October 3, 2017 by Chris Kilkus
Think Tank: More Than One Way to Runway
Earlier this year, as our School of Fashion approached its 20th anniversary runway show, we felt compelled to make a big change. In its early years, the department staged an intimate showcase, which by 1998 had grown into a massive spectacle that took place at a historic playhouse in downtown Savannah. The event became so popular that in the early Aughts, we held the show twice — a matinee for students and families, and an evening show for international press and special guests.
This show was magnificent in scale, with capacious backdrops to fill the proscenium frame — sometimes minimalist, sometimes not — and a catwalk that flew out over the audience. It was a classic runway show: a pageant that made the heart leap and the eyes widen in wonder. The students, and everyone else, loved it. And yet, after 15 years, it was time for a change.
In 2014, we took the show a few blocks away to the AIA Award-winning SCAD Museum of Art, housed inside the oldest extant railroad depot in the U.S., the largest preservation project in university history, a literal runway of sorts. In lieu of a classic proscenium catwalk, the runway snaked through the museum’s