This year’s AMDT Fashion Show at Washington State University on April 6, 2018 was a spectacle to be gossiped about, as it is every year. It was one of the most prominent attractions for Mom’s Weekend 2018, and for good reason. The flashy colors and elegant designs of fashion shows pop out and draw your eyes in. However, this year’s fashion show was distinctively significant for a number of reasons, and not just visually speaking.

Director Amy Hughes provides insight on the importance of this year’s fashion show and the process that came with it. She states that the designs of the outfits are conceived and designed by WSU students.

“I think it’s so special because it’s a show that really showcases what all of our students in the fashion department have accomplished this year,” said Hughes. “The outfits that come down the runway are completely sewn, designed, everything, by our design students. It’s kind of like Project Runway where they just do it all, so it’s really exciting to see their vision come to life.”

Hughes elaborates that this year’s fashion show was an outlet of celebration for the fashion students’ achievements. “I think it’s a great way to celebrate what our students have accomplished over the year,” said Hughes. “It’s a fun and entertaining event and faculty, staff across campus, administrators… love to come. It’s just a great way to market to people how incredible our students are.”

Hughes explains that students tested the boundaries of fashion with their designs and targeted specific audiences. “It’s not always high fashion. A lot of them are solving the needs of target markets that are underrepresented in the marketplace right now. We had a gender-inclusive collection that came down the runway Friday night. We have a student who is just really passionate about meeting the needs of people who don’t necessarily fall into a specific area of the gender spectrum, females who don’t feel like they have to shop in the women’s section and males who don’t feel like they are required to shop in the men’s section.”

Student fashion designer Bethany Ricci had a specific audience in mind when she designed the outfits on display at the fashion show.

“I’m really nerdy. I’m a big fan of things like cosplay and anime,” said Ricci. “I took inspiration from that, and I was mainly looking to make people feel comfortable in their own skin with the outfits I designed.”

“The way she designed them, they really could be worn by either men and women,” said Hughes. “She also tapped into anime and cosplay and there’s a large segment of genderfluid people who also like anime and cosplay, and so her design philosophy was to bring some of those elements in with this androgynous and gender-inclusive collection.”

This year’s AMDT Fashion Show reached out to people in a way that gender was irrelevant. This is significant in the history of fashion shows at Washington State University and helped make the show enjoyable for many Cougs.