Dress Form Contest


Those enrolled in the Fashion Design and Fashion Business programs at Genesee Community College were given the amazing opportunity to win dress forms donated to the school by PGM Dress Forms, the leading dress form manufacturer in the United States, based out of California.154836_580970075263689_1180436399_n The winners of these dress forms are career-driven, hardworking students, who are also extremely talented designers at GCC. The dress forms will make a large impact on these three creative women, and surely help them to accomplish future career goals, which they hold dearly and consider with upmost seriousness.

Accomplished students Candace Cooper, Alaina Shannon, and Natalie Brown are the winners of the 2014 Dress Form Contest! All of the girls wrote entry essays entailing what they would do if they won a PGM dress form, and how this award would help to accomplish their career goals. Candace Cooper writes, “When Professor Ehrhart initially notified me of the amazing opportunity of the dress form competition, I was overly thrilled at the news! Being that I am a design student I would love to own a dress form. I’ve always wanted to invest into one, but looking online, the prices were a little intimidating with them ranging from $1,500 to $2,000.” Candace’s collection entitled “ÉCLAT” will be featured in the upcoming GCC 33rd Annual Fashion Show entitled Ethereal. Alaina addresses why she would love to win a PGM dress form and how it would help her to achieve her artistic vision. In her contest essay, she states that, “By winning a dress form I would be capable of anything. As an artist, often times I conjure up creativity at the most random and unexpected times as my mind begins to soar into a new and exciting realm. When I visualize an idea in my head, I feel the urgency to get right to work. I sketch my ideas, gather and cut fabric, and begin to layout the image that is in my head. However, tedious measurements, and the annoyance of making a human stand shivering cold for forty minutes while being draped and pinned is a nuisance. I often find myself wishing I could constantly have access to a dress form so that I could put my creative, crazy mind at ease.”  Alaina’s designs will be featured in the upcoming GCC Fashion Show as well, in a scene entitled “Americana”. Natalie Brown envisions what it would be like to own a personal dress form in her contest essay; writing that, “If I had my own dress form, I could create my own design studio space in my room at my house. I currently have my very own sewing machine that I bought myself, so having my own dress form would complete my own personal working space.” Natalie Brown’s designs will also be featured in the upcoming GCC Ethereal Fashion Show. Her scene is called “Revival”, the featured clothing is previously owned and repurposed in order to be transformed from an old garment into a piece that is new and exciting. These dress forms are certainly in good hands; Congratulations Candace, Alaina, and Natalie, we can’t wait to see what amazing designs you all create for the upcoming fashion show and in the near future!

Also, on behalf of everyone in the fashion program at Genesee Community College I’d like to give a big thank you to PGM Dress Forms for donating three dress forms to these well-deserving girls, and to Professor Ehrhart and Professor Dudkowski for continuing to offer this amazing opportunity to GCC’s wonderfully talented design students.

-Ami Cornell

Show and Tell


Recently, the fashion students have begun a new and exciting class: Display and Visual Merchandising. Only a few classes into the course and the students have already created one of four displays. There are four teams (each with four or five members) who contribute their ideas and creativity to the display. The great thing about this class is the freedom that Professor Ehrart gives all of us. The only direction we are given is which display we will be using; whether it’s a full window display, shadow box, display case, or rolling rack. It’s up to us to use any and all ideas to create a theme and send a message to our viewer about the merchandise or business. Creating an interesting display that makes your eye wander around the entire space, while keeping with a theme and having a clear focal point was key in this task. Shadow Box DisplayFull Window DisplayRolling RackDisplay Case

What do you think?

As a class, we walked to all displays and evaluated them on focal points, theme, message and use of props. Each team had the opportunity to show their display and tell the viewers their inspiration for it. We determined what we liked and some changes we would make to each display. Overall, the class did a great job with the first displays of the course. We agreed that this was one of the most fun and challenging classes in the program. What other class gives you the freedom to create any display your creativity allows?

Hurry! Help to Find G-Dub and win!


G-Dub the Cougar went missing, and you can crack the case and win two tickets to the (sold out) Forum Players’ performance of Clue the Musical on 11/8!

Here’s the rules: www.bit.ly/MissingCougar

And here’s a clue:

Project Runway Winner Visits Genesee Community College


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“I knew I wanted something else, something bigger,” explained Project Runway season nine winner Anya Ayoung Chee as she spoke with fashion students on campus Wednesday afternoon. Offering advice and sharing her journey in the fashion industry, Anya Ayoung Chee chose a more candid and relaxed approach to her presentation. While engaging students in conversation, Anya outlined her rise to fame from unknown to internationally acclaimed designer through the hit television program Project Runway.

Photo Credit: Howard Owens Used with permission from

Photo Credit: Howard Owens
Used with permission from The Batavian.

Growing up in Trinidad, Anya Ayoung Chee had limited career options and felt as though she was expected to pursue a traditional career by becoming a doctor or a lawyer. It wasn’t until Anya traveled to Tokyo, Japan with her family at the age of fifteen that she realized her true passion – design. Anya recounted how mesmerized she was by the technology and innovative designs illuminating the streets of Tokyo. It was this experience that influenced her in choosing to study graphic design at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. Anya eventually left Parsons during her junior year and studied at the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, England. Upon graduating, Anya worked a string of jobs ranging from film production studio assistant to luxury perfume packaging designer, until her life was suddenly rocked by tragedy. In 2007, Anya’s younger brother Pilar died in a tragic car accident at the age of eighteen. Following this tragedy, Anya embarked on a “soul searching” journey that eventually led her to the Miss Universe Pageant in 2008 where she represented her home country as Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe. Representing Trinidad and Tobago provided a platform for Anya to begin designing clothing and promoting her own designs. In 2011, Anya Ayoung Chee auditioned for the ninth season of Project Runway and was chosen as a contestant in the final round of casting. Anya recounted the weeks leading up to Project Runway, describing her motivation to be a part of something bigger than herself and the encouragement she felt as “almost divine.” Anya did, however, suffer a lapse of faith when she received a call from Project Runway producers and initially turned down their offer for casting in season nine, fearing she would embarrass herself and her family and friends. Eventually Anya did accept the offer from producers and the rest is history.

Anya Ayoung Chee with fashion students.

Anya Ayoung Chee with fashion students and professors Mr. Dudkowski and Ms. Ehrhart.

Today, Anya Ayoung Chee is working on her eponymous line in addition to her street wear line PILAR, created in memorial of her brother. Anya’s Spring/Summer 2014 line showed at fashion weeks in South Africa, New York, and London. Anya also recently launched “The Canyaval Shop” showcasing her designs inspired by Carnival which feature strong Caribbean influences. Anya Ayoung Chee is still very involved with The Tallman Foundation, a charity that her family founded in memory of her late brother, Pilar.

Anya Ayoung Chee credits much of her success to her “light-hearted approach” to the industry and her mentor who taught her everything she knows about the technical side of design. Anya offered the same advice to fashion students during her presentation: find a mentor to foster and develop skills and take calculated risks. Anya enforced the ideals of self-respect, positivity, determination, and tenacity in setting out to achieve greatness. When asked to impart her best piece of advice for young designers and professionals trying to break into the industry, Anya left students with the following words of encouragement:  “Celebrate yourself and risk being yourself fully. It’s never worth not knowing.”

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Anya Ayoung Chee signs autographs for fashion students following her presentation at Genesee Community College on Wednesday.

Check out some of Anya Ayoung Chee’s designs here!

G-Dub the Cougar is MISSING!


At the scene of G-Dub’s last known whereabouts, Campus Safety officers retrieved a scrap of paper with the website www.bit.ly/MissingCougar typed on it. The website introduces a game open to all students, faculty, staff and members of the community to solve the case. By attending campus events and online locations, participants receive clues to help determine who kidnapped G-Dub, how he/she did it and where G-Dub is currently being held.

Four GCC faculty and staff members have been named as suspects in the case: Director of Student Activities Cliff Scutella, Athletics Assistant Ron Spoitta, Director of Admissions Tanya Lane-Martin and First Year Experience Professor Dr. Tom Priester.

According to Campus Safety officers, all four have the means to execute the kidnapping. The website makes note of the possible weapons used in the kidnapping, such as the College Village golf cart, as well as the following four locations G-Dub could be held by the kidnapper; the Roz Steiner Art Gallery, Campus Bookstore, Fitness Center or the Alfred C. O’Connell Library.

According to the website, correctly solving the case enters participants in a raffle to win one of three prizes:

• First Prize – Two tickets to The Forum Players’ (SOLD OUT!) Clue the Musical – $40 value, Friday November 8th, 2013 at 7 p.m.

• Second Prize – Clue the board game and Clue the movie.

• Third Prize – A GCC gear basket, donated by G-Dub the Cougar.

The first prize tickets include a dine-in mystery theatre experience based on Clue, the popular board game. Comic antics, witty lyrics and a beguiling score carry the investigation as the audience, seated at tables on stage, help solve the mystery.

The GCC Forum Players joins Genesee County Mental Health Association for their performance of Clue the Musical presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. on November 8 and 9 at 7 p.m., as well as a matinee on November 10 at 2 p.m. All seats are $20, presale tickets only at the Genesee Community College Box Office, 1 College Road, Batavia NY, 14020 or by phone at (585) 343 – 0055 x6814.

Here’s a clue:


Phi Theta Kappa Hosts Third Annual “Bake for a Cure”


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Genesee Community College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society hosted their third annual “Bake for a Cure” event this afternoon, Thursday October 17th on campus. With the help of our members, the adviser and officer team set up a booth in the forum and sold tasty treats throughout the afternoon. Attracting hungry students and teachers alike, our annual bake sale was a huge success and we were able to raise well over $300! One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated directly to Genesee Cancer Assistance, a local organization that provides aid for those affected by cancer and their loved ones.

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Tasty treats in the forum!

In addition to our baked goods, we also sold raffle tickets for donated baskets and items. Our donated raffle items included gift cards, gift baskets, jewelry, and a beautiful pink ribbon quilt handmade by lung cancer survivor Deb Levinstein.

Handmade quilt donated by Deb Levinstein.

Handmade quilt donated by Deb Levinstein.

The raffle drawing will take place at our November lunch meeting and the winners will be contacted. Thank you to everyone who donated raffle items, baked items for the sale, helped set up, and volunteered their time to work at our booth. A special thanks goes out to everyone who participated to make this year’s event a success!

New Year, New Job, New View


As I begin my second year of the Fashion Design program at GCC, I also began a new job. As required by the Fashion program, each student needs experience working in the area of fashion, either over the summer or throughout the school year. For me, my recent new job was something completely new to me: men’s wear.

My job experience throughout this school year will be at Charles Men’s Shop. It is located at 200 E Main Street right in Batavia. While at the Men’s Shop, I will be setting the window displays. Showing the all of the amazing merchandise the store has to offer, while creating a theme and telling a story, keeping in mind the latest trends for fall was a challenge at first. I haven’t taken the Visual Display class with Ms. Ehrhart (the fashion design professor at GCC) because it begins in October, so trying to accomplish that goal made my first few window attempts difficult. I had a hard time finding inspiration and translating it through men’s wear. Until that time, I had only acquired experience with women’s retail. I had received some advice from the Men’s Shop’s helpful staff, Kristen, Don, and Dave. I also asked both of my professors, Mr. Dudkowski (the fashion merchandising professor at GCC) and Ms. Ehrhart for some advice. I’m very glad i decided to ask for some much-needed tips. After getting a better understanding of the window displays and finding my inspiration, I created a window that i was truly proud of. My vision for the window was the New York City pop up sales, since I, along with all other fashion students, will be attending a field trip to the Big Apple next month. Don Brown (Charles Men’s Shop VP) was recently showing me some pictures from the past trips to the city. He told me of the pop up retail stores that would be selling men’s wear, which made me think of trunk shows. I combined the two ideas with my inspiration of the city and created my window.

Business Wear

Business Wear

I really have enjoyed my time so far at the Men’s Shop. If i hadn’t attended GCC I wouldn’t receive an opportunity like this, nor would I have the always available professors ready to guide me with expert advice. Getting hands on training from such an accomplished and well-known store is great experience. Just as Don Brown had said, along with having fun, learning is the most important part of working at the Men’s Shop. After I have had more experience completing some windows and in-store displays, I could move on to learning new sewing techniques along with more planning and customer service skills.

As I look at window displays, men’s magazines and online articles, I see more now than I would have before this job. I wonder about what the message is that they are sending, what story they are telling, why they made certain choices. This ongoing experience will always make me think more about the way a display is shown than I would have ever thought. There is always room to grow and enhance skills with GCC and job opportunities.

Come down to Charles Men’s Shop and join me on the Wine Walk, October 5, 2013!