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Models strut the pavilion of the Fashion Design Student Association's spring show, A Street Style State of Mind, on Thursday, April 22, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. The clothes featured were designed, crafted, and modeled by members of the University of Georgia club. (Photo/Haleigh Terhune)

High energy sounds of pop music and strutting high heels echoed throughout The Classic Center Foundry Pavilion on Thursday night as the University of Georgia’s Fashion Design Student Association conducted its first in-person show since fall 2019.

Following the theme of New York City street style, the looks were completely designed, crafted and modeled by UGA students. Street-styled looks are high fashion but still wearable off the runway, meaning that the theme could be interpreted in numerous ways by each designer.

Audience expectations for the show varied, and it was prevalent that different ideas were floating around about what New York City street style comprises.

Attendees such as junior advertising major Ashley Burgess predicted that there would be “denim baggy pants, some miniskirts and a lot of gym shoes.” Others, such as sophomore international affairs major Ruth Bodeep, had less of a specific expectation but guessed she would see “something a little casual-looking but also performance ready.”

In the end, it became clear that there was no wrong answer because of the wide varietyof ideas each model presented on the runway.

Parker Sylvester, FDSA president and senior marketing and fashion merchandising major, opened up the show by emphasizing the hard work of FDSA’s members throughout the past couple of months. There have been several workshops and excursions put on by FDSA, but the creations of these looks were mostly individual efforts, she said.

Sylvester attended the event in an outfit she designed and made herself. Her fashion tastes and talents were also reflected through the looks of the two models she styled, making this approach to street style one that was very individualized and distinct.

“In my own style, I'm having a pink and puff sleeve ‘moment’ so that's where the look [with the] mini dress came from,” Sylvester said. “I'm also loving the Victorian style right now. I kind of wanted to do something more bold for my other look, so I had fun with colors and zebra brand pants.”

For other participants, such as junior real estate and housing management major Yasmeen Alabsi, the theme of street style inspired them to turn to classic staples of fashion when making their looks, such as the use of denim and earth-toned colors. Alabsi created a look featuring oversized blue jeans and a denim-lined ivory top.

“Whenever I went out to look for inspiration, I found a lot of baggy clothing and neutral colors,” Alabsi said. “I know that jeans can go in and out of style, depending on the time of year and the decade, but I felt like jeans are always a classic. In my closet they always are.”

After many months of isolation and virtual events, lovers of fashion treasured this chance to appreciate design in the flesh. Style is a personal part of one’s identity, but for many, such as sophomore political science major and model Alysse Spencer, getting to share style and appreciate others in a shared space fosters a dearly missed feeling of connection with others.

“[This is] a very unique experience,” Spencer said. “You get to showcase your unique designs, and it's a great way to come out, be confident and find your true style. It's just a really fun way to find what you like in fashion and make friends.”