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Behind the Fashions

Eleanor Hoffman slips behind a large movable bulletin board in Leazar Hall and emerges with a treasure trove of fashions. There’s a black skirt with a flurry of gold-leaf circles cascading down the side, a jacket lined in gold lamé and a top made of organza layered over dark blue sequined fabric.

“It’s very elegant but still modern,” she says. “A lot of my silhouettes are very classical but I like to add new things, like laser cutting. I like to focus on the small things so that people will notice that and it will be something personal for them.”

It’s not just her professors in the College of Design and the College of Textiles that Hoffman’s trying to impress. On March 22 she’ll join a select group of designers presenting their collections at Charleston Fashion Week, one of the premier fashion shows in North America. The honor is notable for several reasons. For one thing, Hoffman is the youngest designer selected to compete this year.

She’s also not the only designer representing NC State. She’ll be joined by alumna Marie Cordella, who graduated in 2008 with a master’s degree in industrial design, and Stephanie Mejia, a senior majoring in fashion and textile management.

Raleigh is Booming

Cordella isn’t surprised that NC State is contributing three designers to the 16 spots in the show. She credits the annual Art to Wear fashion show, sponsored by design and textiles, with sparking a fashion revolution in the Triangle.

“Raleigh is booming,” adds Mejia. “There’s a lot of creativity coming out of this area.”

The winning designer at Charleston Fashion Week will receive a grand prize package worth $30,000. Past winners have been featured in leading fashion magazines.

Preparing for the Runway