PULLMAN, Wash.—A Washington State University student was one of the featured designers at the Feb. 2 Royal Fashion Show benefit for two charities of England’s Prince Harry of Wales.
Gordon Stumpo of Denver joined nearly 40 fashion students from around the world who had submitted entries for a design competition preceding the show, which was hosted by charities Pink Ribbons Crusade and Sentebale. The competition was judged by all-star designers and popular contestants from the TV series “Project Runway.” Winning designs were showcased at the Bella Collina Towne and Golf Club in San Clemente, Calif.
“Competitions like this one stretch students and allow them an entrance into a formal public arena,” said Patricia Fischer, senior instructor in WSU’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles. She worked closely with Stumpo and Marissa Dawson of Seattle, who also entered the competition.
“Both Gordon and Marissa had to learn new and more complex patterning skills beyond those covered in the course content to draft the base patterns for their garments,” Fischer said. “They have both put in a great deal of work outside of class.”
Pink Ribbons Crusade raises funds to fight breast cancer through a traveling exhibit of a multimillion-dollar collection of British royal historical memorabilia, including eight dresses owned and worn by the late Princess Diana, Harry’s mother. Sentebale is a charity for at-risk African children founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of the Lesotho royal family to honor their mothers.
Stumpo, a junior, submitted two dress designs for the competition, both of which were accepted. A major reward during the project was “taking something that was in my mind, using the tools we learned in the classroom and making it physical, tangible,” he said.
The competition also motivated Stumpo’s honors thesis, due this spring, on the evolution of Princess Diana’s clothing styles over time. Part of the thesis will involve creating three to five half-scale garments that interpret Diana’s garment tradition.