Threads Spotlight: Susie Spiers

Story by Courtney Schaiberger

Photos courtesy of Susie Spiers

The 2020 Threads Fashion Show is right around the corner and producers, designers and models are already busy in preparation.

Threads designer Susie Spiers is a Central Michigan University senior and is currently completing her Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in Fashion Design. She is in the middle of creating a 6-piece collection for the 2020 Threads Fashion Show on April 4, and this is her second year participating.

Spiers first got involved with Threads when she transferred here from the University of Alaska Fairbanks because a friend and former graduate from the Fashion Program, Juli Saad, asked her to model in the show.

“[Threads] really highlights the talent within the fashion program,” Spiers said. “Merchandisers, designers and more put so much passion into it.”

Photo courtesy of Susie Spiers.

CMU’s Threads Fashion Show is a student-run organization that allows participants to “showcase their work while collaborating with departments across campus.”

It is an intense, exciting program where aspiring designers have the opportunity to create pieces and have them modeled for all in attendance. This year’s theme is “Disorient,” and Spiers has created some beautiful garments based off of it.

The moodboard Spiers created for her collection.

Her collection is largely inspired by the song “Le Vie en Rose” by Louis Armstrong, and she describes it as “disturbingly happy.” The collection is monochromatic, focusing on a spectrum of rose-tinted colors, from nude pink to burgundy, and features lots of tulle, satin and over 100 handmade flower appliqués. Some of the inspirations she draws on most to create her designs are nature, vintage glamour and music; all of which can be seen in the pieces she has created for Threads.

Spiers’ finished sketch of one of her garments and the main fabrics used throughout her collection.

The process of creating a collection for Threads is very intensive, according to Spiers, and often starts back in the Fall semester with applying for the program, gathering inspiration and developing concepts.

After this comes the sketching stage, where designers sketch out their ideas to help them settle on final garment designs.


For Spiers, this step is completed in three to four rounds to ensure she is happy with her silhouettes and other details. Next, designers begin the “pattern-out” step, where they begin to create the patterns to be used for their garments.

Spiers’ original look line-up for the collection.

For this year’s collection, Spiers used a mix of flat patterning and draping, which involves placing fabric over a mannequin to get an idea of how it would fall on a person. With these patterns, the designers then create mock-ups of the finished garments, using a cheaper material than what the final product will be made of. This is usually a type of muslin.

Finally, after the mock-up garments have been finalized and fitted to individual models, Spiers and her fellow designers are able to create the actual final version of their pieces, conducting fittings and alterations as needed. Four out of the six pieces within Speirs’ collection were completed last semester, and she is still in the process of finishing her last two pieces for the show in April.

Headbands Spiers created for her models to wear during the show.

When asked to choose her favorite piece from this year’s collection, Spiers could not settle on one answer, but said that her final piece “summarizes everything [she’s] done” and is the “epitome of [her] collection.”

Her most challenging garmets are her third look: the romper with the attached skirt and the tulle bell-bottom pants she created for the 4th look.

Overall, attendees can look forward to seeing collections of all different inspirations and styles including Spiers’ at Threads on April 4th.