Pierce Arrow Building Provides Dramatic Setting for Popular Event
Technology: Progression/Obsession is the theme of this year’s Runway 3.0 fashion extravaganza to be staged in the dramatic, storied industrial space of the Pierce Arrow administration building, Elmwood Ave., on May 1, by faculty and students in the Buffalo State College Fashion Textile Technology Program.
Directed by Erin Habes, faculty member in the Buffalo State Fashion Technology program, the show will feature collections by Fashion program senior design students, fiber design students, alumni, and local designers. Music by Shock & Awe, a pulsating light show, and a 50-foot runway walk through the cavernous space will be the main attractions of the popular spring event.
“This year, the Pierce Arrow space has really captured our imaginations,” Habes commented. “It’s 20,000 square feet with seating for 600 — loaded with character and history.”
Designed by Architect Albert Kahn in 1906, the building was the headquarters for the manufacture of the world renowned Pierce-Arrow automobiles. Seventy years later, Buffalo rock star Rick James used the facility for band practice; rumor has it that before he would start, he would unload rounds from hi 32-caliber pistol into the walls – evidence of which can be seen today. The space itself is a cavernous dome intercut with industrial beams and girders.
“It’s the perfect setting for the event and our theme,” said Habes. “The designs will play with the ideas of extremes in fashion, the role of technology in our culture, and the revolutionary speed of progress in both fashion and the world around us.”
Two shows will be held. Tickets for the 4 p.m. show are $10 for general admission and $7 for students. The 9 p.m. show offers two options: $20 general admission, including post event dessert reception, and $100 VIP, which includes the after party, as well as the catered 7 p.m. pre-party. Proceeds benefit the Fashion Students of Buffalo State College Scholarship Foundation.
The growth of the Runway event is a result of support from the Fashion Technology program and faculty, The Fashion Advisory Board (especially Genesee Community College), the Technology Department, the School of Professions, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, College Relations, Instructional Resources, Events Management and numerous other campus support services.
The event has become a showcase for Design student exhibits, in particular students of faculty members Jozef Bajus and Carol Townsend. This year, in addition to the $1,000 Nancy Belfer Award for the senior collection, there will be a $500 award sponsored by Technology Professor Elaine Polvinen for the Art-to-Wear design student category of the show. Also new this year, students and faculty in the Buffalo State Hospitality Department will cater the VIP pre-party and the post Runway dessert reception.
A far-reaching collaboration of campus and community, Runway events are made possible by the participation of alumni, WNY designers, and members of the business community. Production and staging of the event are the work of students as part of their curriculum with Habes. Senior collections are created in a class guided by Technology Lecturer David Brinson.