Fashion students show off talents for charity

Nashville junior Michelle Lynum, 22, makes her way down the red carpet at the White Hot Summer fashion show sponsored by the WKU fashion merchandising department at Dillard’s, Friday, March 20. “I’m not in the major. They’re just using me for my legs,” said Lynum. William Kolb/HERALD


A red carpet covered the white tile under the makeup counters, stretching outward. A white arch consisting of large crepe flowers rose near halfway down carpeted runway, and the red road ended with two vases full of white flowers.  

A cluster of models clad in various rompers, slacks, tops and dresses chatted between the counters waiting for the cue to start the show. 

Minutes later, the runway drew a crowd of curious passersby and supportive friends as WKU students strutted down the line of red.

Customers of the Dillard’s at Greenwood Mall saw this unique site on Friday night as WKU’s Visual Merchandising and Promotion class presented “White Hot Summer,” a benefit fashion show. 

Tawny Nutter, a fashion merchandising major from Louisville, said the event was originally scheduled for Feb. 20, but two snow closures pushed it back.

The event was held on the last possible moment for the bi-term class, as a new bi-term started Monday, she noted. 

“The extra time has been a curse and a blessing,” she said. 

Dillard’s provided all clothing and several accessories, and the models brought their own shoes. 

Nutter said the models were comprised of friends and friends of friends, with a majority of them representing the Alpha Xi Delta sorority.  

The models exuded confidence, even though it was their first time walking down a runway for many. 

For business economics major Maddie Boyd, the experience was definitely new.

“I’m fashion challenged so someone had to dress me,” the Owensboro native said. “I basically picked out clothes and walked in and out [of a dressing room] until they said ‘yes, that’s it.’”

Boyd said she liked the outfit picked out for her— white slacks with a navy squared top. 

“I wouldn’t normally pick it out for myself, but I think I look like a hot mom, total MILF status,” she said.

The show did more than offer a prediction for “White Hot Summer” trends. The benefit raised awareness for Dresses for Haiti, a non-profit organization that converts pillowcases into dresses. 

“We like to do stuff like this so we don’t get lost in the shuffle. It’s good for people to see our events,” Nutter said. “It’s a big opportunity for us to show what we put our heart into.” 

As the final show concluded, all of the models walked the red carpet once more, followed by the visual merchandising students. 

“We hope you have a great night and all of you have a white hot summer,” emcee Jelisa Chatman said as the crowd dispersed. 

The students, clad in mostly black, grouped together and cheered that their labor of love finally saw the runway.