‘Once Upon a Stiletto’: CU’s Fashion Design Student Association puts a twist on fairy tales

A sketch of one of the designs that ll be part of Friday s  Once Upon a Stilletto  fashion show at CU.
A sketch of one of the designs that ll be part of Friday s Once Upon a Stilletto fashion show at CU.

University of Colorado student designers are spinning fables into fashion.

The Fashion Design Student Association’s “Once Upon a Stilletto” fashion show will be held in the University Memorial Center’s Glenn Miller Ballroom on Friday night.

“We have eight designers who are inspired to take on a fairy tale, what it means to be a princess and translate it into their own collection,” said junior Tyne Hall, the club’s president.

The student group usually hosts two fashion shows a year, and this year will be the biggest yet, Hall said.

“The fashion club has grown a lot,” Hall said. “We fluctuate with memberships at times because designing for fashion shows takes a lot of effort, especially if you are a college student. But this time around, we seem to have a large group of designers.”

The fashionistas are helping charity with “Once Upon a Stiletto.” The show is also a clothing drive for the Denver Rescue Mission. Participants are asked to bring an item of gently-worn clothing.

“We thought it was time to take the idea of selfishness out of fashion design and help the homeless,” Hall said. “After all, clothing is what fashion is all about.”

The show will host various segments with 30 to 40 student models strutting the catwalk in each designers’ piece.

If you go

What: “Once Upon a Stiletto”

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Glenn Miller Ballroom, University Memorial Center, CU campus, Boulder

Cost: Free


There will be different takes on fairy tale princesses, “Rupunzel” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

Hall said her segment embodies a “Cinderella-Aerosmith love child.”

“I like working with conventional ideas and twisting them,” Hall said. “The ideas that are popular with people, I like to take those and create a different interpretation.”

Hall said her Cinderella-inspired segment will be a critique of the princess, incorporating symbols of power, femininity — and, of course, rock.

“I just love the power and individuality of Aerosmith,” Hall said.

Junior Lina Chen, the club’s vice president, is working on a piece inspired by the “Little Mermaid.”

“In my piece I am trying to emulate the underwater lifestyle,” Chen said. “There will be flowy skirts and dresses that emulate waves. The second piece will focus on land — it will be a transition of Ariel from mermaid to human.”

Sophomore Allison Reynolds will be creating a jewelry collection that emulates different fairy tales, Hall said.

“We all love fairy tales,” Hall said. “Fairy tales are what we learned as children. We are just taking them and twisting them into fashion.”