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Held at the School of Dental Medicine, the fashion show featured student designs as well as pieces from local boutiques. 

Credit: Katie Zhao , Katie Zhao, Katie Zhao

Backstage was a hub of energy, with models half-clothed, students running around double-checking outfits, applying last-minute makeup touches and steaming outfits. Fashionably-dressed attendees lined the catwalk, and the buzz of conversation increased as anticipation for the show's start grew.

The finale of Penn Fashion Week, which is celebrating its 10th year, was Saturday’s fashion show, "Focus." Presented by Penn Fashion Collective, the show took place in the School of Dental Medicine, a seemingly mismatched location, but one that reflected the neutral colors, basic shapes and geometric elements of the exhibited clothes. The show marked the culmination of the diverse work by student designers, models, stylists, photographers, hair and makeup artists and production assistants.

“It's very stressful, but fun,” said Wharton freshman Chrissy Walker, who was on the production and backstage crews for the show. “We’ve actually done a lot of heavy lifting. Having it all come together, seeing the runway walks, the makeup looks and the complete outfits is so exciting."

The makeup was meant to be minimal in order to reflect the "Focus" theme and let the clothes shine, College freshman Meaghan Lee said. Lee did makeup for the show, adding that the makeup designers went to a salon in Center City to figure out a concept that would complement the clothes. A beauty stylist for The Walk magazine, she wanted to gain experience by doing makeup for the fashion show — for example, Saturday's show was her first time doing makeup for male models, she said.  

The show incorporated both student designs and pieces from local boutiques hand picked by student stylists. They visited the stores and shopped for pieces that would work with the show's concept.

The show’s crew was particularly excited about one of the featured designers, Hogan McLaughlin. The 27-year-old designer has dressed Lady Gaga and created work inspired by "Game of Thrones."

College junior and member of the styling team Hollis De Laney reached out to McLaughlin after hearing that the designer might be interested in having his designs in the show.

22 student models went through auditions, fittings and a run-through to practice their walks and timings. Models learned to master the art of the quick change — each student had a number of different looks.

Wharton freshman Sabrina Sidhu decided to audition to model in the show because she was already involved with the marketing committee for Penn Fashion Collective. She had been in some fashion shows in high school and hopes to continue modeling for the Penn Fashion Week shows to come.

Overseeing the fashion show was a complex task. College junior Madeline McCallum, who was the head of the fashion show, has been involved with Penn Fashion Week for all four of her years at Penn. She said past leaders always looked like they had things under control, but she realized how many last-minute changes can arise.

"You have to take things as they come; a crisis happens and you deal with it,” she said. 

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