The El Centro College Special Topics in Fashion Design and Illustration class is very much like the TV show “Project Runway,” with students being tasked to create a project under the mentorship of a professional designer. For this semester’s challenge, El Centro College fashion design students collaborated with Dallas Summer Musicals (DSM) to create pieces inspired by the hit Broadway musical, ANASTASIA, which is coming to DSM on its first North American tour beginning Feb. 19.
The mentor for this challenge, renowned Dallas designer Rob Bradford, urged students to research the history of the Romanovs, the family of the musical’s title heroine and Russia’s last royal dynasty, to learn about their prominence, privilege and the fashions they wore.
In addition to learning some of the Russian history of the day, El Centro students took other period influences into account when creating their designs. Exaggeration for the stage was emphasized, as well as attention to accessories to enhance the garments.
El Centro’s partnership with DSM began in 2015 and has provided numerous opportunities for students to stretch their design abilities, as well as showcase their work in conjunction with the musicals behind their creations. All student designs are displayed in a special wing of the historic Music Hall at Fair Park during the production’s run, where they are viewed by thousands of DSM patrons. Other DSM productions that have inspired El Centro fashion design students include On Your Feet! The Musical, Kinky Boots and An American in Paris.
The students who participated in this design challenge include Jianan Di, Loren Franco, Keven Hernandez, Bryan Jimenez, Christine Mixon, Ameerah Muhammad, Vickie Muhammad, Edna Berniece, Monserrath Santillana and Arnulfo Villarreal. They were overseen by El Centro fashion design program coordinator Brenda Carlson.
From the Tony Award®-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime and inspired by the beloved films, ANASTASIA transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.
Single tickets for ANASTASIA, which will run at the Music Hall at Fair Park from Feb. 19 through March 3, are now on sale at DallasSummerMusicals.org, with prices starting at $25 (subject to change). Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more get concierge service and may receive a special discount on their tickets. To book a group, please call (214) 426-4768 or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.