Showcase features students’ original garments and wearable art

The Student Apparel Design Showcase was MU’s first to include work from students in each of the creative textiles classes along with intermediate and advanced fiber art.

Students in the textile and apparel management department’s Product Development program exhibited their fall semester projects inside and around the Gwynn Lounge on Thursday. The projects ranged from aprons to jean jackets and incorporated various creative techniques and styles.

The Student Apparel Design Showcase was the first at MU’s College of Human Environmental Sciences to incorporate the work of students enrolled in six different studio classes. The gallery included the wearable art of intermediate and advanced fibers students as well as garments made by students from five textile and apparel management classes ranging from beginner to intermediate and advanced.

“This is the first [showcase] that we’ve done that encompasses all the creative classes,” professor Jean Parsons said. “It looks great; I think our students do impressive work.”

Parsons has worked in the textile and apparel management department at MU for six years and has hosted individual class and senior capstone showcases prior to this combined event.

Parsons said the exhibition, organized by professor Kristen Morris, displays the growth that students in the program experience from their first projects to the graduate-level projects that become more intricate and complex. The projects include the physical, original garments as well as prints showing designs, patterns and inspiration.

“[The showcase] shows the transition from their very first projects, the aprons, [displayed] out in the front and the bags, and then they move to [projects from] the pattern-making and the digital classes,” Parsons said.

Parsons said most of her students have spent four to five weeks on their pieces, but timelines can vary in other classes.

Their assignments can also be specific or broad. One of this semester’s prompts included artwork that can lay flat on a wall but then be taken off and worn. Another asked that students create electronic sketches of their own hand-illustrated patterns, according to the gallery’s informative cards.

“We’re showing a real cross section of the work they’ve done and also the opportunities they have,” Parsons said.

Parsons said many of the projects featured were made using new technology that is entering the apparel industry. The scarves displayed were all digitally printed with patterns designed by students with computer programs.

Doctoral student Lida Aflatoony is currently in Parson’s creativity and problem-solving class, which was assigned the “Wear of the Wall” prompt. Her garment used laser cutting and three-dimensional printing. Similar to a shawl, it encompassed several organic shapes with hand-designed motifs that were executed by machines.

“Right now, we’ve been using a lot of technology to make our garments and handcraft, little by little, is forgotten,” Aflatoony said. “I wanted to show that handcraft and technology should work hand in hand.”

This showcase was Aflatoony’s second since she arrived in the United States after studying fashion and working in Milan.

“We can communicate ideas,” Aflatoony said. “Art and design exhibitions for design majors are the best way of communicating with the public and demonstrating what is usually going on inside the design labs.”

Edited by Olivia Garrett |

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