Thursday, June 13, 2024

TXMD’s sold out, dystopian fashion show finds art in classification


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Featured photo by Bailey Brantingham

Story by Emma Burden

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Tucked away on East Bell Street, textiles and merchandise design students turned the Miller Education center into a runway.

This year’s TXMD runway show, “The Unstoppable Future,” showcased the designs of apparel design students at Middle Tennessee State University. The show was split into two sections: focusing first on designs submitted by underclassmen, then a senior showcase, highlighting collections designed by graduating seniors.

The title and theme came from the mind of junior Scarlett Dodd.

“I really like dystopian novels,” Dodd said. “I thought it would be really cool to see all the different aspects of utilitarianism, something that could be used: the wasteland, making high fashion out of something that’s raggedy and classism, the really high class, fancy side.”

Dodd also shared that her main inspiration, stemming from her love of dystopian novels, was “The Hunger Games.” Dodd’s senior collection, titled “Capital Paragon,” was underscored by “The Hunger Games” soundtrack as it debuted on the runway.

In addition to an overarching theme of “The Unstoppable Future,” there were three subsections of designs submitted by underclassmen: wasteland, utilitarian and classism.

A year in the making

Dodd made certain to emphasize the work that went into her collection, alongside the hard work of all her classmates in the TXMD Apparel Design program.

“Everyone who is in the incoming junior class submits a theme. It’s a year in advance. We all vote in the class on a theme that we like,” said Dodd, sharing that the process of putting together the runway show began as early as spring 2023.

Students must complete both Patternmaking I and Patternmaking II, offered in the fall and spring semesters respectively, to partake in the runway show.

While the runway show itself has been a year in the making, Dodd’s passion for the runway show has lasted much longer. Dodd walked in the TXMD Runway Show when she was a senior in high school, and has looked forward to showcasing her own senior collection ever since.

Fashion and accessibility

Backstage, junior Audrey Curtis worked diligently to place final touches on her designs. Curtis, who is visually impaired, wanted to incorporate accessibility into her collection, titled “Forget Me Not.”

“A lot of the design details, like bigger buttons, and all the etching, was made specifically so it is accessible to the viewer. Because, even from a long distance, you can see exactly the lines of the garments, you can see the closures. Especially with the shiny metal buttons, it means that it can be seen from a very long distance, even if you can’t see the shape, versus a circular one that could blend into the background,” said Curtis, as she touched up fellow classmate Emily Fisher’s makeup.

Rocking the runway

While the runway show focused on TXMD students, freshman Lauren Turnage shared that her friends from MTSU Film Guild were walking in the show. Model Kemon Collier explained that non-MTSU students can also participate in the show as well. Collier auditioned for the runway show at an open audition. TXMD students may have made up the majority of the show, but all MTSU students, alongside any member of the Murfreesboro community, had the opportunity to get involved.

The runway show was at maximum capacity, which is business as usual for TXMD Runway shows. It’s safe to say that the audience was made of a mix between MTSU students and Murfreesboro residents. The MTSU TXMD department ran the runway show, and the show was sponsored by 19 community businesses, such as Donut Country and Blue Coast Burrito.

TXMD students transformed the second level of Miller Education Center from an empty atrium into a vibrant stage for their runway show. Music boomed (notably, Charli XCX’s “Von Dutch” and Azealia Banks’ “212”) and the audience was alive. At times the thump of the DJ set was drowned out entirely by the roar of the audience, full with applause and cheers.

As the TXMD Runway Show is a showcase of student work, it was natural for the audience and judges to gravitate towards a particular student, honoring them with a plaque for their designs and hard work. Autumn Pickett’s “Sundown & Sorrow” was selected for designing the best senior collection, and the show closed with Pickett and her models rocking the runway one last time.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell and Assistant Lifestyles Editor Shamani Salahuddin, email For more news, visit, or follow us on Instagram at MTSUSidelines or on X at @MTSUSidelines.

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