The remaining event in the Fall Fashion Series — with David Lipscomb and Gus Mayer — is free and open to the public. Mark your calendar for the final date. Here are the details:

  • Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. — Meet Jewelry Designer Carol Phillips Fails of Evergreen Collections and hear about the jewelry making process at Gus Mayer. The event will be moderated by Mallory Ervin.

The scale and scope of the fashion industry have grown worldwide, and as it has been proved as of recent, New York, Los Angelos and international cities are not the only hubs for fashion. Nashville’s fashion community has put themselves on the map and contributed to the ever-evolving fashion landscape. As the fashion landscape evolves, so does education within the industry. Local institutions such as Lipscomb University, have grown and adapted their programs to feed knowledge to those pursuing a career in fashion and design. “We have expanded what we offer,” Kim Chaudoin, Lipscomb’s Assistant Vice President of the Office of Public Relations & Communication, explains. “It is not just looking at traditional textile and apparel, but looking at how that works within the entertainment industry.”

Lipscomb’s Department of Fashion and Design recently relocated from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and refocused their efforts to best serve the students. The department now incorporates Fashion Merchandising and Fashion Design within the College of Entertainment and the Arts. “It is a relatively small department, which means we have small class sizes and the ability to give individual attention,” Kathy Bates Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Fashion and Design shares. Each year, Kathy takes a group of students on a study tour, alternating between  Florence and New York City every other year. And that is only the beginning of the department’s unique offerings.

Kevan Hall

A Kevan Hall design shines on the runway. Image: Kevan Hall

Emily Phillips creates simple, versatile pieces that can take you from work to soccer games, out to dinner, to the beach and beyond. Image: Emily Phillips

Natalie Busby creates “modern building blocks for the modern woman” with her line of versatile separates. Image: Natalie Busby

In 1997, Caroline J. Cross, a Lipscomb alumnus, established The Caroline J. Cross Chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences to “provide enrichment opportunities to students in this field. It provides financial resources to support and attract noted and distinguished lecturers, scholars and special programs to the Lipscomb campus.” Today, the funds continue to be used to offer enrichment opportunities to Lipscomb students and to the Department of Fashion and Design, even with its departure from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. “We appreciate the willingness of Mrs. Cross to continue to let her generous contribution be used despite the changes in the department,” Kathy expresses. “We appreciate her continued support as we adapt, based on a changing industry. Because of her generosity, we are able to enhance the learning experience of the students and the community.”

In the past, the funds have been used to bring in distinguished professionals within the field to speak to students and offer an enriching opportunity over and above what is being taught in the classroom. This year, Lipscomb’s Department of Fashion and Design used the funds to create a fall fashion series, in collaboration with Gus Mayer. The thoughtful collaboration, made possible due to the generous funding, gives Nashville fashion students an opportunity to learn from their surrounding community as well as industry professionals, all in a five-part fashion series.

During each event in the series, an industry expert speaks to students and community members, offering a first-hand account of their fashion experience. “We wanted there to be tangible takeaways,” explains Beth Franklin of Gus Mayer. “We want to offer the opportunity for the students and community members to get one-on-one knowledge from those in the industry, which you can’t get from a textbook. My hope is that students can form relationships and see beyond the classroom walls.”

“We view the city as our campus,” Kim adds. “It provides an opportunity to get our students into the community and let them experience what they learn about in the traditional setting of a classroom. There are opportunities for them to get hands-on experience and learn from others who are leaders in the fields of fashion and design.”

The series launched at Gus Mayer last week, when designer Hilton Hollis was on-hand to discuss his designs.

Building community relationships was a priority in planning the events. The free series offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Nashville community and for Nashville to expand its knowledge of fashion. “The series showcases the many different facets of the business for the students and also gets the community involved,” Beth tells us. “It is a reminder that people give their blood, sweat and tears for their business. We get caught up in the numbers, but at the end of the day, we are all just people with dreams. I want to show the students that the industry goes beyond clothing. We are about investing in our community.”

The series kicked off last week with the inaugural event at Gus Mayer featuring Hilton Hollis, a Mississippi native and contemporary womenswear designer. Hilton has a wealth of knowledge, especially in product development — from fabrics to pricing. The series continues with four more events featuring evening gown designer Kevan Hall, followed by milliner Christine Moore and local designers Natalie Busby and Emily Phillips. “We thought about who would understand the value of this opportunity for the students,” Beth explains. “We chose designers who believe in giving back because someone gave them a chance.”

And that’s what it’s all about.

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