Students host fashion show for Humane Society

Members of a Visual Merchandising class hosted a fashion show called Dogs on the Catwalk to benefit the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society Thursday at Centennial Mall.

Anna Anderson

WKU’s Centennial Mall was alive with activity on Thursday afternoon for the Visual Merchandising Fashion Show.

Students from the Interior Design and Fashion Merchandising Program erected a runway in the heart of campus, decorated it, provided bumping dance music and dressed their models in current, WKU-themed clothing.

However, three of the models didn’t wear heels or fancy shoes. They didn’t even have feet in a traditional sense — they had paws.

Alvin, Dobby and Lola, three adoptable dogs from the Bowling Green Warren County Humane Society and Hildreth Adoption Center, were walking the runway with the other models.

In addition to featuring the dogs in the show entitled, “Dogs on the Catwalk,” the merchandising students also took donations for the Humane Society during the event.

“Whenever I see those commercials of the sad animals, I always want to do something to help,” said Bowling Green junior Katherine McQueen, a textiles and merchandising major who acted as the fashion show’s director.

Last summer, McQueen started volunteering at the Humane Society and has even adopted a cat.

The day her visual merchandising class decided to support the group in their semester fashion show, McQueen said she contacted the Humane Society to see if they were interested in participating.

“They were really excited,” she said.

Since the semester began in January, McQueen and her colleagues worked to make everything come together by assuming different roles in the production process.

St. Louis senior Jantelle McNeil, also a merchandising major, helped to recruit models for the show.

The aspiring designer has been involved in other campus fashion shows, including last month’s “Rip the Runway.”

Although McNeil said she was familiar with the Humane Society before beginning work on the show, the event inspired her to possibly adopt a pet in the future.

“I always wanted a puppy,” McNeil said. “And I’m definitely going to start looking.”

“Dogs on the Catwalk” was a group effort among the students and the community.

The WKU Floral Shop’s arrangements lined the runway, featuring red roses dispersed with dog treats. Kappa Delta sorority and Fruit of the Loom also helped sponsor the event.

Both the WKU Store and Dillard’s in the Greenwood Mall provided clothes for the models.

The attire, ranging from casual on-campus wear to Homecoming formal clothing, featured WKU’s signature colors of red and white.

McQueen said Dillard’s employees Michael Simmons and Carlos Guerra worked with her classmates to put together the more formal looks.

One of the models wearing clothes from Dillard’s was a sophomore from Mount Juliet, Tenn., Megan Lemmons, who said she was eager to participate in the show for two reasons.

In addition to modeling in Nashville, the 19-year-old merchandising major appeared in last spring’s fashion show at WKU featuring clothing made from recycled materials, and she said she was eager to help out her fellow students again.

The dogs, Lemmons said, were a plus.

“I love animals,” she said. “I was sad there weren’t cats, but it happens.”