Hannah Michelle Bussa
When she was 15, Lauren Glowacki wanted a cool Halloween costume, but she didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something she would wear once. So, she decided to make her own.
From that first Halloween costume design, Glowacki has grown into an emerging fashion designer. She grew up going to Omaha Fashion Week shows with her mom, who encouraged her to apply.
“I might as well take this leap,” she says. “If this is what I want to do, I might as well try.”
She showed her first collection at Omaha Fashion Week in 2019.
Glowacki showed her fourth collection at Omaha Fashion Week on Thursday. She says she has definitely grown since her first show.
“I look back at my first collection, and at that point I thought I had it together,” she says. “But I think it comes down to construction. I might have had pieces on the runway that were put together, but behind the scenes I know the work, and actually doing it the right way [now]. With school, I’ve learned the right order to do things and how to make crisp lines.”
She is studying fashion studies with an emphasis on product development and a minor in sustainability at Columbia College Chicago.
“Since I started, I tried to do new techniques every season to help myself grow a little bit,” she says.
Glowacki’s family has enjoyed watching her grow as a designer. In the photos of the collection, her family can be seen in the first row at the end of the stage, smiling while seeing her designs up-close.
“This was the first time I didn’t get to see the pieces until they were on the runway,” Lauren’s older sister, Katelyn, says.
Glowacki’s roommate, Grace Davis, got to see this collection be created from start to finish.
“It has been so incredible watching the creation of this collection,” she says. “From the sketches to the outfit details, Lauren has worked so hard and seeing the final product in the show was amazing.”
Though Davis also studies at Columbia College Chicago, she came to Omaha to model in Glowacki’s collection.
“Getting to walk down the runway with her at the end of the show was such a special moment,” she says. “Knowing how much effort and thought went into each outfit, she has so much to be proud of.”
Glowacki also focuses on making her collections sustainable. Her last collection at Omaha Fashion Week was zero-waste.
This collection was sustainable as well.
“I didn’t buy anything new,” she says. “It was all recycled, either dead stock from companies that I would ask for or thrifted fabric. Then, the pair of pants that was quilted used all of the scrap fabric, so it was zero-waste as well.”
“After going to school, I’ve learned a lot about the impacts of the fashion industry, and I don’t want to be a contributor,” she says. “I try to minimize my after-effects as much as possible.”
For this collection, Glowacki was inspired by the sculpture Psyché Revived by Cupid’s Kiss by Antonio Canova.
“It’s gorgeous,” she says. “I just really got inspired by the marble and the paintings of the 17th and 18th century. The color palletes were beautiful.”
She says the Rococo movement and the Palace of Versailles also inspired the collection.
“The gold trims, the paintings, the Cupid, that kind of thing,” she says. “I just wanted dresses that were big enough to run through a castle in slow motion.”
Glowacki’s designs are labeled Elle Glo Apparel, with the slogan, “if you like it, wear it.”
She says many of her friends would say they loved different pieces, but that they could never wear them.
“I don’t understand that,” she says. “They were always like, ‘Oh it doesn’t fit my body,’ or ‘It’s not good on my skin tone,’ but it’s going to look good on you. It’s the confidence. I don’t want anyone to be afraid of something. I’m always like, ‘do it, wear it!’ Because you’re going to feel so good.”
Glowacki says with every design she makes, she tries to convey the feeling of confidence.
“As much as I push, ‘If you like it, wear it,’ I still push being comfortable,” she says. “I want you to feel good in your own skin, like the clothes are an extension of your body, almost.”
She says fashion can help to empower women.
“When girls are like, ‘yes, I look good right now,’ – I love seeing that,” she says. “I love being able to provide that for people.”
Glowacki is beginning her junior year soon. After graduation, she has been looking at textile development and making it more sustainable, but she also still wants to design.