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Fashion Design Student Association at the University of Georgia presents their Spring fashion show on Feb. 21, 2019 in Athens, Georgia. Students create original outfits that are then modeled by their peers. This year’s theme was Ethereal. (Photo/Daniela Rico)

Each outfit in the Fashion Design Student Association at the University of Georgia’s fashion week was inspired by one word: ethereal.

Formal gowns, streetwear looks, lace and flower detail adorned UGA’s Lamar Dodd School of Art during the FDSA’s Spring fashion show “Ethereal,” held on Thursday, Feb. 21, from 7:30-8:30 p.m., with a cocktail hour preceding the event.

This year’s theme was voted on by team members. Executive members sent out a poll with a list of options, and “ethereal” won for the spring show. The word is meant to inspire delicate, light and out-of-this-world perfect images.

As the show started and continued, each model wore an individualized outfit but were inspired by the same theme. As the models walked in color order — from black outfits to colorful ones and finishing with white outfits.

The show featured designs created by 21 student designers ranging from short, black cocktail dresses with lace sleeves to looks with L.E.D designs and detail.

Miranda Diaz, a sophomore fabric design major from Kennesaw, Georgia, was anticipating the diversity between looks ever since she saw them at the dress rehearsals. Diaz is the secretary for FDSA.   

“It’s interesting to see how other people envision something that you have such a clear version of in your head,” Diaz said.“You see someone else’s work and say, ‘Damn, that looks completely different from what I pictured.’”

Before audiences saw the show, FDSA hosted a cocktail hour with cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies and non-alcoholic beverages. The doors opened to the Lamar Dodd Atrium at 7 p.m. and guests filled the room as a DJ loudly played upbeat songs such as “Partition” by Beyoncé to “Treasure” by Bruno Mars.

The show began promptly at 7:30 p.m. with a feature by a solo violinist to “set the mood,” FDSA president Stori Daniel said. The DJ resumed after the feature, continuing his upbeat setlist at a quieter tone.

Models walked around a circular runway, posing at various spots. Complementing the model’s diverse student-made outfits was the design of the room: an all-white pillar and bouquet stood in the middle of the floor, and all-white L.E.D. features adorned the wall.

For Daniel, senior marketing major from Columbus, Georgia, the ambiance helped steal the show. She described the show as “light, heavenly and flowing.”

Those words inspired designers, too, as they considered what their creations would become. For Etta James, sophomore International Business major from Macon, Georgia, she envisioned a “fairy-like” look when she thought about what ethereal meant to her. And despite her being stressed out during her exams, she and other designers were enthusiastic about the looks.

“The looks we made were off the chain, the stress totally worth it in the end,” James said.

The members of FDSA put a lot of work into the show beginning in mid-January, Diaz said, and the attention to detail showed.

Some models wore floral headpieces, lace detail on their sleeves, capes and technical features. While simpler looks kept it to a single-color cocktail dress with simpler makeup, others included flowing dresses with elaborate floral headpieces with a nighttime face.

Though it was Daniel’s last year, she was excited by the compliments she and other executive members received about the fashion show. Daniel said the diversity between outfits, the way the music complemented the models and the atmosphere exceeded her expectations.

“That’s the standard I want FDSA to keep,” Daniel said. “We were stressed out the entire time, but people loved it.”

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