March 14 and 15, 2023 in Rockwell Hall

The Fashion School’s senior Bachelor of Fine Art design students will participate in the annual Critique and Jurying on March 14-15, 2023, where students present their final collections and selections are made regarding which students’ collections will be presented in the Fashion School’s Annual Fashion Show.

Every year, a designer in residence works with our students throughout the process. The School of Fashion 2022-2023 Designer in Residence is William Taswell III. Industry critics are brought in to view and critique the students’ work. The industry critics for this semester are Marla Cotten, and Geoffrey Henning. 

B.F.A. Critique: Tuesday, March 14
9 a.m.-12 p.m. B.F.A. Critiques - Open to the Public
2:20 p.m.-5:35 p.m. B.F.A. Critiques - Open to the Public

Senior Jury (B.A. and M.F.I.S.): Wednesday, March 15
9 a.m.-12 p.m. All Senior Critiques (B.A. and M.F.I.S.)

Meet Our Designer in Residence:

William Taswelll

William Taswell is an experienced women’s apparel design industry professional who has held senior positions with large-scale and small-scale retailers, as well as private label developers. His talents and expertise span across all facets of design and development, including: Design Team Management, Budget Management and Analysis, Line Development, Competitive Market and Trend Research, Technical Design, Garment Construction and Fit Expert, Product Development Management, Color and Print Theory, Fabric Research and Selection, Oversees Vendor Communication and Development, Board Presentation, Fashion Illustration, Technical Flats, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Microsoft Office, and Web PDM. He has lived and worked in the USA, Hong Kong, mainland China, India, and Kuwait, while also managing sourcing and development, hands-on, across the USA, Europe, and Asia. His expertise extends across multiple woven and knit categories including: Eveningwear, Dresses, Sportswear (hard and soft piece goods, Tailored, and Related Separates, Cut-n-Sewn Knit, and Sweater Knit.


Meet the Industry Critics:

Marla Cotten

Marla Cotten A New York City transplant, Marla’s interest in fashion design began early when she was faced regularly with the challenge of finding suitable party dresses for various formal events. Marla began sketching out dress design ideas and using her mother’s excellent seamstress skills to create and construct various eveningwear ensembles.

Marla attended the University of Texas at Austin, studied abroad in Paris, and interned at the house of Guy Laroche. Following graduation Marla relocated to New York City to work for designer Cynthia Steffe, and realized that she was fascinated with the process of designing and developing knitwear. She enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Marla held a series of knitwear design positions for U.S. retailers including The Gap, Banana Republic, and Victoria’s Secret, where she learned the inner workings of creating collections that are manufactured in both Europe and Asia. In 2007, she formed a consulting business, specializing in knitwear design, and worked with brands such as Alice + Olivia, Calvin Klein Collection, and Nautica. She established the design direction for her clients’ knitwear collections, and would manage the design, product development, and communication between yarn suppliers, knitwear manufacturers, and the brands themselves.

She spent eight years working for Ralph Lauren Collection, in which she traveled regularly to Italy to research, develop, and fit the seasonal collections. Marla is currently the knitwear design director for Carolina Herrera New York.

Geoffrey Henning

Geoffrey Henning “The Designing Mind” is a descriptive of Geoffrey Henning, whom brings over 25 years of design experience to the retail industry from designer brands, specialty retailers and department stores. JCPenney is where Geoffrey today leads and inspires the design team and fashion for menswear and womenswear private label. His passion for design, coaching and teaching has given him opportunities to contribute to design nonprofit organizations and being recognized with DIFFA Lifetime achievement award, Style Council, Texas Legend and being appointed to the Parsons School of Design Board of Directors. His reach of design has also allowed him to be a contributor to numerous TV morning shows as a fashion and style contributor. Leading multiple design organizations for many years allows him to create relationships with foreign buying offices, factories which inspire collaborative partnerships.

His passion for art also extends outwards from design with being recognized as an accomplished Fashion Illustrator, being published in numerous fashion publications as British Elle, French Vogue, Tatler, Clindoel, Flare, Modern Luxury and Cotton inc. Design drives his passion for how he lives and inspires the mindset of the industry.

The Collection Review Process:

The process of the B.F.A. collection review starts the first week of the fall semester when the students come prepared with a collection proposal in an illustration form. The first review is conducted by faculty teaching the design seniors. During the review of the initial selection of looks, some students may have to revise their idea or go back to the drawing board for further exploration.

The second step includes the Muslin Critique, which consists of industry mentors coming in to review the collections of the muslin-constructed garments. At this stage of the process, the goal is for the students to have figured out the construction of their fabric ideas and patterns. The students then present their collections to the mentors, and the mentors then provide constructive feedback to the students.

After the Muslin Critique, the students then participate in the annual NYC fabric shopping trip, which is where they purchase all of their fabric needed to complete their final collection based on the feedback received from the mentors.

The spring critique is where the selections are made regarding which students’ collections will be presented in the Fashion School’s Annual Fashion Show. Kent State Fashion Week culminates the process.

Kent State Fashion Week will take place April 21 - May 1, 2023

The Annual Kent State Fashion Show and Awards Ceremony will be held Friday, April 28, 2023 in the Kent Student Center Ballroom

POSTED: Tuesday, March 7, 2023 10:04 AM
Updated: Tuesday, March 7, 2023 10:28 AM