MSU students, faculty represent sustainability with fashion exhibit
Anna Motz always has been infatuated with fashion and design.
It wasn’t until she stumbled upon an apparel class at MSU that she decided to switch her major from business to a double major in apparel and textile design and interior design.
Now, as a senior, Motz couldn’t be happier with her decision.
“It’s really fulfilling,” she said. “To see a design go from paper to 3D is amazing.”
Motz, along with 14 other students, currently has her “green gown” on display in the first ever re:Dress Exhibition at the MSU Museum Heritage Gallery. The exhibit started Sunday and runs through July 1.
The exposition was put together by Theresa Winge, assistant professor of apparel and textile design, three chosen student curators and AIGA, the professional association for design at MSU.
Re:Dress is an exhibit that showcases red carpet worthy gowns made out of sustainable materials by students in the Department of Art and Art History, Winge said. A total of 42 ecologically friendly gowns were made in Winge’s global context for sustainable design class in the fall semester, while only 15 were chosen for the exhibit.
Although the exhibit opened Sunday, the official unveiling of the designs took place Wednesday night at the re:Dress Exhibition reception in the MSU Museum.
As students and community members walk through the exhibit, they will observe not only the dresses themselves, but also a short summary of how it was put together and the difficulties designers endured while sourcing materials.
Materials ranged from coiled telephone cords to latex gloves and scratch-off lottery tickets.
“The primary goal of the exhibit is to show people that sustainable design doesn’t have to look like a burlap sack,” Winge said. “It can be beautiful, innovative, creative and even worn down a red carpet.”
Garments were selected for the display based on criteria such as aesthetics, design quality as well as the gown’s carbon footprint, Winge said.
“The fashion industry is known for being wasteful,” Winge said. “Students are becoming aware of how they can have a positive impact on the industry and become more sustainable with their designs.”
Residential College in the Arts and Humanities junior Victoria D’Aquila said the use of traditional materials along with recycled components is a great idea.
“Overconsumption is one of the main problems in our world,” D’Aquila said. “We use so many things once and then simply discard them — this exhibit shows that it’s really important to reuse and recycle.”
Apparel and textile design senior and student curator for the exhibit Leigh Gervasi said she spent about four to five months constructing her gown that is featured in the exhibit. She said she decided to make her gown entirely out of hard-copied books and recycled hinges to pay homage to her love for reading as well as books in general.
“I’m really proud of my design,” Gervasi said. “You definitely couldn’t wear it out, but it’s something that I love and am passionate about.”