Students promote fashionable fundraising with clothing lines

Friday, March 13, 2009 | 11:47 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Fashion has the power to change people’s lives. Laura Clothier, a Stephens College senior, has been dreaming up fashions since she was in middle school. She is thrilled with the opportunity to showcase her talent in the third annual Model Citizen Fashion Show on Saturday.

The event, hosted by KOMU-TV news anchor Megan Murphy and "Entertainment Tonight" correspondent Jann Carl, a 1982 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, raises money for the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Last year, 750 tickets were sold and $120,000 was raised for the center, said Scott Rowson, Thompson Center spokesman.

The event will showcase fashions from several Columbia boutiques and pieces designed by six fashion students from both Stephens and MU.

Clothier has been working on her line, which features five weekend-wear outfits, since the beginning of the fall semester. Her process began with flipping through magazines, photographs and fabric swatches to gain inspiration and then researching the wants and needs of her customer.

She wanted to create a clothing line that is fun for a young woman in her 20s. “I kind of envisioned her as a bigger-city girl living in Los Angeles or New York or Philadelphia, just somewhere you can pull off styles a lot more differently than you cold here,” Clothier said. “There is something appealing about the lifestyle of a fun-loving young woman who has the world at her fingertips.”

The biggest inspiration for her clothing line was the time she spent in Los Angeles last summer, interning for women’s contemporary fashion designer Geron Ford. Clothier bought much of the fabric for her line in Los Angeles.

Clothier will graduate from Stephens College in May. From there, she hopes to move to New York City and find a career as a fashion designer.

“I figure this is the age to do it,” Clothier said. “Why not just go for it — and if it doesn’t work, then I’ll have to figure something else out.”

For the third year in a row, MU senior Madison Christianer has been featured in the Model Citizen Fashion Show. Her love for fashion began in middle school when she started taking sewing classes. She later honed her skill in high school when she began taking fashion classes.

Christianer found inspiration for her line, titled “Black and Bold,” while walking around campus. She finds students to be a great source for new fashion ideas.