Behind the Scenes

Fashion Through the Decades

This gallery is a behind the scenes look at the creation of Harper College's fashion show in 2004 from the perspective of Victoria Lobanok, a student in the fashion design program who helped put the show together. The theme of the 2004 show, called "La Piazza", was based on Italian architecture. To inspire her students, Cheryl Turnaeur went on a trip to Italy and brought back photographs of buildings, arches, and old streets. She was assisted by fellow fashion instructor, and technical specialist, Neil Tufano.

January 26, 2004: "Neil showed the class how the wooden crates and the fake bread were going to be made. Then ... [he] had the class cut out squares from cardboard with a box cutter. Cheryl gave the class a list of supplies that we were to get at the dollar store, and then we just signed our life away to the class."

February 2, 2004: "Today the projects began. ... There are going to be tubular and [square] shaped columns, which are about five feet in height. We had to measure the length and width of the top and bottom of the column and make bases for them [which] were glued together to create a texturized three-dimensional [look]."

February 9, 2004: "The students were divided in half, some for cutting and some for painting. ... Neil got the group going by switching cutting tasks, so no one got bored quick. One group cut out and measured squares and circles for the columns, and then the pieces were stapled and glued together. Across the way, Cheryl and her crew painted rocks on a big fabric piece [which will] be the skirting for the runway stage. The students used several colors to get the full effect of the rocks texture. The class worked really well as a team and got a lot accomplished."

March 1, 2004: "Today was paint day. ... Since all the columns were finished and painted white they were ready to be texturized. Cheryl showed the class some pictures of a Calvin Klein add that had a rocky/stone background. We used multiple colors to create this effect ... such as: black, white, light and dark browns, yellow, orange, beige, and gray. To produce the texture the colors were smudged and blended onto the column. A couple of students used cotton swabs to draw thin blended lines all around the columns, to give [them] the crackling effect."

March 15, 2004: "Cheryl began working on the light posts and the shades that go on top. Some of the students were asked to paint ... them white [on the inside]. Their three dimensional shape was ... square and [they] had an abnormal shaped cut out [on all four sides]. When the bulbs are put in, the light will come through the cutouts."

April 5 through 19, 2004: "[T]he class had been working on getting the walls completed. ... They were made in different shapes and sizes to reflect the originals and no two were the same! ... A lot of them required extra plaster in order to create the full effect. The plaster was [created] by soaking shredded paper in water, then draining it in the sink, and attaching it ... to the walls. ... Neil also added a fruit painting to the white wagon[. H]e did a really good job on it."

April 26, 2004: "Today the class painted small, flat, three-dimensional sculptures that were going to be mounted on green buckets. We had to mix the forest green color with water in order for it to go on more smoothly. When they all dried, we added a bronzing effect as a top layer to give it a rusty illusion."

April 29, 2004: "The day of the Jury Show. All designers, dressers, and models were to arrive at 7 am. The room was filled with ... many garments designed by students. The designs were to be presented to a group of judges who would then decide which of [them] can be presented in the fashion show. ... [T]he models can dress in one room, walk through the jury room, present the outfit, and walk out and come back in through the back. The students had to wait two hours before the judging actually began at 10 o'clock. ... The show moves so fast the models need help getting in and out of the clothes without damaging them. Plus the dressers [kept] the models and their garments in the right [numerical] order, which was very crucial in this show. ... [T]he designers ... put a lot of work and creativity into their creations, and although they were all nervous and anxious to find out the results, they were all proud of their work in the end."

May 10, 2004: "When I registered for this course, I really didn't know what to expect. In the end, I really didn't think of it as a class but more of a fun project. ... I imagined this to be an [ordinary] project and it was so much more than that. The instructors ... did a great job motivating the class to be inspired by the Roman architecture ... [and] the teachers worked just as hard as the students to make this show happen. ... This class was a great opportunity to [learn about] creativity, imagination, and teamwork. It is interesting to see bits and pieces come together to construct and produce an incredible final result - La Piazza!"