Fifth Annual Student-Designed, Orchid-Inspired Garments Complement Orchid Mania at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

Kent State University fashion design and merchandising students are taking their floral-inspired fabrics to the Cleveland Botanical Garden during this year’s Orchid Mania exhibition that is open now through March 11. The display is part of an annual school-sponsored competition, which is directed toward junior-level design students. Students are charged with conceiving of fabric and garment designs that are inspired by the exquisite flora, the orchid. Kent State faculty member Betsy Carr coordinates the event.

Floral-inspired fabrics designed by Kent State University students are on display at the Cleveland Botanical Garden during this year’s Orchid Mania exhibition.

The students, through the use of photographic images of orchids, manipulate the images in computer software to create a fabric design that will then be imprinted on fabric. Through the school’s resource and innovation lab, TechStyleLab, students are able to use equipment, such as high-tech fabric printers, an industrial laser cutter, Stoll knitting machines and a commercial embroidery machine, to transform their computer-generated designs onto fabric. The fabric is then cut and sewn according to the student’s design and created into a finished product.  


The garments – 15 designs in total – will be displayed on dress forms, which are distributed throughout the orchid displays. Visitors to the Cleveland Botanical Garden are encouraged to vote for their top three designs including “Best Use of Inspiration,” “Best Fabric Design” and “Best in Show.” This year’s participants hail from 10 states.


“For the past five years, our students have been designing well-crafted, highly creative pieces that have knocked visitors’ socks off,” Ms. Carr says. “Some students have even received requests for custom orders as a direct result of the show.”


Winners, who will receive a cash prize, will be determined on Saturday, March 3, from 3-4:30 p.m. during a special reception hosted by the Kent State University Museum. Tickets are $35 per person and include admission into the garden, wine and light refreshments in the beautiful setting of the Garden Room. Guests of this event will enjoy meeting the student designers while experiencing the designs on live models from 3-4 p.m. before the awards ceremony. 


For more information or to make reservations, visit The event is open to everyone. Reservations are due by Feb. 26.

POSTED: Friday, February 2, 2018 09:32 AM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 05:55 AM