matthew lyga


UW-Madison students get creative with upcoming fashion show

  • May 4, 2024

UW-Madison’s aspiring fashion designers are far from fashion industry epicenters like New York City and Paris, but they are, nevertheless, undeterred.

On Thursday, 16 of them will showcase their handiwork during a fashion show organized by The Issue, a UW-Madison student-run magazine and organization with a focus on fashion, arts, culture and current events, along with the School of Human Ecology.

“We’re really giving all these designers a platform to showcase their work beyond just kind of the inner circle that they’ve been working with throughout all their years,” said Sidney Peterson, events director for The Issue.

UW fashion show

UW-Madison student Matthew Lyga gets the measurements of Amy Laudi, 20, for the student designer fashion show, which will be held Thursday at Nancy Nicholas Hall. While the 16 designers did most of the work for their collections themselves, Lyga said he has relied on others for feedback. “My favorite thing to ask is, ‘Hey, can I borrow your eyes?'”

One of the biggest hurdles for these aspiring fashion designers is a lack of resources: The only fabric store easily accessible through public transit is Joann Fabric, according to Matthew Lyga, a UW-Madison textile and fashion design major whose collection will be part of the show. 

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“It’s honestly such a nightmare living somewhere like Madison,” Lyga said. “The closest fabric hub we have is in Chicago,” and even there he finds minimal selection.

“It’s frustrating when you have a vision, but you don’t have the materials to make it come to life,” said Olive Bote, a UW-Madison textile and fashion design major. “I try to avoid using Amazon, but it’s hard because sometimes you just really want one thing for a piece.”

While the pieces shown on Thursday will not be for sale, the event

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