We stage our Biennial Runway Show every two years so students have a chance to get near-professional experience that spotlights their inventiveness and problem-solving skills and takes their work from the studio to the catwalk. The Runway Show is a capstone experience, and work completed by students in various fashion design courses over the course of two years is featured against a high-energy backdrop and before sold-out audiences.
In 2016 Nebraska’s NET Radio interviewed faculty and students involved in that year’s runway show experience. Listen to the audio report and a feature interview with student designer Maria Barmettler at this link:
While it has always been an incredible opportunity for our department’s students to showcase their work in a major production, our show has evolved into an even bigger event for the campus community. We know of no other university whose Runway Show involves the same kinds of cross-disciplinary student collaboration as ours.
Hospitality, Restaurant & Tourism Management (HRTM) students stage and serve the pre-show VIP dinner. Culinary Science and Catering students prepare the dinner and dessert. Theater students manage the stage and design the show’s lighting. Music students compose the show’s score and keep the beat of the catwalk from start to finish.
The Mary Mitchell Fashion Excellence Award
Both the expanded Biennial Runway Show and the Sheldon show – in the alternate year, our students stage a more compressed show in the grand lobby of the Sheldon Art Museum here on campus – are presented before panels of jurors who award cash prizes courtesy of the Mary Mitchell Fashion Excellence Award fund, made possible by the former Omaha fashion illustrator Mary Mitchell and her late husband John Mitchell. The awards bring a competitive edge to the shows and help motivate the students to do their best. The results are always remarkable.