Kent State Fashion School Demonstrates Major Presence at Top Textiles and Clothing Professional Conference
Kent State University’s Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising took home seven design awards at the 2013 conference of the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA). Three faculty members and three students picked up awards at the conference, which took place in New Orleans from Oct. 15-18.
ITAA is the global organization of textile and apparel scholars, and the Kent State contingent is both extensive and active. Sherry Schofield, associate director of Kent State’s Fashion School, currently serves as ITAA president, while fellow faculty member Harriet McLeod is the ITAA secretary.
“We are very pleased that the Kent State Fashion School boasts such a great participation rate in ITAA, and that our faculty and students have received considerable recognition for their work this year,” says Fashion School Director J.R. Campbell.
Kim Hahn and Jihyun Kim, both associate professors of fashion merchandising, collaborated on two separate award-winning garments. One, titled “Celestial Symphony,” was designed as an updated cocktail ensemble for professional women.
“Straight and hard lines of the inverted pleats reflect the vigor of the wearer, yet her feminine and soft side is enhanced by the sheer jacket with subtle cloud motifs,” write Hahn and Kim in their abstract.
Their other garment, “Amber Refraction,” drew inspiration from the traditional Korean style of Hanbok, while also incorporating an image manipulated in Adobe Photoshop. “The overall design in this ensemble is a visual bridge that intertwines traditional craft culture and contemporary design technology,” Hahn and Kim write.
Kent State senior Madison Palen-Michel’s dress design netted both a $5,000 cash prize and a prestigious internship with Zandra Rhodes in London. Palen-Michel’s design was a byproduct of her previous study at the Paris American Academy.
“While in Paris, we were taught how to create this type of dress as we studied Madame Grès techniques,” she explains. “The dress is all hand-sewn and fitted specifically for my body. At ITAA, it was entered in the category that emphasizes technique over design.”
The Fashion School was also honored with all three awards presented on behalf of Educators for Socially Responsible Apparel Business (ESRAB) — in the faculty, graduate and undergraduate categories. The faculty winner was Linda Öhrn-McDaniel, associate professor of fashion design at Kent State, who created a striped knit dress from up-cycled men’s business shirts.
“While mountains of trash are piling up, the fashion industry is focused on producing more at lower costs to make higher profits,” Öhrn-McDaniel writes. “This dress is done as a commentary on an industry where the craft is close to lost and the business is in focus.”
Meanwhile, graduate student Lisa Arenstein used discarded metal and rubber tubing to create the intricate woven sculpture “Green Lantern.” For Arenstein, using repurposed “scrap” materials is a continuation of the resourceful traditions of basketry, and allows her work to “provoke associations with domestic objects while also seeming somewhat toy-like.”
Jasmine Kornel won the undergraduate ESRAB award for her “Peace” ensemble — a title that reflects both the aesthetic qualities of the design and its “utilization of sustainable techniques, such as natural dyes, natural and organic fibers and zero-waste patternmaking.”
ITAA accepted additional designs by undergraduate students Sylvia Bukowski, Michael Pennick, Will Riddle and Amanda Miller. Those designs appear in the 2013 exhibition catalog — produced by Öhrn-McDaniel, who chaired the design awards committee.
For more information about the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, visitwww.kent.edu/artscollege/fashion.