On the television show “Project Runway,” the unconventional materials challenge – which forces contestants to create clothing from items that can range from food to flowers – often brings out the creative best in designers.
A group of N.C. State student designers will participate in an unconventional “Runway”-style challenge of their own on Saturday, Jan. 28, during Hemline for Hearts at Crabtree Valley Mall.
A collaboration between the school’s College of Textiles and the American Heart Association of the Triangle, the competition will challenge six student designers to create red dresses constructed almost entirely of red paper hearts. Each dress will feature details inspired by the Heart Association’s mission – from hemlines that mimic echocardiogram tracings to flowers representing heart disease survivors.
The designers will work on their pieces from 1 to 4 p.m., with judging held from 4 to 5 p.m. Spectators are invited to watch the competition, which will be held in front of the first floor entrance to Macy’s.
For the participating students, not only does the competition allow them to get involved in supporting a good cause, it also prepares them for the hectic world of the fashion industry.
“The fashion industry is very fast paced with stringent timelines that must be met,” says Dr. Delisia Matthews, an assistant professor in the College of Textiles. “Given these characteristics of the industry, this event teaches students how to manage their time and set attainable deadlines, while also effectively channeling the creative process. This will make students more prepared for what they will face in the industry given this hands-on experience.”
And working with paper teaches students to think creatively and use the skills they learn in the classroom to make even the most difficult material work.
“Student designers will experience a lot of challenges with paper dress production, as the paper does not conform to the contour as smoothly as a fabric does, and the paper does not allow as much tolerance as a fabric does,” says Dr. Minyoung Suh, also an assistant professor in the College of Textiles.
Perhaps most importantly, though, the event allows the students to use their fashion education to raise awareness and do good for the community.
“By partnering with the American Heart Association, this event increases our students’ social awareness and responsibility,” Matthew says. “This event is especially important as it allows them to give back to the community by exhibiting the skills and talents they have learned within our College of Textiles academic programs.”
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