The sixth anniversary of Penn Fashion Week was an incredibly successful event this year at the University of Pennsylvania, as it celebrated both the business and creative side to the world of fashion. The weeklong collaboration between Dzine2Show, Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity and the Wharton Retail Club in partnership with the Baker Retailing Center brought various keynote speakers (John Idol, Chairman and CEO of Michael Kors, was among them), professional panels and many giveaways to students of the university. While the free Michael Kors aviators were a huge hit among Fashion Week attendees, the closing student-produced runway show was absolutely mesmerizing. Student models, including Penn’s Style Guru, Grace Guan, strutted down the runway, showing off the intricate garments designed by Penn students. It was here that Penn’s Gurus were amazed with the work of Kelly Wyche, one of the Penn’s student designers with a very obvious passion for fashion. Her designs often mixed bright colors with neutrals, creating bold, beautiful and edgy garments.
CollegeFashionista: How did you first become involved in fashion?
Kelly Wyche: I actually started off writing for “The Walk”, and one of my first assignments was to cover the fashion show. I just couldn’t believe that students were creating work that was so good! It was really inspiring, so I submitted my designs, and they were picked to be in the show. That was my first year going through the process of going through the design process.
CF: How were you involved in the fashion show this year?
KW: This year I was in charge of all student designs, so I was responsible for making sure everyone was on track and had everything they needed. I also designed this year, which was a lot of fun.
CF: How would you describe your style?
KW: My style is very… eclectic. Ever since I’ve been younger, I’ve been very into dressing myself, so my style is very specific to me. I know when I like something, and I know when I like the way it looks.
CF: What inspires you?
KW: One thing I really love is vintage shopping. The top in one of my designs was actually a vintage dress that I found and cut up and used. Since I was really little, my mom was always really crafty. When we were really little, my sister and my Christmas presents were always crafts that we would make for the whole family.
Since I’ve been in college, I’ve also been really inspired by art. I never did art in high school, but when I came to Penn, I knew I wanted to try it out. I’m actually a Fine Arts minor, which is really fun. Through doing that, I’ve gotten a deeper understanding of my viewpoint when it comes to drawing and painting. I’m actually in a print making class right now, which is really cool.
CF: How has your love of fashion and art influenced your style?
KW: One of my art teachers gave me a lot of great feedback on my work, and at the end of the year, she told me that a lot of my work had a very similar feel. My work was very graphic and very bold. I think hearing things like that, things that I didn’t even realize about myself, really actually ties into my fashion style. After that, I started to see trends throughout my style and my work. I tend to use many bold and bright colors. I’m not really into the dainty stuff. I like to make a statement.