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?

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!