A long-time interest in design has led a Hope College student to culminate her undergraduate career with a fashion show on campus.
Sopheap Sam, who graduated in May, will stage "A Social Affair," a fashion show featuring special occasion wear, on Saturday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the DeWitt Center Kletz. The 60 outfits prepared for the show have been crafted through an independent study that Sam has pursued this summer with Judy Hillman of the college's art faculty.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
"It didn't take long for everyone here to know I wanted to do fashion," said Sam, who was born in Cambodia and grew up in the San Jose, Calif., area. "A month or two into my freshman year, Bill Mayer mentioned that I should do a fashion show."
Sam didn't start her planning that early, but because of her strong interest did take an internship with designer Cynthia Rowley Inc., while in New York last fall through the Great Lakes Colleges Association's "New York Arts Semester." Having experienced everything from the warehouse to accounting to publicity to design while with the firm, she started to give serious thought to what she would do with a show of her own.
"It's been brewing in my head for six months," she said.
Sam describes the pieces she prepared for the show as "casual-dressy to formal."
"It's not an outfit that you would wear everyday," she said. "It's things that people would probably wear for bridesmaids' dresses, prom, balls--things like that."
The show will present pieces for five types of parties, progressing from least formal to most formal. The outfits displayed will be further described in booklets available to audience members.
Some 20 models will present the clothing. Most of the models are current or former Hope students; three are children.
Sam hopes for a career in fashion design, and she views the independent study as a learning process. "My hope out of this has been for it to be an experience for me, and to let my mind work on being creative," she said.
She graduated from Hope in May with a major in art history, and currently intends to return in the spring semester to expand her studio art minor into a major as well.
Advanced registration for the fashion show on July 28 is not required, but to help assure seating is encouraged. Those planning to attend may either e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org  or call Fields Fabrics in Holland, which is helping sponsor the event, at (616) 392-4806.
The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. The Kletz is located on the south side of the building's ground level.