Portfolio in Motion: Who’s Behind It All

From the runway to the models and the garments that they wear, Portfolio in Motion is as real as it gets.

By Julianna Carfaro

Portfolio in Motion is one of Marymount’s biggest on-campus events. The fashion show brings celebrities and fashion icons from all over the world together. Year after year the audience is awed by how professional the show is. From the model choreography to the garments there is not a flaw in sight. The lighting, music, and stage setup are incredible as well. After the show is finished and all the models are off of the runway the audience is shocked once again; the show they have just enjoyed was completely student produced.

But how is this possible? Who coordinates all of this? How does it look so professional? Well, the answer is right in front of you. The Marymount fashion students are the heart and soul behind this show. Thanks to all of their hard work and dedication this show is made possible. Year after year the fashion design and merchandising students get together to work towards this extravagant production. The annual show grows every year as students push harder to make the show the best it can be. They work all year long to coordinate all the logistics of the show. With the help and guidance of the fashion professors, the students can bring their dreams to life on the Portfolio in Motion runway.

All the fashion students who want to be a part of the production must be a part of the Portfolio in Motion class. Marymount students and faculty call the show PIM for short. This class counts towards the fashion design and merchandising requirement and prepares students for their future careers. The class is designed like a business with designated teams with head coordinators and their assistants (specialists). There are different jobs assigned to different students depending on where they want to focus their practice.  The different positions include Administrative Management, Creative Direction, Public Relations / Communications, Backstage Management, Model Coordination, and Technical. Students must submit an essay telling the professors why they would like to have this position and why they think they would be good for it. The professors then decide which students get chosen to be the heads of each department.

According to Deven Hildago, Head Coordinator of Public Relations, “It works like a hierarchical system, you start as a specialist and then work your way up to head coordinator. This helps students learn more from each other as they work together.”  Year after year students move up in the system and gain more creative control and knowledge. They learn from the older students in the class who have been in their position years before. Hidalgo started as a Public Relations volunteer for PIM through the fashion club her freshman year, then became a specialist her sophomore year. Now as a junior, Hidalgo is the Head Coordinator and handles all of Portfolio in Motion’s Public Relations projects with the help of her classmates.

Rachel Keenan, Head Coordinator of Administrative Management, explains that “The whole show is completely student produced from theme development that is formed in the fall semester, to the models who are all Marymount students as well.” She also explains that she and her classmates work hard to communicate with contractors to design the stages and lighting for the show. All the ideas come from the students with the supervision of the professors. Hidalgo explains that, “The professors do not micromanage us, and that allows us to have creative freedom. This is great for when we are coming up with the theme, stage design, and publications. We do get these approved by the professors but for the most part it is all done by the students.”

This year’s theme, Reverie, was created by Kyana Hallacher, Backstage Management Specialist. Hallacher has contributed a lot to the show. She said, “It is a great feeling to see my thoughts and ideas come to life.” Not only did she come up with the theme of the show, but she is also responsible for bringing this year’s Designer of the Year to Marymount. Hallacher interned with Lela Rose, Designer of the Year, last summer and connected Rose with Marymount’s fashion show. Lela Rose will be attending the show on opening night, Thursday April 27th. She will be receiving Marymount’s Designer of the Year Award at the end of the show and attending the dessert reception after the show.  More information about Lela Rose and her story can be found by visiting Portfolio in Motion’s website.

The classroom serves as a mock trial for how the real fashion industry will be. This prepares the students for their future careers and acclimates them to the stressful lifestyle of the fashion industry. Fighting for deadlines and dealing with last minute changes, this class provides the students an easy transition into the fashion industry after graduation. Hidalgo said, “PIM is very unique and is not something you could be a part of at a different university. It is an amazing resume builder and it is apart from your regular school work.” Hidalgo continued, “This has given me so much leadership experience, and experience with producing something in the fashion industry all on your own.” Many of the fashion students working in PIM believe that they have gained experience that will set them apart from other graduates their age in the industry.

The students spend time both inside and outside of the classroom working together on the production of the show. Both design and merchandising majors sacrifice their time and energy for this show, and at the end of the day they are all in it together. According to Christopher John, Model Specialist, “The fashion department is like its own community, and we all get to work together as students.” Hidalgo said, “This class is very important for building a good community around the fashion students.” Portfolio in Motion brings many students together.

According to Kayla Young, Head Coordinator of Creative Direction, “Being a part of PIM means a lot because you get to meet so many different people, and you also become really close with all fashion majors here at school. It’s really nice to see the entire program come together to create a show that we’re all super proud of.” Many of the models chosen for the show are not fashion students. This integrates different types of students together and creates many new friendships.  Model Specialist Michael Jarchuku Howard (Chuks), explained that PIM has helped him learn how to communicate different ideas and visons with his classmates.

Being a part of the Portfolio in Motion team takes a lot of time and commitment, but students come back to be a part of the magic. When asked what her favorite part of Portfolio in Motion is, Hidalgo said, “Being a part of PIM is the biggest thing you can do for the fashion program at Marymount. I love to get involved and be a part of the production. That moment when the first model comes out and it starts, and it is for a real audience for the first time, you just want to cry of happiness. Everything you just did came to fruition and it looks so good, and it is so satisfying.” Keenan said that, “The best thing about being a part of PIM is a culmination of all of our hard work [the student]) over the entire year. It’s so rewarding seeing all of our work, from the design students and the merchandising students all come together.”

The Portfolio in Motion website, www.Portfolioinmotion.com, is filled with information about the Designer of the Year, senior designers, a list of all the head coordinators and specialists, and even headshots of all of the models. The website is designed to fit the theme of this year’s show.  Tickets are available online along with directions to the Lee Center on Marymount’s campus, where Portfolio in Motion will be held. Students were also sure to include links to all of Portfolio in Motion’s social media outlets. This includes Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest to keep the audience connected and updated.

Portfolio in Motion will take place on April 27, 28, and 29. Thursday night’s show will include a sponsored reception before and dessert reception after the show starting at 6 pm. Tickets will be $50 on opening night. Friday and Saturday night, tickets will be available at a discounted price if bought in advance. These tickets will be sold on campus at the Lee Center the week before the show. Otherwise tickets can be purchased at the door the night of for $20.  Come out and support the hard work of the fashion department and watch the magic unfold on the Portfolio in Motion Runway.

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