2016 DMACC Fashion Show Recap

Mixed Messages UnlockedPeople who attended the 2015 DMACC Mixed Messages student-produced Fashion event were impressed with their experience. Those who attended the April 15th Mixed Messages: Unlocked event at West End Achitectural Salvage, an estimated total of around 800-1,000, were blown away by the atmosphere, fashion designs, professional format, music, food and fun!

Production Details

DMACC Fashion Show WelcomeMixed Messages is an entirely student-produced fashion event under the direction of DMACC instructors Ann Gadbury and Cindy Marshall. Students in the Fashion Coordination and Promotion class select a student director and form teams that plan and execute marketing and PR, finance, styling and venue arrangements. These students also host and guide the evening experience for attendees. Many of the dresses featured at the show are designed and created in the Visual Merchandising class, although some are developed outside of the class by others who want to get involved.

The Fashion Show Setting

This year’s event, the second annual interactive show centered on nonfabric original designs, took place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday evening, April 15th. The timing made it a great fit for the early evening after-work crowd, as evidenced by the rush of people who arrived before show time and the quick distribution of 100 swag bags.

West End Architectural Salvage provided a perfect facility for the alternative fashion experience. Located at 22 9th Street in downtown Des Moines, this four-story building sells a wide variety of salvaged items. Because of its great downtown location and unique charm, West End regularly hosts evening weddings and events as well. Like the fashion designs, the goods sold at the store are often “upcycled”, or produced by converting recycled goods and materials into fabulous products that match current styles and trends.

Ambiance and Entertainment

DMACC Fashion Show FoodThe character of West End Salvage combined with a well-planned and executed environment greeted fashion fans as they entered the open house event. The lighting projected a blend of energy and class. Fashionably-dressed students welcomed attendees at the door, passed out detailed programs and explained the show’s format. In contrast to traditional runway-style shows, Mixed Messages offers a much more intimate and interactive experience. Twenty-three models were spread evenly through the first two floors of the building, and people were able to walk up to them, ask questions of the models or designers and take pictures. A food spread with various cheeses, crackers, cookies and drinks was also served.

Fashion Designs

The centerpiece of the fashion show is the unique and wide-ranging original outfits designed by DMACC students and modeled by other students or friends of the Fashion program. Aside from the nonfabric requirement, students are free to exercise their creativity in crafting unconventional wearable pieces.

This year’s fashion show featured 23 different outfit designs using materials such as bird cage wire, bubble wrap, shower curtain liner, feathers, playing cards, tissue paper, window blinds, toilet paper rolls, coffee filters and bike tube tires.

Here are some of the popular dress designs from the evening:

2016 DMACC Fashion Show Designs

Music and Other Entertainment

Courtney KrauseIn addition to interacting with the models and designers, guests were able to participate in a number of other fun activities during the evening. Live music was provided by several great local Des Moines musicians, including return performances by Courtney Krause and Dan Medeiros. Josh David and Jerry Lorensen were new musicians added to this year’s event. Throughout the night, a mix of great songs from diverse genres were played on both the first and second floors of the building.

Fashion Show RaffleGuests were also invited to vote on their favorite fashion designs by dropping artistic door keys into vases. The keys coincided with the “Unlocked” theme conveyed throughout promotion of the show, and cleverly integrated within the event’s format. A raffle was held as well with several valuable beauty packages given out as prizes.

Supporters and Sponsors

DMACC Fashion Step and RepeatA number of greater people and companies supported the 2016 Mixed Messages: Unlocked fashion show in a variety of ways. The lengthy list of sponsors that provided funding or promotional consideration included: Neighbor Knights, Club Herf LLC, Firetrucker Brewery, Quill & Nib, Trixies Salon, Style Consulting & Events, Classic Floral Design, Raygun, Wanderlust, Cazador, DMACC, Cafe Diem, Donna Bella Shreds, Lindsay Kaven, Campus Grounds, Austin Schulz, Teresa Woods (REMAX), Fun On 5th, Atomic Garage, 8/7 Central, JonTop, Dan Medeiros, The Sugar Barn, Metal Jewelry Amy, Dreamsakes, True Style, Mainstream Boutique, No Balance, Twist, Lime Lounge, Modern Muse, Lexi Glitz and Glam, Mary Kay (Kanya Marie), Estilo, Spa at West Glen, Jethros, Sports Clips, Courtney Krause, GreyHouse Designs, Theatrical Shop, UpDown, GoosebearyPaper Art, Thirty-One by Melissa Meyer, Cre8tv Qn, Jamberry by Gina Brown, Pampered Chef by Kim Powell, Premier Designs by Breanna Owen, Norwex by Jen Chedester, Tupperware by Beverly Thorpe, Thirty-One by Jenni Lins, Young Living by Laura Ellingson, Blond Genius, Wellness by Wicks and The Copy Shop.

Catchlight Studios and Trixies Salon provided makeup and hairstyling venues for the show day, and Lindsay Kavan directed makeup for the models with assistance from DMACC Marketing graduate Erika McNish, Sky and Anna. Tangerine was the event’s caterer. KCWI-TV “Great Day” and WHO-TV news were among the Des Moines television stations providing excellent pre-show coverage. The DMACC Marketing Department also helped with promotional radio spots and post-show video marketing.

Watch the Video Recap of DMACC’s 2nd Annual Mixed Messages Fashion Show

The Wrap-Up

After a hugely successful second annual Mixed Messages fashion show, plans are already in the works for the 2017 event. Once again, the show will take place at West End Architectural Salvage on Friday, April 14th. Mark your calendars for this fun, fast-paced, one-of-a-kind, growing fashion event!

Don’t take any chances on missing out! Sign up for our Mixed Messages contact list to receive early communication ahead of next year’s show!

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Neil Kokemuller

Neil Kokemuller has been a Professor of Marketing at Des Moines Area Community College since 2004. Prior to teaching, he worked as a marketing specialist and retail manager. He holds an MBA from Iowa State University

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