“United We Transcend”

By Jen Kent

This was my third year attending CREO, Mount Mary University’s annual student designer fashion show, and each year I’m blown away by the young talent and creativity being fostered right here in Milwaukee.

The word CREO is Latin for “to make, create, produce,” and the theme of this year’s show was “transcend” — a fittingly powerful word that complemented many of the students’ designs. And while each piece was different than the last, reflecting the designers’ various sources of inspiration, a common theme popped up throughout the show: that of designing for the strong, empowered woman. I was delighted to see how these young students embraced a feminine-minded attitude, creating garments suited for the modern-day, fashion-forward woman.

The run of show included five main categories: obsession, fortitude, trance, awakening and pinnacle. Five to eight students per category exhibited their collections, which spanned from a single statement piece to multiple items forming a cohesive set. Flowy fabrics in pastel hues followed well-tailored, neutral-colored jackets and colorful knitwear, and athleisure wear and more evocative silhouettes made their presence known too. The final collection, “All Dolled Up” by Jessika Jones, was inspired by a fierce yet friendly, hypothetical 9-year-old girl, eliciting a collective “aw” from the audience as five little ones sashayed down the runway in over-the-top ball gowns decked out in gold sequins and cream tulle.  

As a journalist and someone who patrons the arts through the written word and at M, attending CREO each year is a reminder of just how important it is for our community to continue to nurture local talent and creativity. Kudos to Mount Mary University and its staff for doing so with such vigor, dedication and passion — I’m grateful for all that you do, and I know I’m not alone.