NCCU fashion designers compete on the ‘Reels of Fashion’ runway


In the world of fashion, America’s favorite TV shows and movies can serve as designers’ biggest inspirations for creating innovative clothing lines that are unique in both trend and style.

The student designers of N.C. Central University’s department of human sciences used their love for TV shows and movies such as “In Living Color,” “Tarzan” and “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” to sew garments that brought back memories at the “Reels of Fashion” competition on March 28.

Throughout the spring semester, students were challenged to create garments to impress the judges and fashion professionals, Howard Eagon, Kevin Harrell, Jesus Manuel Munoz, and Cartland Gallaway, on the runway.

The students were split into two categories. The first group, the “fashion novistas,” are underclassmen who are considered novice designers.

The 25 “Fashion Novistas” were required to make two to three pieces of clothing, to include vests, blouses, pants, dresses, skirts, jackets and shirts. Each designer walked down the runway wearing his or her designs.

Their garments displayed a variety of styles, from regal to dark and edgy. The second group of student designers, 17 upperclassmen designers, had an even bigger challenge: to create a full fashion line of three to four outfits.

This was the first time a few of the designers had participated in the fashion show.

Cara Leathers, a mass communication senior whose theme was the BET TV Show “Being Mary Jane,” said participating in “Reels of Fashion” helped her grow.

“I wanted to quit so many times,” she said. “I was so close to quitting, I cried. My stuff wasn’t turning out how I wanted it to, but that’s because I didn’t have enough patience with myself. Once I gained the patience for the process, everything kind of got easier.”

Leathers added that her technical skills improved as a result of the competition.

“Last year I did not know how to sew, thread a machine, or anything,” said Leathers. “I just to be where I am now — it’s amazing. It’s a great experience.”

As the night continued, the audience witnessed iconic and innovative garment recreations from such classic films and TV shows as “Clueless,” “101 Dalmatians,” “Pretty Woman,” “Mahogany,” “Girlfriends” and “Mean Girls.”

Some collections were inspired by reality TV shows such as “The Real Housewives of Altanta” and “Keeping up with Kardashians.”

After the runway show, human sciences lecturer Wadeeah Beyah and human sciences associate professor Darlene Eberhardt presented the Fashion Inc. awards.

Award categories included best use of color, most wearable garments, best construction, and overall “Reels of Fashion” winners.

BaySean Washington, Monique Sanders and Zhynyrah Eure, won first, second and third place respectively.

Washington’s collection was inspired by the ’90s film “3 Ninjas.”

He said he wanted to present a fashion line that had “traditional martial arts attire with a youthful urban kick, giving the streets more FUNK-Shui.”

Washington said “3 Ninjas” had taught him three life lessons that he never forgets: staying humble, practicing what you preach, and believing you can become a master at anything you do.

Washington said that before the show he ran into problems ranging from time management to creating a whole outfit from scratch before the show.

He said he was confident going in the competition, but he didn’t underestimate the talents of his peers.

“There were other great designers as well,” said Washington. “But it felt good knowing all [my] hard work paid off and [I] came up on top.”

Tia Mitchell, mass communications senior, is the Campus Echo Co-editor-in-chief. Her interests include music, books, and fiction-writing. Her dream is to work as a communications director in medicine and science.

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