Dress Form Contest


Those enrolled in the Fashion Design and Fashion Business programs at Genesee Community College were given the amazing opportunity to win dress forms donated to the school by PGM Dress Forms, the leading dress form manufacturer in the United States, based out of California.154836_580970075263689_1180436399_n The winners of these dress forms are career-driven, hardworking students, who are also extremely talented designers at GCC. The dress forms will make a large impact on these three creative women, and surely help them to accomplish future career goals, which they hold dearly and consider with upmost seriousness.

Accomplished students Candace Cooper, Alaina Shannon, and Natalie Brown are the winners of the 2014 Dress Form Contest! All of the girls wrote entry essays entailing what they would do if they won a PGM dress form, and how this award would help to accomplish their career goals. Candace Cooper writes, “When Professor Ehrhart initially notified me of the amazing opportunity of the dress form competition, I was overly thrilled at the news! Being that I am a design student I would love to own a dress form. I’ve always wanted to invest into one, but looking online, the prices were a little intimidating with them ranging from $1,500 to $2,000.” Candace’s collection entitled “ÉCLAT” will be featured in the upcoming GCC 33rd Annual Fashion Show entitled Ethereal. Alaina addresses why she would love to win a PGM dress form and how it would help her to achieve her artistic vision. In her contest essay, she states that, “By winning a dress form I would be capable of anything. As an artist, often times I conjure up creativity at the most random and unexpected times as my mind begins to soar into a new and exciting realm. When I visualize an idea in my head, I feel the urgency to get right to work. I sketch my ideas, gather and cut fabric, and begin to layout the image that is in my head. However, tedious measurements, and the annoyance of making a human stand shivering cold for forty minutes while being draped and pinned is a nuisance. I often find myself wishing I could constantly have access to a dress form so that I could put my creative, crazy mind at ease.”  Alaina’s designs will be featured in the upcoming GCC Fashion Show as well, in a scene entitled “Americana”. Natalie Brown envisions what it would be like to own a personal dress form in her contest essay; writing that, “If I had my own dress form, I could create my own design studio space in my room at my house. I currently have my very own sewing machine that I bought myself, so having my own dress form would complete my own personal working space.” Natalie Brown’s designs will also be featured in the upcoming GCC Ethereal Fashion Show. Her scene is called “Revival”, the featured clothing is previously owned and repurposed in order to be transformed from an old garment into a piece that is new and exciting. These dress forms are certainly in good hands; Congratulations Candace, Alaina, and Natalie, we can’t wait to see what amazing designs you all create for the upcoming fashion show and in the near future!

Also, on behalf of everyone in the fashion program at Genesee Community College I’d like to give a big thank you to PGM Dress Forms for donating three dress forms to these well-deserving girls, and to Professor Ehrhart and Professor Dudkowski for continuing to offer this amazing opportunity to GCC’s wonderfully talented design students.

-Ami Cornell

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Candace Cooper’s Resilient Ambition


The Fashion Design students at Genesee Community College are hard at work developing their clothing lines for the upcoming 33rd Annual Fashion show at GCC, entitled Ethereal. All of the scenes will feature pieces designed or reimagined by students at GCC; with their skills at work creativity is sure to ensue. securedownload (1)Candace Cooper is one of the many students who is a part of this extremely challenging, yet rewarding creative process. With help from Arianna Snead, who is serving as Candace’s assistant and brand representative, Candace is creating a line that is unlike anything you have ever seen before. As the creator and designer of ÉCLAT XXIIV, an ‘up and coming fashion empire’, Candace is creating designs that are classic, with a chic and sophisticated approach, while simultaneously studying in the design program at GCC. Candace connects directly to the meaning of her brand, ÉCLAT,securedownload (2) meaning “brilliant display or effect”, and XXIIV representing a significant date for her family and herself; the date on which her sister, Jakera, and her were adopted. Candace plans to continue pursuing her degree in Fashion in NYC next year; it is clear that she has high expectations for herself, Candace will not stop until she has achieved her goals and established her empire. Candace’s vigor for hard-work and constantly evolving and innovative designs are easily supported with evidence by simply stepping foot into the sewing room at GCC, she is a constant fixture there and a reminder of what it means to fight for your dream.  Candace’s awe-inspired designs will strut the runway at Genesee Community College on Saturday, April 26th, 2014 with the assistance of Arianna Snead. securedownloadOther happenings in the world of Candace Cooper include: an upcoming photo-shoot with a well-known photographer, news of her spring collection in April, and an anticipated website launch for ÉCLAT XXIIV next month as well. Most likely this will not be the last you hear of Candace Cooper, so keep an eye out for her designs at Fashion Week in a few years, for she is surely headed straight to the top.

-Ami Cornell

Blushing Brides


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On Friday March 28th, the GCC fashion students hosted an opportune visit from the Genesee County YWCA Executive Director Jeanne Walton. Walton joined a group of seven of these students in a photoshoot for the Batavia Daily promoting an upcoming fashion Show at the YWCA. This fashion show will serve as a preview for GCC’s own 33rd annual fashion show entitled, Ethereal. The girls posed in beautiful wedding gowns that were generously donated to GCC for the Ethereal fashion show by M.A. Carr bridal.


The final look of the gowns and other clothing collections created by the Fashion Design students at Genesee Community College will be revealed at GCC’s Ethereal fashion show which will take place on Saturday, April 26, 2014.



-Ami Cornell

“Ambiance” features unique bridalwear


One of the most anticipated scenes of the fashion show—the bridal scene—will be featuring some breathtaking designs this year, with custom touches and alterations!  Sophomore Kelly Weatherby and freshmen Lekha Anderson will be partnering to coordinate “Ambience,” the title given to the bridal scene for Ethereal.  The pair hoped to touch upon the heavenly side of the theme Ethereal, while also revealing the mysterious and seductive side.  According to Kelly, “We wanted the romantic, traditional wedding styles, but also want to incorporate the darker, more dramatic side that people aren’t used to seeing in bridal”

Original sketch of Angelique’s design

M.A. Carr Bridal was generous enough to donate gowns for the show.  While some gowns will be used as-is, others will be altered.  Angelique Porey, a freshmen fashion student, has created one of the designs to be used for a gown.  Her vision involves shortening the dress and giving it a waterfall hemline.  Accent colors and ribbon details will also be added to give the gown a unique look, and it might even be dyed. Angelique wanted to “Give the dress a little bit of an edge while still having a feminine touch.” This gown is sure to be a refreshing and exciting look, far from the traditional wedding gowns that we have grown accustomed to–be sure to come and see it at Ethereal on April 26th!

Anybody interested in redesigning a gown that would fit into “Ambiance” can share their ideas and sketches with Kelly at Kwether1@my.genesee.edu, and could be featured in the fashion show!

We’ve Got Mail


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Last Friday, the fashion students here at GCC got the first glimpse of Buffalo David Bitton’s spring 2014 line. We actually received an entire box filled with men’s and women’s clothing that will be featured in GCC’s 33rd annual fashion show, “Ethereal”. How is all of this possible? Last year, the 32nd fashion show, “Fashion Forward” featured Buffalo David Bitton clothing after visiting their showroom in NYC. We had such a great experience with the Buffalo David Bitton team; we just had to go back! Last October, the fashion students took another trip to the city and met with Buffalo David’s Public Relations Director – Diane Alexander. We had another fantastic meeting with her; and again have the opportunity to showcase their clothing line in our show.

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As the scene coordinators of the Buffalo David Bitton scene pulled out each garment one by one, the class’s excitement intensified. By the time Shelby and Ashley – the scene coordinators – got to the bottom of the box, everyone had their favorite garment. From men’s and women’s jeans to dresses and jackets, there was something for everyone! Buffalo David sent around $2,300 worth of garments for the show, and we couldn’t be more excited.

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Along with the amazing clothing from the city, we’ll also have bridal dresses donated from M.A. Carr Bridal. Over $17,000 worth of bridal dresses came from the bridal salon, located in Orchard Park, NY. As soon as it was announced that the dresses had arrived, the fashion students rushed to the storage room to explore the gowns. As the fashion design students looked over the dresses, you could see the ideas flowing on how to re-purpose the dresses and create ethereal looks. Since M.A. Carr Bridal generously donated the wedding gowns, the design students have the opportunity to choose any dress of their choice to redesign, however they choose. Along with the Buffalo David Bitton clothing, M. A. Carr Bridal donated wedding gowns to the fashion show last year as well.

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Without the considerate donation from Mary Anne at M.A. Carr Bridal, and the use of the clothing from Buffalo David Bitton, our show wouldn’t be possible. From the amazing relationships built with these and other companies, our annual fashion show has surpassed others in the area, making it the largest fashion show in Western New York.

To see more of these and other scenes, be sure to attend Ethereal on April 26th at 3pm and 7pm. You won’t want to miss this!

Donation aids Creation


This blog post contributed by Amber Coan, Fashion Design student

GCC’s Fashion Design students are thrilled about a recent donation of two brand new dress forms from PGM Incorporated representative, Andrea Quintana! If you walk into the sewing room, you’ll find about eleven handmade dress forms in a wide variety of sizes from 2 through 24. The forms are a huge part of our design and draping class, one of the most significant classes for fashion design majors. While some of us strive to master the creation of plus-size garments, there are many, myself included, who would rather work with smaller sizes; to fit this demand, we were absolutely in need of more narrow-bodied mannequins–I speak for all of the design majors when I say that we are very thankful for Andrea and PGM’s donation!

Outside of class, many students use the PGM dress forms for our own personal projects for clients, to build our portfolio, and to aid in creating garments for GCC’s annual fashion show–which is now the largest in Western New York!

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PGM dress form with student draping

I, personally, am using one of the forms to fit an evening gown of my own design for next year’s fashion show. The dress will consist of a black leotard base and a very long flowing skirt. My inspiration for my scene proposal next year is fierce, dark, and strong–contrasting this year’s “Ethereal” theme. Bringing my inspiration to life has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is the blank canvases that Andrea Quintana and PGM so generously donated to us.

I would highly recommend that design majors–or anyone interested in pursuing fashion design–check out the wide range of beautiful, top-of-the-line dress forms (including customizable and colored!!!) at PGM’s website, http://www.pgmdressform.com.

Once again, I’d like to publicly thank Andrea and PGM for their contribution to our fashion program!!


This past Monday, GCC was able to receive a visit from a representative of one of the most distinguished fashion schools in New York and the world. Anthony M. Urmey, Assistant Director of Admissions and Transfer Services at LIM, spoke to the Fashion Business students of GCC about all that LIM has to offer. LIM is situated amongst the skyscrapers of NYC; with its academic buildings located in Midtown East, and dorm buildings a 15-minute metro ride away on 1760 3rd Ave, LIM is the best choice of school for fashion students who are looking to break-in to the industry. LIM offers a variety of degrees, including (but not limited to): BBA BPS in Fashion Merchandising, BBA in Marketing, BBA in Management, and BBA in Visual Merchandising. LIM is one of a few fashion schools that offers a bachelor’s degree in visual merchandising. During his presentation, Anthony Urmey made a point of mentioning that when looking at schools for transfer that it is important to be aware of the accreditation of the school you are looking to transfer to. LIM for example is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Anthony also placed great emphasis on finding the transfer school that fits you best through the use of exploring the credentials of the school’s faculty. Professors tend to be most effective in teaching subject matter when they have experience in/worked in the field of concern. Many of LIM’s professors work full-time in the fashion industry while teaching, making them readily available to provide students with insight on topics of concern and professional connections.

Anthony M. Urmey of LIM speaking to fashion students

Anthony M. Urmey of LIM speaking to fashion students

Part of what sets LIM apart from other fashion schools based out of NYC is its unique internship requirements. All students at LIM are required to have completed three internships (approximately 150 hours). The first internship the students are required to participate in is in the area of retail. The second internship is within corporate/management and can be picked based upon the specific career interests/goals of the student. The third internship that students must complete is the senior co-op, which involves intensive hands-on work and serves as a career transition for students. Anthony said this of LIM’s internship programs: “the more proactive students are going to get the better spots”, landing an internship in NYC is very competitive, therefore students who are looking to apply to LIM should have a strong passion for the fashion industry and be willing to work hard. Anthony advised the fashion students at GCC to also be aware of the employment rates of graduates from schools that you are looking to transfer to. The whole concept of university-based education relies on the hope of being employable after receiving your degree, by looking at these stats you become informed of your chances of earning a professional position after you have received your degree. In 2011, 97% of LIM graduates seeking positions were employed within nine months of graduation. Tuition at LIM is $24,225; though it may come at a high cost, the education earned from LIM is a great investment; this is proved through the very low loan default rate of 2 ½ % and high employment rates of LIM graduates. If the price tag of LIM is the only thing stopping you from sending in your application for transfer then its time to reconsider. GCC students have an advantage when applying to LIM; everyone who graduates from GCC will receive $1,000 tacked onto their financial awards from LIM. GCC and LIM also have an articulation agreement as of 2011, enabling GCC students to enter LIM as a junior in their program of choice. So get your applications in right away! If you’re planning on transferring Anthony recommends that students at GCC should send in applications as early as possible. Don’t forget to submit your college transcripts, high school transcripts, a well-written essay, two letters of recommendation, and your resume! Good luck to all those who are currently applying to LIM, and for all those who follow in their footsteps.

-Ami Cornell



Imagine having an image of a high fashion garment in your mind, and seeing that same creation walking down the runway in Western New York’s largest fashion show. With Genesee Community College’s fashion programs, this dream is my reality. Since this is my sophomore year in the fashion design program, I have the ability to create a complete look, from sketchpad to runway.


This year, the 33rd Annual Fashion Show is entitled “Ethereal”; meaning too perfect to be in this world. Think heavenly gates meets the secret garden. For my scene, I wanted to keep with the theme of a mysterious garden, but also keep it ready-to-wear. With the help of beautiful models, I will be taking used clothes from Goodwill, Salvation Army, and even my own closet and giving them a new life.With my own twist added to the torn apart garments, I will be creating my own Spring line for my scene: Revival.


The scene will begin with ready-to-wear. More traditional clothes but with a combination of styles and patterns. Along with conventional materials, there will also be some uncommon additions to the clothing. As each model enters and exits the runway, the complete look will intensify – becoming more divine.

Working up to the final models, the overall scene will be fully ethereal. Hair and makeup will reflect the style and fabric of the garments to create brand new look.


Want to experience these one-of-a-kind fashions? Come toGenesee Community College, Saturday April, 26th 2014 at 3pm or 7pm. Whether you’re a high school student, grandparent, freshman, or senior, male or female, there is something for everyone. Remember, this is one day only. Get ready for Ethereal.

Show and Tell


Recently, the fashion students have begun a new and exciting class: Display and Visual Merchandising. Only a few classes into the course and the students have already created one of four displays. There are four teams (each with four or five members) who contribute their ideas and creativity to the display. The great thing about this class is the freedom that Professor Ehrart gives all of us. The only direction we are given is which display we will be using; whether it’s a full window display, shadow box, display case, or rolling rack. It’s up to us to use any and all ideas to create a theme and send a message to our viewer about the merchandise or business. Creating an interesting display that makes your eye wander around the entire space, while keeping with a theme and having a clear focal point was key in this task. Shadow Box DisplayFull Window DisplayRolling RackDisplay Case

What do you think?

As a class, we walked to all displays and evaluated them on focal points, theme, message and use of props. Each team had the opportunity to show their display and tell the viewers their inspiration for it. We determined what we liked and some changes we would make to each display. Overall, the class did a great job with the first displays of the course. We agreed that this was one of the most fun and challenging classes in the program. What other class gives you the freedom to create any display your creativity allows?

Product of Opporunity


Product of Opportunity

By Vincent J. Coons


            Wednesday, November 6, 2013 BUS 201 had a special guest speaker, Ryan Boland. Mr. Boland studied at Malone University where he obtained a MBA(Masters of Business Administration) degree, although a lot of his success he credits to being a product of opportunity. Mr. Boland is currently the Director of AVI foods at GCC. AVI foods ranks #8 in relation to the top food service management companies in the United States of America. Mr. Boland has been the director here at GCC for about six months. In fact you just may have run into him at the GCC cafeteria.

            Mr. Boland spoke about the different personalities that people have. The four distinct personalities are, Dominant; Influential, Steady, and Conscientious (the personality in which I consider myself); which form the acronym DISC. In Professional Sales, Mr. Dudkowski has taught us that communication is the main ingredient to success. Mr. Boland stressed upon that idea and more so with the ideas of how to communicate with distinct personalities of salespeople or customers depending on their specific personality.

            For example Mr. Boland stated that a person with a Dominant personality is someone who wants to take authority, so telling a person with a dominant personality what to do, isn’t always the greatest of ideas. Mr. Boland said the more effective way to talk business with a dominant personality is to get to the point, don’t ramble, or engage in small talk, keep it business oriented if you are conducting business with this person. Mr. Boland also gave an example of how to communicate with a conscientious person. Conscientious people like dominant ones, want to get to the point, they want the information straight forward, and will analyze the information and devise a plan accordingly, where as the dominant person would respond with an answer quickly and decisively. Mr. Boland utilizes the skills of analyzing people’s personalities, and communicating with them accordingly on a daily basis, whether it be with a student, an employee, or potential business partner selling products to him.

            In Professional Sales, we’ve had a few guest speakers, ranging from salespeople, to marketing director, but this is the first time the class has gotten a glimpse into the side of the customer (from the side of business to business anyway). Mr. Boland deals with various companies including but not limited to; PepsiCo, Starbucks, and Tim Horton’s. Mr. Boland stated that these companies often come in and try to sell new products currently being promoted. It is his job to find out which promotional items can actually make him money or not. So conducting research on what the students at GCC really enjoy is an important element to his job. For those wondering (which for some, you may not need to wonder) the top selling item AVI foods sells at GCC are their chicken tenders (mmmmm chicken tenders *drool*).

            Mr. Boland was a very informative, and kind guest speaker, whom really showed insight on how things are handled on the business side of our very own cafeteria. Mr. Boland reiterated many lessons already taught by Mr. Dudkowski, and taught some of his own. I appreciate Mr. Boland for his sacrifice of time to speak with the class and for the free goodies he brought with him to make our morning just a little more delightful, and thank him tremendously on behalf of myself and the whole class.