Unlike an ordinary day night when no one comes to the Fine Arts Center, about fifty people gathered in the Ball Theater that was buzzing with excitement. When the light suddenly went out, music started playing, and James Love started to walk down the runway, the crowd’s buzz was stilled, but soon it turned into shouts and cheers. Everyone seemed to be enjoying this special event.
On April 27th at 8:00 pm, Haze: Explorations of Masculinity, a runway event displaying the future of menswear whilst taking cues from the past, was held in the Ball Theater. It was also live broadcasted through Facebook. This event is Paul Haesemeyer’s senior display. Haesemeyer, a senior student at Wabash, is majoring in Theater and brother of Phi Delta Theta house. He is also one of two commencement speakers for this year.
“What inspired me to do as my senior project is kind of a… there’s a lot of places I can go with this,” Haesemeyer said. Theodor Pistek’s interview is one of them. Two years ago, he studied a costume designer Theodor Pistek for the project, and after reading Pistek’s interview in the Washington Post, Haesemeyer wanted to have the experience to design and control a fashion show as a costume designer. Also, he once read 1970s fashion magazine interviewing two French students. Those two French students said they only wear their works. “I like to be on that level someday. So, kind of a combination of me wanting to have this ability to completely create something I’ve done as well as be a person who can wear my own work,” Haesemeyer explained why doing the show.
Five costumes were showed in this show. James Love wore the first costume introduced in the show. It was a bohemian Look, a short sleeve romper with wooden buttons and a robe, and they are made of cotton quilts. Jan Dziadek wore the second costume. He wore the jacket made out of red wool, which Haesemeyer himself designed colorwork pattern. Haesemeyer explained, “It was inspired by 17th-century damask as well as 17th-century hunting jackets.” The pants are inspired by 1930s college pants. The third costume was sailor, a cabled sweater inspired by the old fisherman style combining with the idea of what the frontier is. Brigham Anderson, sophomore, wore it. “So, what does the space sailor wear is actually what I was asking.” Haesemeyer included several designs in it. For example, he used a bit of bleach to color in the pockets to give them a cloudy milky way across them. Interestingly, the constellation in those was the night when he was born. “I’m very proud of that one,” Haesemeyer said. The fourth look is the rockstar worn by K’tren Wilson. It was made of metallic cotton. Andrew Miller wore the final look. It is a flat pattern trouser made out of wool with blue, grey, and white striped. And the suit jacket itself combines 1970s lapels and sleeves with the body of the Robe à la Française, an 18-century gown.
The show was successful, indeed. “I was astounded by how much of the Wabash community came out to see it,” Haesemeyer said. Graduating Wabash this year, Haesemeyer is planning to work at the Santa Fe Opera for the summer as a non-dressing apprentice. Wanting to be a costume designer professional, he hopes to end up in New York eventually. As he has great talent and enthusiasm, a bright future is waiting for him.