Sarah Mader’s “BECOMING” luxury resort wear collection took both Best in Show and first place for collections at The Fashion Show 2017 at Iowa State University. Photo by Ryan Riley.

Winning garments take those who wear them on a journey

An Iowa State University student whose fashion designs are inspired by traveling overseas to Spain, Morocco, and the Sahara desert — and who wanted others to also experience that journey — took the top prize at the The Fashion Show 2017.

“Sometimes it’s not the destination, but the process of getting there,” Sarah Mader said in describing her online portfolio. “Let this resort wear collection take you on a freeing journey. Step outside of your comfort zone while you embrace the grand, beautiful, and different cultures around you. And most importantly, become who you want to be in these clothes, even if it’s just for a little while.”  

Mader, a senior in apparel, merchandising, and design, won the $1,000 Lora and Russ Talbot ISU Fashion Show “Best in Show” Scholarship with her collection called “BECOMING” at Iowa State’s 35th annual fashion show, held Saturday night at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium.

The eight-piece Modden Studios by Sarah Mader luxury resort wear collection includes dresses and a jumpsuit — all in purple, deep blue, indigo, sapphire, and white with hints of green, yellow, and peach — and incorporates both digital printing and laser-cutting techniques.

Sarah Bennett, faculty adviser to The Fashion Show, said judges selected Mader’s collection as Best in Show because they felt her garments had the most clear and considered point of view. The collection also took first place in the “collections” category.

“They were also very impressed by the huge range of textile design demonstrated, including more than 10 unique prints and several unique laser cut patterns,” Bennett said. “Additionally, the judges were impressed by the level of commitment shown by the student to create such a large collection with such clear attention to detail.”

Mader, who works as an independent contractor and intern at KN Custom Sewing in Boone, in February joined two Iowa State alumnae in showcasing their designs at Omaha Fashion Week.

On Saturday night, Mader's collection was among 132 student-designed garments featured at The Fashion Show 2017, one of the largest student-run fashion shows in the nation. The show attracted more than 2,200 people and was also broadcast live on The Fashion Show’s website for the first time in 35 years.

Winners in other categories

Lea Dochterman—Todd Snyder Scholarship
Lea Dochterman

This year’s show attracted a total of 152 entries — 97 of which were accepted for the runway, and 35 which were displayed in mounted exhibitions. Students competed in 17 categories for $13,700 in scholarships.

Lea Dochterman, a senior in apparel, merchandising, and design, was announced as this year’s winner of the $5,000 Todd Snyder Scholarship in Memory of Ruth Glock.

The scholarship is sponsored by Snyder, a 1992 Iowa State graduate and well-known men’s fashion designer who in December opened a flagship store in New York City. Snyder has been nominated several times for Council of Fashion Designers of America awards including Menswear Designer of the Year.

Dochterman also took home four additional scholarships Saturday night for menswear, wearable art, and her designs incorporating digital printing. She will intern for Todd Snyder New York this summer.

Other winners of this year’s Fashion Show are as follows. First-place winners in all categories received $500, while second-place winners took home $300 and third place received $200.

Activewear/swimwear/intimates: Caroline Bailey, “Ceaseless,” first place. Ashlynn Boerhave, “Bellezza Viaggia,” second place.

Activewear first place
"Ceaseless" by Caroline Bailey

Children’s wear: Emily Clark, “Gwendolyn,” first place. Jordan Hullinger and Emily Clark, “Toddler Girls’ 2-piece Animal Multi Legging Set,” second place. Jaimie Towle and Gretchen Larson, “Tiny Fashionista,” third place.

Collections: Sarah Mader, “Becoming,” first place. Kara Sander, “Adagio,” second place. Cassidy Glynn, “GLITCH / accidental art,” and Alex Peters, “Bizarre Future,” tied for third place.

Digital printing: Lea Dochterman, Alex Peters, Joris Montijo, “Emotions from the Heart,” first place. Cassidy Glynn, “Glitch,” second place. Lea Dochterman, “Menswear Vest from Tracksuits,” third place.

Fashion illustration: Emily Clark, “UBUNTU,” first place. Dylan Heyer, “Cosmic Love,” second place. Devan Bridson, “Meraki,” and Kamber Causemaker, “Hope Springs Eternal,” tied for third place.

Menswear: Anna Lickliter, “Midcentury,” first place. Lea Dochterman, “Rayner,” second place.

Portfolio: Anna Lickliter, “Midcentury Lookbook,” first place.

Ready to wear first place
"Not Your Ordinary Briefcase" by Lydia Loya

Ready to wear — fall/winter: Lydia Loya, “Not Your Ordinary Briefcase,” first place. Kaiyue Yang, “Functional Knit Dress,” second place. Jess Eberl, “Panther in the Moonlight,” third place.

Ready to wear — spring/summer: Caitlyn Baagoe, “Blossomed,” first place. Meredith Miller, “Frayed and Feminine,” second place. Kathryn Kaalberg, “Pineapple Print Romper,” third place.

Special occasion — cocktail: Emily Clark, “Solidified Motion,” first place. Marsilia Yuvita, “Blooming Gold,” second place.

Special Occasion cocktail first place
"Solidified Motion" by Emily Clark

Special occasion — eveningwear: Basilia Koster, “Pretty in Gold,” first place. Liza Kane-Cutsforth, “Golden Girl,” second place.

Sustainability: Jaimie Towle, “Volcanic,” first place. Josefina Avalos, “Flor Nocturna,” second place.

Digital Printing and Wearable Art first place
"Emotions from the Heart" by Lea Dochterman, Alex Peters, and Joris Montijo

Wearable art: Lea Dochterman, Alex Peters, Joris Montijo, “Emotions from the Heart,” first place. Jess Eberl, “Reflection,” second place. Emily Clark, “Miro,” third place.

There were no entries in three categories: Accessories, Inspired by the Textiles and Clothing Museum, and Graduate.

For a third year, students also competed for the Lora and Russ Talbot Merchandising Scholarship. In this year’s competition, students had the opportunity to complete a case study created by the marketing team at Abercrombie and Fitch. Winners of the case study will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

New to this year’s show

The theme of this year’s Fashion Show was “Altered Aspects.”

A $100,000 gift from Ana Hays McCracken, a 1984 Iowa State University graduate in fashion merchandising, is the largest endowment received to date by The Fashion Show at Iowa State University. It will provide scholarships to The Fashion Show producers each year.

A February crowdfunding campaign — an online effort that raised small gifts from a large number of people — generated $26,474 from 224 donors, surpassing The Fashion Show’s goal of $20,000.

Guest judges this year included James K. Ryan, a retired brand creative manager with 40 years of experience in the industry; Maranda Nichols Persico, a film and television costume designer from Los Angeles; Tina Wagner, a freelance color and print manager from Los Angeles; and Sarah Clapper, the merchandise manager for Gap Inc. in New York.

The guest designer featured after the show’s intermission was Abasi Rosborough, founded by Abdul Abasi and Greg Rosborough. The young New York brand reinvents classic men’s tailoring by emphasizing range of motion and versatility in their all-natural line of menswear.

Iowa State’s apparel, merchandising, and design program is endorsed by the American Apparel and Footwear Association. It is one of the few apparel programs in the nation where undergraduate students have access to technologies including a digital textile printer, 3-D body scanner, laser cutter, and product development technology and testing lab.