U students mix fashion and medicine

Students designed outfits out of medical scrubs for a charity fashion show.
The basement of St. Anthony Falls Laboratory is flooded with 2 feet of water. Researchers evacuated the basement for the annual spring flooding.
April 18, 2011

Fashion and medicine don’t often go together, but some University of Minnesota students decided to change that at Saturday night’s "Scrubbed Into Fashion" event.


The University’s Medical Student Council teamed up with the Fashion and Business student group to put on a "Project Runway"-style fashion contest. Minnesota native and former "Project Runway" contestant Christopher Straub hosted the event.


The show took place in Rapson Hall and featured the fashion designs of six students who created outfits mostly out of medical scrubs. All of the models in the show were medical students.


Proceeds from the event went to Smile Network International, a nonprofit that funds surgeries to repair birth defects such as cleft palates.


Third-year medical student Phillip Radke, president of the council, said he first came up with the idea for the charity fashion show last summer after a mission trip he had planned to join fell through.


"I wanted to do something now to help people rather than just wait until I’m a doctor," Radke said. "My idea was [to benefit] someone that did plastic surgery internationally for a good cause — the Smile Network first came to mind."


The event allowed Radke to combine his desire to help people with his interest in fashion.


"I thought if I could put both medicine and fashion together it’d be so cool to see what designers could do with scrubs," Radke said. "It hasn’t been done before."


Radke pitched the idea to the College of Design, which referred him to FAB President and mass communication senior Aneesha Sethi. Sethi said she was drawn to the idea for the charity and the opportunity to bring together students of different interests for a major project.


"We really wanted to show people that two completely different things like fashion and the medical field can work together," she said.


Twenty-five designers applied to be featured in the fashion show before it was narrowed down to the six, including one freshman, based on their portfolios. Designers were then assigned two medical students to model each of their looks –– one high-fashion "couture" look and the other ready-to-wear –– using mostly medical scrubs.


The designers were allowed $75 to spend on additional non-scrub materials.


In addition to hosting the event, Straub showed his own four-piece collection inspired by the medical field. He told the audience how dedicated each of the student designers was.


"They put everything into these pieces," Straub said. "They were working right up until these models walked the stage."


A panel of judges awarded apparel design sophomore Jennifer Voth first place for her ensemble creations. Voth also designed her own cocktail dress for the evening and had her accessories featured in the Voltage fashion show at First Avenue on Friday.


"It’s exciting because I’ve been working on this for so many months," Voth said. "I’m exhausted but couldn’t be happier."


Students attending the event paid general admission or an additional cost for VIP tickets that included front-row seats to the runway and swag bags. About 300 tickets were sold.


Radke said he was a little nervous before the show but was excited to see the final product.


"I’m just shocked because we’ve been working on it for so long," he said. "I didn’t know if it was possible, so it’s amazing it’s all come together."

Comment Policy

The Minnesota Daily welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic. Read our full guidelines here.
Minnesota Daily Serving the University of Minnesota Community since 1900