As Fashion Design Program Turns 85, Woodbury University Celebrates with ‘Timeless’ Fashion Show

Set for April 30 at The Reef, Popular Student Runway Event Highlights Fashion Study Collection and Honors Fashion Blogger Sazan Hendrix

BURBANK, Calif. (April 18, 2017) – As Woodbury University counts down to the 85th anniversary of its Fashion Design program, the university will mark the occasion on April 30 with its annual Fashion Show, to be held this year at The Reef in downtown Los Angeles. The event will also highlight the University’s extensive Fashion Study Collection through a showcase of garments from each decade since the program’s inception.

“Timeless: 85 Years of Woodbury Fashion,” Woodbury’s 53rd Annual Fashion Show, will combine the design collections of the graduating senior students, work of the junior students, and selected pieces from the Fashion Study Collection. “Timeless” will honor celebrity fashion and lifestyle blogger Sazan Hendrix (http://sazan.me/), founder of Bless Box (http://blessbox.com/), whose blog counts some 700,000 Instagram followers. The Reef (www.The-Reef.com) is located at 1933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. The event will run from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday evening (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/woodbury-university-fashion-show-2017-tickets-32453754052).

The 3,000-piece Fashion Study Collection boasts film costumes from such luminaries as Edith Head and Adrian, and recalls Woodbury’s place in the pantheon of Hollywood designers, from Howard Greer – who created the school’s first professional costume design training offered — to Woodbury grad William Travilla, famous for his Marilyn Monroe designs. Among the fashion designers represented in the Collection: Bonnie Cashin, Andre Courreges, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, Christian Dior, Mariano Fortuny, James Galanos, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rudi Gernreich, Issey Miyake, Norman Norell, Yves Saint Laurent, Arnold Scaasi, Elsa Schiaparelli and Yohji Yamamoto.

“The Fashion Study Collection serves to enhance the learning experience of fashion design students and serious researchers by collecting objects pertaining to all aspects of dress,” said Anna Leiker, Chair, Fashion Design Department at Woodbury. “This year’s Fashion Show is both a tribute to Woodbury’s rich tradition and a way of demonstrating our connection to the history, manufacture and craftsmanship of clothing, adornment, and textile production.”

Founded in 1978, the collection was the brainchild of former department chair Dr. Rosalie Utterbach, Leiker said, noting that it had been a vision of hers for years, to be used as a device to show “hands-on” examples in her History of Costume class. When a fortuitous donation arrived from the New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology in the 1970s, her dream was on its way to being realized. In 1984 Professor Utterbach organized the first exhibition titled, One Hundred Years of Fashion. It featured a gown dating from 1884, the founding year of Woodbury College. Over the years, the collection has been honed and built upon to serve the students of the Fashion Design program and the public at large.

“Just as our annual Fashion Show places student creativity front and center, so the Fashion Study Collection provides a hands-on experience for Fashion Design students, through which they can select objects to study based on construction techniques, designer attribution or chronology,” said Sue Vessella, MFA, Interim Dean, School of Media, Culture & Design. “The collection embodies so much of what makes Woodbury distinctive in fashion and costume design, and this year’s Fashion Show will pay tribute to this remarkable contribution to fashion education.”

The collection includes couture, ready-to-wear, children’s wear, menswear, accessories, paper patterns, fashion magazines and textile designs. Additionally, the archive houses clothing from the 18th century to the mid-20th century. Examples include 18th century textiles, footwear, couture beading samples, and knitwear. Pieces from the collection have also been lent to prestigious museums across the country for exhibition.

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