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  • Writer's pictureErica Schwartz

Runway in Retrospect: Nude (2009)

By Erica Schwartz


"Runway in Retrospect" is a new blog series on the Boston University Fashion & Retail Association blog by website editor Erica Schwartz.

2024 marks 15 years since Boston University Fashion and Retail Association models first graced the stages of F&R's very own fashion show. Hosted in the Metcalf Trustee Ballroom, F&R's first fashion show was titled "Nude" and featured the work of three student designers: Cassie Locsin, Kaesha Chacko, and Emily Gasda.

Contrary to what the show's title might lead you to believe, very few designs actually feature shades of brown and tan. Instead, they mostly featured shades of white and black with some interspersed jewel tones, as well. Moreover, the designs are relatively modest, showcasing little bare skin. So, what gives? Why name the show "Nude"?

Nude means more than just flesh tones and, well, actual flesh. Nudeness or nakedness can refer to a general state of being bare, free of superfluousness, and that's just what this show presented. Comprised mostly of casual looks, this runway was mostly free from flashy designs or novel silhouettes. Instead, the designers mostly stuck to conventional silhouettes and textures, deriving visual interest from subtle pattern mixing and many chunky statement necklaces.

A common silhouette throughout the show was a flowy micro-mini dress over leggings or tights paired with a heel. From a patterned green-and-white frock worn with a Bardot-esque bouffant to a shrug cardigan over a sundress and business pants, these designs

In some ways, this runway feels like a time capsule. While now some of these casual looks may seem a bit dated, they were certainly extremely chic back in '09 when they graced the runway. In fact, many of the fabrics and silhouettes that make up the show were top trends of the year. Glamour Magazine declared "fancy leather" one of the "dos" in their 2009 list of style dos and don'ts and Locsin, Chacko, and Gasda certainly heeded the call with their designs for the F&R runway show.

Glamour Magazine declared "fancy leather" one of the "dos" in their 2009 list of style dos and don'ts and Locsin, Chacko, and Gasda certainly heeded the call with their design's for F&R runway show. This head-to-toe patent-leather outfit is a very 2009 take on the traditional leather catsuit. Paired with open-toe pumps—another hot trend of 2009, as reported by numerous fashion blogs—this look features cold-shoulder cutouts and a peplum chiffon layer reminiscent of a tutu. However, this leather look is not the only detour from the rather subdued tone of the show.

This mini-cage crinoline over a black sports bra and leggings (left) is arguably the furthest deviation from the casual midpoint of the show's looks. The hoop skirt stands out in shades of blue-green chrome against the matte black leggings. This cage crinoline-centered look in a neutral shade calls forth runway looks from Betsey Johnson's Spring 2009 ready-to-wear show (right).

Metal cage crinolines came into fashion in the 1850s, liberating women from the hot layers of fabric petticoats and allowing for even wider skirt widths. In the standards of the mid-late 19th century, to be seen in a cage crinoline was practically to be seen nude. So, although it might seem out of left field visually, this look is thematically apt for the nude theme.

Overall, this scaled-down show might not have had the glitz and glam of proceeding shows, but it certainly created a strong legacy that continues to this day. This year's F&R fashion show will be held April 14th at 7 pm. The show, titled "Eco-futurism," will showcase designs from 8 different student fashion designers, modeled by other students. While the scale of the show may have progressed over the past 15 years, the creativity and heart behind it have remained the same.


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