March 26, the Floral and Fashion gala “Forget-Me-Not,” is put on by the students in the applied plant science and home and family departments who have made dresses and garments based on fashions from the past 100 years.
“It kind of like a big recital, except it’s visual,” said Ben Romney, a professor in the Department of Applied Plant Science. “They are getting a chance to see a lot of the hard work on the part of the students.”
Romney said the first thing he did as a new teacher in 1987 was go back to Ohio state and get inspiration from their floral program for event ideas that would become the Floral gala.
“It’s not just one department doing this thing; it’s all of these departments working together to create this magnificent event,” said Tracie Simon, a professor in the home and family department.
Jodie Greenhalgh, a sophomore studying horticulture, said it was exciting to work together and see the different ideas from everyone participating behind the scenes.
“To see what the girls make in the fashion department, it’s amazing that they make that with their own hands,” Greenhalgh said.
Genet Orme, a professor in the home and family department who has been supervising the event, said it is like a giant wedding reception.
“It’s a great way to break the winter blues,” Romney said.
Orme said the theme “Forget-Me-Not” is using the last 100 years of fashion for inspiration for the garments that will be shown.
Orme said there are six different classes creating clothing that will be shown in the gala. Students are making baby blessing outfits and children’s clothes and, in the advanced class, students are making wedding dresses.
Orme said the students do their own research for their time period and make dresses based off of styles or stories from those time periods.
“There’s a lot of really tender stories that we’ve found,” Orme said. “I’m not sure about the final clothing they will use, but they found there’s a few brides that made wedding dresses out of their husband’s parachute from World War II that saved their life.”
Hannah Dahle, a sophomore studying horticulture, is recreating Elder Russell M. Nelson’s wife’s wedding bouquet.
“You have grandmothers and all these things that have passed along these good values and good taste and modesty and all these things,” Orme said.
She said they are looking at the roots of fashion and the legacy that has been passed down.
Orme said modesty is classy and the best examples are of Princess Diana, Jackie Kennedy and Princess Kate who dressed modestly, and they were still fashionable and classy.
“Modesty doesn’t have to be a bad word,” Orme said. “You don’t have to sacrifice anything in fashion to do it.”
Orme said three of the students in the class are engaged and are making their own wedding dresses. Others are making dresses for clients or selling them after the gala.
Orme said Sister Christine Gilbert’s wedding dress and a picture from the her wedding are being featured this year.
Orme said there were about a 1,000 people in attendance last year, but there could have been more.
“This is an art experience,” Romney said. “This isn’t just horticulture and fashion; it’s actually art.”