Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College
« Back to Sc-Scene Archive

Fashion design seniors to debut collaborative efforts at The Collections fashion show

April 25, 2017


Sonja Tabb ’17 and Maggie Reasbeck ’17 were already putting in long hours preparing their own collections for the 73rd Annual Student Designer Fashion Show: The Collections. The notion of collaborating on a line of clothing together seemed outrageous, at first.

Tabb, 21, was designing a collection of intimates and loungewear; Reasbeck, 22, was creating a series of tailored clothing. The senior fashion design students were inseparable in the workroom, always brainstorming and offering feedback.

design boardBefore long, their idea to create a collection together took shape.

Tabb and Reasbeck’s six-piece collaboration, “The Lost Diadem,” emphasizes the young designers’ love for draping and will be featured in the runway show, which takes place at 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m. on April 29, 2017, in Windsor Auditorium, 1405 E. Broadway, on the Stephens College campus. Get tickets online now.

The Collections highlights the best work of fashion design and production development students and this year includes seven senior collections. Not only do students design the collections, but they also produce the show and market the event to the public. 

“Fashion design is visual storytelling for the body,” said Dr. Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Design. “Whether someone is wearing sport casual or an elegant evening ensemble, the look and feel of the person’s dress evokes a conversation or storyline. The Collections fashion show provides a review of what young fashion designers, communicators and marketers see for the future.  

“Student designers create new works that are juried by fashion industry professionals, with only the best-of-the-best making their debut down the catwalk. Fashion marketing and communication students ramp up the looks and create a showcase for public review.”

The Stephens College fashion design program is ranked No. 14 in the world by The Business of Fashion and is among 20 across the nation to be recognized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

“Truly, The Collections fashion show is an exploration into creativity that is unparalleled in the region,” McMurry said.

Tabb and Reasbeck said their collaboration, which has a distinctly Grecian feel, was inspired by Star Wars costumes, Greek sculptures and desert landscapes. The muted-color garments are constructed of natural fibers, such as linen, bamboo and silk, and include some color blocking and an occasional pop of color.

“We have a similar eye and taste level,” Tabb said. “When we are designing, we always turn to each other for advice.”

Kirsteen Buchanan, associate professor in the fashion program, said Tabb and Reasbeck were incredible teammates whose strengths complemented each other. 

“Their collaboration somehow looks totally different from their individual work, yet perfectly reflects the attitude of the pair,” she said. “As their professor, I was excited to see what they would accomplish and impressed by the way they handled all the work with seeming ease—even though I suspect there were many sleepless nights. They remained the best of friends throughout and continue to crack each other up."

After graduating in May, Tabb plans to spend the summer at home in Chicago before moving to New York City, where she has already landed a job in the sample making room at Shilo Byrd Studio. Reasbeck, who also will graduate in May, hopes to find a job in the Big Apple, too, after spending the summer at home in Lee’s Summit. 

Tabb has been sewing clothes since she was a girl, and Reasbeck always enjoyed the arts, but neither young woman thought a job in their areas of interest was feasible until they learned about the fashion program at Stephens.

“I came here, and they told me there was so much I can do with this degree,” Tabb said. “It’s been amazing.” 


73rd Annual The Collections Show

About the Show

The garments that will be presented during The Collections were chosen this spring by a jury of selection, which included Felicia Peppers, textile designer for Men & Boys, Belk Stores; Eric Johnson, executive director, Saint Louis Fashion Incubator; Raquel Narvaes, Product Developer II, COE Tees, Nike Global Apparel; Louise Coffey Webb, consulting costume historian, curator, appraiser, international lecturer and collections manager; Carol Foley, fashion designer and Stephens alumna; Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer, founder of Rightfully Sewn; and Vanessa Sterbenz, personal shopper and stylist, Bergdorf Goodman.

If You Go:

Show Times: 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m. on April 29, 2017, in Windsor Auditorium, 1405 E. Broadway, on the Stephens College campus.

Tickets: $10 children/students, $20 general admission and $40 VIP. VIP tickets include a light reception, goodie bag and premier seating. Get tickets online now.

More Info:

Unable to attend? Watch the show via Livestream.

Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need to download Adobe Reader.