student Organization announced that for the upcoming fashion show of the semester, models would be sporting identical hair and makeup looks according to a category previously chosen by their designer.
Beaux Arts Ball is a well known charity fashion show that has always been popular among Kent State students. The themes for the show have been consistently interesting and creative, allowing designers to use their imagination to produce awe-inspiring designs. Last year's Circus-themed production caused quite a bit of a buzz around campus, bringing out the best of the best in the campus' creative group of students. Hopefully, this year's Extreme Contrast theme will elicit the same enthusiasm.
For weeks designer's have been diligently working to construct looks to fit into one of five categories including Bohemian Glamour, Romantic Rock, Simple Chaos, Black and Bright and Grunge Couture. That is until last week when disaster struck at an FSO meeting where it was announced that the hair and makeup team for the fashion show would be planning one hair/makeup look for the models in each category. Designers are worried that their creative vision will be compromised due to this recent decision.
"The fact that I am not allowed to provide my own hair and makeup takes away the individuality of my entire look. Creativity should never be subtled or simplified to make life easier for everyone else.The styling is as much a part of my vision as the garment itself," says a sophomore design student.
And who could argue with this statement? How many times has Nina Garcia cursed the contestants of Project Runway for their poor styling choices? The right hair is key; the makeup is essential, and to take that personal choice away has had many students in an uproar. Many are even considering backing out of the show entirely. For some designers, however, it is not a question of why their models hair has to be the same as everyone else's; it is a matter of if it can actually be done.
One designer, another sophomore that was planning on creating looks for two different categories, stated that one of her model's hair is so short that the possible styles for the show were already extremely limited before the decision to have all the model's look the same.
"Her hair can literally only de done in a faux-hawk," the student explains. "If the girls in my category are all in teased ponytails, what is my model supposed to do?"
So far, nothing has been done to change the rule that has been causing so much upset in the college fashion world. I can only hope that a compromise can be reached. But you know what they say, no matter what the show must go on.
*Pictured here is a designer in the workroom that has begun to rethink her participation in the fashion show due to the recent decision by FSO members.