Fashion Study Collection goes after hours


Photo Courtesy of Jaleesa Key

Located on the eighth floor of the 618 S. Michigan Ave. Building, the Fashion Study Collection houses more than 6,000 garments that are resources for Columbia students.

By Jaleesa Key

All Columbia students are welcome to swing by the temperature-controlled eighth floor vault in the Fashion Study Collection. It has added something new to the overall experience: Salons.

To allow students the opportunity to study and engage with designer garments, the Fashion Study Collection’s curators have reinvented its After Hours sessions as salons, which take place in the resource center room on the eighth floor of the 618 S. Michigan Ave. Building from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month.

“I wanted to encourage more people to come in and use the collection,” said Jacqueline WayneGuite, the collection’s manager.

The Fashion Study Collection’s vault has more than 6,000 pieces with the oldest garment dating back to the 1840s. When choosing garments, WayneGuite said she picks the ones that enhance the college’s fashion curriculum, and sometimes even relies on faculty and student donations. The collection’s committee votes on garments to add to the vault because space is limited.

Each salon will feature a different theme with coordinated garments, accessories, books and magazines from the collection, WayneGuite said. Past themes have included Latin designers, outerwear styles and beaded jewelry, she said. 

WayneGuite said she tries to keep the themes varied, making some of them fun and whimsical while others are history-based, construction-concentrated, or strictly designer-oriented.

Last month’s wedding theme included classic wedding gowns from different decades along with culture-inspired pieces, including an orange and gold screen-printed Japanese Uchikake kimono, a wedding dress from Afghanistan, a wool courthouse wedding dress from the 1940s and honeymoon ensembles.

WayneGuite said salon attendance may decrease throughout the semester depending on the types of assignments students do in class.

“Not every salon is going to appeal to everyone,” WayneGuite said. “But I want to try to hit all of the different groups of our students.”

Trevor Greig, a senior interdisciplinary journalism and fashion studies major and a student intern at the Fashion Study Collection, said students should utilize the collection to help complement their education.

“A lot of students really don’t realize what we have in the collection,” Greig said. “You can find anything in here from a classic Chanel skirt suit to a vest made out of seal gut.”

Adreanna Tyson, a senior fashion studies major who volunteers in the Fashion Study Collection, shared similar sentiments and said she always uses her downtime to do her own research.

“I enjoy looking at all of the periodicals and books in the Fashion Study Collection,” Tyson said. “That’s going to help my designs and collections in the future. I even ask [WayneGuite] to pull some pieces for me.”

WayneGuite said she hopes to add contemporary pieces, 3D printed garments and neoprene garments from Carolina Herrera’s spring/summer 2015 collection in the near future. She said she has to narrow down her choices when adding to it because the collection is running on a small budget.

“We would love to have more contemporary pieces that are innovative examples of design housed in the Fashion Study Collection,” WayneGuite said. “It depends if the right piece presents itself at the right price.”

The next salon will be held March 11 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on the eighth floor in the 618 S. Michigan Ave Building. The theme is “Magnificent Mile.”