STRATEGIC ILLUSIONS Sponsored by Cotton Incorporated

Strategic Illusions Engineered Garment Project

Strategic Illusions is a Cotton Inc. sponsored collaborative teaching project that included two classes – one is a computer aided design class and the second an advanced garment assembly class. The goal of the advanced engineered garment design teaching project was to develop engineered garment designs for 100% cotton fabric which were designed specifically to incorporate strategically placed wrinkles or ruching to camouflage the naturally occurring wrinkles on the garment. The outcome incorporated integrated multiple surface design techniques and engineered garment design placement which embrace and/or camouflage the natural wrinkling qualities of cotton fabric.

This project included the use of twenty-two custom developed step by step video tutorials to allow students to individually work to advance their creative and technical skills with the initial design process at their own pace. The video tutorials included initial research, photography, and a variety of techniques to develop backgrounds for engineered garments. The video tutorials also included a 3D OptiTex section to show students how to export a garment patterns to Adobe Illustrator. The tutorials also showed how to set-up and prepare the Illustrator file for inserting engineered surface designs into the garments pattern pieces as well as simulated and strategically placed winkles/ruching/textures. Additional videos were developed to instruct students how to virtually test their garments on the custom body scan avatar models that will be wearing their garments. Students also had videos to instruct them how to take snapshots of different views of their virtual 3D garments with and without the custom model.

The students began by developing a concept board, color board and description of their inspiration. The video tutorials guided and encouraged the students to creatively experiment with a variety of techniques to develop engineered garment designs on a prototype sample garment pattern.  During this time a trip to the Buffalo Zoo was arranged where students took many photos of fauna and flora to incorporate into their collection concepts.

Normal wear of a 100% cotton dress or pants would produce naturally occurring wrinkles in specific areas (ex: in the bending areas of the body.) Initially, a basic muslin sheath was wear tested to locate naturally occurring wrinkle areas during normal wear. During the first half of the semester when students were experimenting with techniques, six student models were located and each one underwent a body scan. A customized virtual avatar was developed for each model. Customized garments styles that were all modifications of a fitted long sleeve sheath were developed and one style was assigned to each model. Each student was assigned three garment styles/models and developed two engineered garment designs for each model. Each student developed a minimum of six engineered garment designs for a total of thirty-six engineered garments. These engineered garment designs were designed to strategically integrate with and/or camouflage wrinkles. The garments were all virtually tested and photographed (virtually) by each student.

At the final presentation, each student presented their concept, description, inspirations and color boards in addition to each of six engineered garment designs for a total of 36 engineered garments.  A combination of students and faculty determined which three engineered garment designs best represented the creative and technical range for each student.
SI_conceptsPrinting took place on the departments Mutoh VJ-1638 dual-head Valuejet using Nano Pigments of dyes onto 100% cotton fabric. The fabric is then processed with a Practix Manufacturing OK-08 heat press to set the dye.
si_project2The garments were constructed by students in an Apparel Assembly class.It is intended that this project will integrate with the overall Buffalo State Runway 8.0 theme, Innovation, which will be held on Saturday May 25, 2015.

si_project3Dr. Lynn Boorady
Project under the direction of Elaine Polvinen
Fabric Printing and Setting: Maggie Keef & David Brinson
Muslin Prototypes: Marybeth DiPaola, David Brinson & Lynn Boorady
Garment Assembly Director: Denise Needham

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Senior Designer Spotlight: An Interview with Ashley Waters-Schmitt ’15

Ashley Line board

Tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from etc.

My name is Ashley. I am originally from Buffalo, but spent over ten years living abroad. I have lived in many different places in my life. This was often tough as a kid, but has given me great inspiration in my work through the many places and people I have encountered. I love traveling and meeting new people. I am also a mother, to an adorable four-year-old son who inspires me every single day.

How did you get started in design and what inspired you to become a designer?

I have always loved clothing. One of my favorite things to do with my mum growing up was to shop and put together great outfits. It was always so much fun and the confidence a great outfit can give a person is inspiring to me. The possibilities of what you can do with a collection are endless. Countless hours looking through magazines and window-shopping filled my head with ideas. I originally pursued other areas of interest, but later came back to school to follow my dream. It was the perfect decision and I cannot wait to spend every day doing what I love.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

My inspiration for this year’s collection comes from nature and the beautiful things that it provides us.

Describe your collection in one word:

Rustic

Tell us the theme behind your designs for Runway.

My designs for Runway 8.0 are inspired by the WGSN theme History 2.0. The inspiration comes from the idea of recalling the past while pushing forward into the future. This includes the use of natural, raw materials as I have done for this years show. I have combined materials more often used in history with modern and new techniques to create my collection.

What do you think is it about your work that sets you apart?

I think that my use of unusual materials to create entire garments is a new, and innovative approach that makes my collection stand out.

conceptboard_aws

What other activities do you enjoy doing besides design?

My favorite activity is of course hanging out with my awesome son. My second biggest passion is photography, a hobby I hope to develop more ineptly after graduation. I also love dancing and horseback riding.

What are your goals for designing? What type of person do you imagine you’re designing for?

My goals as a designer are continually changing. There is not one specific person I am always imagining when I design. The person I imagine wearing my clothing changes with the different inspirations for each project. I aim to be a versatile and flexible designer.

Could you give us a little preview of what to expect at Runway? What type of collection are you showing? What are the inspirations behind it/the philosophy guiding it?

My collection is called Rustic Roots. It was created using only deerskin leather. I was inspired to create this collection after seeing a lot of waste of deer products. I felt strongly that if an animal is going to be killed we should be utilizing as much of it as possible. People in the past were experts at both appreciating and using the gifts that nature gave them. I think it is important for the preservation of our future and the environment of the planet that we relearn how to live in this way. I felt that taking a material often wasted and turning it into a fashion collection was an important innovation in the way we need to start living. Another great advantage is that even the scraps left over after sewing can be recycled into products, such as leather lace, and reused. I threw almost nothing away.

Could you talk a little bit about your experience in Runway? I don’t think a lot of our readers are very clear on what it is/what the experience is like.

Preparing for a fashion show is hard work. The fall semester was spent brainstorming and sketching. After finalizing designs you then must spend a significant amount of time rafting patterns and draping to create your designs. The next step is fitting all these garments on the models. Finally, you can begin sewing. There can be many frustrations along the way, especially in perfecting fit. It is amazing to see your designs come to life from a piece of paper to a final garment.

What can you tell us about the color scheme, construction and how you went about making the collection on the more technical side?

For this particular collection, I wanted to keep the color scheme simple in order to highlight the material itself. I also feel that the inspiration of the past often comes from a need to bring more simplicity into our busy, technology heavy lives. When constructing my collection, I had to research many different leather-working techniques, as well as come up with a few of my own. Working with leather required a lot of top stitching and sewing very slowly. If you make a mistake with leather, you cannot take the stitches out, as there are permanent holes. It requires a lot of concentration and a lot of creativity if mistakes are made.

Runway Fashion Show student portraits.

Post-grad plans?

After graduation, I intend to work as a designer in the industry. I am eager to continue my learning within the industry. I would eventually like to start my own company and perhaps continue into post-grad education.

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Student Producer Spotlight: An Interview with Tracey Tong ’15

Tracey Portrait Runway blog post

How would you describe your position for RUNWAY 8.0?

For Runway 8.0, I was blessed with the position to be the student producer. I would describe my position as engaged at ALL times and very, very involved. My job is to oversee everyone else’s position and be the helping hand if they need anything whatsoever. I always try to go above and beyond to help my classmates and Erin with anything they need. I love being able to be there for everyone. 

Here’s the BIG question…what will you be wearing?

All black, everything. Because the theme of this year’s show is “innovation”, I really want to wear something new, something out of my comfort zone that I’ve never rocked before…maybe a black, strapless jumpsuit!

Three attributes the fashion show producer should have?

Hmm, I would say patience, energy, and organization skills. Does GroupMe count? I don’t think this would be possible without that app; it allows me to keep in contact with the ENITRE Runway team, 24/7!

On the day of the show, your survival kit will definitely include…

SANITY. Just kidding…sort of. But really, I know I will need every form of caffeine possible. Red Bull, iced coffee, and 5 Hour Energy shots.

So what is next after Buffalo State, will we see you producing fashion shows for New York Fashion Week?

Dreaming big. After all, I will be moving back home to NYC in May after graduation. You’re all just going to have to stay tuned and see what’s next for this gal!

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FinnFest Project

FINNFEST_Students

What is FINNFEST?

FinnFest USA is an ethnic festival with strong academic, cultural, and commerce components presenting Finnish American and Finnish culture and heritage. It’s a festival that brings modern Finland together with historic and contemporary America. (Finnspiration, Buffalo NY)

What is the primary Buffalo, NY FINNFEST focus?

-to experience the thrill of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’s symphonies performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in the restored splendor of Kleinhans Music Hall, designed by Finnish architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen. Be immersed in the film and video work of Eija-Liisa Ahtila, one of Finland’s most important contemporary artists, and explore the influence of Sibelius’s music on Western New York watercolorist Charles Burchfield. You’ll learn about Finland’s history, culture, and inspiring contemporary social innovations, and discover the surprising connections between Finland and Western New York. And you’ll have a great time with plenty of shopping, food, friends, music, and dancing! Come be “Finnspired” at FinnFest USA 2015 Buffalo! (Finnspiration, Buffalo NY)

What is the Buffalo State FINNFEST project that has been completed by the Fashion and Textile Technology Department?

Fashion’s Celebration of FinnFest 2015 is a project designed to educate, honor and draw inspiration from Finnish music, architecture and textile design as well as to link to a Finnish design aesthetic and reflect a WNY visual philosophy of joy and happiness along with the discovery of beauty, color and pattern from every day local elements.

This was a special project open to students with CAD experience. It resulted with the development of a series of textile prints and garments reflecting the visual design series inspired by selective Finnish music, architecture and textiles. This project will be highlighted with a section during RUNWAY: INNOVATION on April 25, 2015 and conclude in an exhibit scheduled to coincide with FinnFest 2015. Tickets for RUNWAY can be purchased HERE.

The overall goals of this project were to develop a series of textile designs/garment line linked to the FinnFest directions of the celebration of 75 years of Kleinhans Music Hall by Finnish architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen, the architectural design of Kleinhans music hall, the beauty of Finland and the visual aesthetic philosophy of Finnish textile design by Marimekko.

Students developed concepts that linked to elements of design which make Marimekko unique; the architectural elements which Saarinen used to create Kleinhans music hall; the naturalistic elements of Finland and WNY.

Student’s textile designs included bold patterns, yet embraced simplicity and beauty from everyday elements. Finland, like Buffalo, has some cold and dark weather; these designs reflected the local beauty of everyday elements in WNY along with the happiness and passion from color and design inspired by the Marimekko philosophy.

In addition to the multi board collections that students developed in class (examples below) that included a concept board, description board, color board, fabric board, print pattern board and line board, students submitted designs for a series of garments directly inspired by the Marimekko philosophy (final student selections above).

The designs were externally reviewed and out of 36 textile prints, seven were selected to be digitally printed and assembled into a simple shift style garment that will be displayed . Student designers are listed above the textile prints.

Phillips_layoutboard

Caroline Phillips (above)

Yoshida_layout_board

Yuri Yoshida (above)

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Senior Designer Spotlight: An Interview with Hannah Trainer ’15

Picture2

Tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from etc.

I’m from Hilo, Hawaii.

How did you get started in design and what inspired you to become a designer?

My mom taught me how to sew when I was young. I made my Barbies clothes, then made costumes for Halloween each year. I commissioned for friends who wanted me to make them things. All things considered, I loved doing it and decided I would major in fashion when I graduated.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

I was inspired by the indie designer, For Love and Lemons, and how they would innovatively transform lace intimates and lingerie into formal evening gowns. I fell in love with the elegance, simplicity, and rawness and transformed my collection into a similar concept, but for everyday wear.

Describe your collection in one word:

Au Naturel

Tell us the theme behind your designs for Runway.

In harmonization with my inspiration, my theme, Sleepy Comfort, takes lingerie and intimates one would usually wear indoors/to sleep and transforms it into apparel comfortable enough to wear outdoors. My collection is all about taking it back to basics, with the natural makeup, solid colors, simple design…to keep the focus on the real beauty: the woman.

What do you think is it about your work that sets you apart?

My designs are definitely not conservative; each person is beautiful and should embrace what they have. I try to capture the beauty in every woman and hope that they feel beautiful, when they wear my designs, too.

What other activities do you enjoy doing besides design?

Drawing, eating, sleeping, laughing lol.

What are your goals for designing? What type of person do you imagine you’re designing for?

I come from the tropics and plan to design for such an environment. I enjoy designing things like lingerie and swimwear. But, I wish to design for diverse people because all human beings are beautiful. J

If you could design for one celebrity, who would it be and why?

I’ve always thought of Katy Perry because she likes to experiment with different styles…Lupita Nyong’o has gorgeous style and looks good in every evening gown she wears—I, also, would love to design evening gowns—but, Beyoncé is always a dream; let’s be real.

Could you talk a little bit about your experience in Runway? I don’t think a lot of our readers are very clear on what it is/what the experience is like

We took a class, last semester, in which we design our concept and research trends, then take our ideas and bring them to life, this semester. We drape/draft, make patterns, purchase our own fabric and findings, cut and sew, until the final product is complete.

What can you tell us about the color scheme, construction and how you went about making the collection on the more technical side?

My color palette is plain white because it is elegant and makes anyone look good. It was originally nude colors, but I preferred white, since I wanted diverse models.

How do you think your education has prepared you for Runway?

I’ve learned all I know, now, through previous classes and it’s helped me grow as a seamstress and designer.

Runway Fashion Show student portraits.

Post-grad plans?

Traveling, work for an indie designer or be one myself. 

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Senior Designer Spotlight: An Interview with Elizabeth Knights ’15

ConceptBoard

Tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from etc.

I am from a very small town about an hour and a half South of Buffalo called Dansville.

How did you get started in design and what inspired you to become a designer?

I started having an interest in design when I was in the 6th grade taking home economic classes with my teacher Mrs. Stead. The first products I ever sewed were a basic drawstring bag and PJ shorts. I began to hand sew at home until I got a machine. No one in my family sews or is even artsy, I believe my teacher was my initial inspiration to become a designer.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

My inspirations for design are mostly developed in the actual textile design. I draw ideas and inspirations from classical and modern art.

Describe your collection in one word:

Urban

Tell us the theme behind your designs for Runway 8.0

The theme behind my designs for Runway is derived from the artist Henri Matisse. I developed overlapping prints based on his art works using deconstructed screen-printing. Rick Owens was also influenced in my garment design. My goal with my collection was to create textile patterns with a sharp cut edge and also incorporate a liquid look. I wanted to create garments that are simple in design to show off my hand made fabrics and also give that relaxed urban edge feel to the garments.

What do you think is it about your work that sets you apart?

What sets my work apart from the others is the time and quality I spent that I put into my fabrics. Each year I have done Runway I have created my own fabrics using different techniques. This year I challenged myself and used a very difficult technique that takes more time and research. Deconstructed screen-printing uses alginate, which is a seaweed chemical base to get the overlapping of colors and prints.

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 3.03.44 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-03 at 3.03.21 PM

What other activities do you enjoy doing besides design?

Traveling is pretty much the only outside activity of design that I enjoy. I love to experience different and new cultures, my visits to different countries has defiantly influenced my personal work in my fiber arts.

What are your goals for designing? What type of person do you imagine you’re designing for?

Throughout my years at Buffalo State I have discovered that I am stronger as a textile designer than I am in apparel design. I would love to take my minor in fiber arts and further my education. I would like to create and design fabrics for the upholstery or fashion apparel industry.

Could you talk a little bit about your experience in Runway 8.0? I don’t think a lot of our readers are very clear on what it is/what the experience is like

Runway 8 has been the most difficult year so far. This will be my 4th year in Runway; no other year has been more stressful than this one! As a senior designer there has been so much time and planning that I have put into this collection.

What can you tell us about the color scheme, construction and how you went about making the collection on the more technical side?

I referred to this year’s fashion colors for my collection. Actually creating these colors by hand made was an entire different project. I had to do multiple series of trial and error with chemical dyes and different fabrics. Each test was done with different colors ranging in different amounts of dye powder, salt, and soda ash to succeed in my colors being exactly like my color pallet that I created on the computer.

How many hours a day do you spend working on your collection on average?

It seemed like I spent more time into creating my fabrics, probably around 6 hours a day was just on doing that. Around 3 hours a day was put into the construction of my garments.

How do you think your education has prepared you for Runway 8.0?

I think that having an education in both areas of apparel design and fiber arts has prepared me for Runway 8.

Runway Fashion Show student portraits.

Post-grad plans?

I would like to further my education and go to graduate school in fiber arts and textile design after I graduate in December.

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Senior Designer Spotlight: An Interview with Tomiko Harris ’15

Tomiko

Tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from etc.

I am a proud Buffalo native. I graduated from Hutchinson Central Technical High-School with a concentration in Architectural Engineering but always had a passion for Apparel Design and many other fields of the Fashion Industry.

How did you get started in design and what inspired you to become a designer?

I’ve always wanted to design; it is something I naturally took interest in.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

I usually look at photos of abstract art and the work of popular expressionist painters.

Describe your collection in one word:

Animated

Tell us the theme behind your designs for Runway 8.0

My collection is titled “Chaotic Cortex,” it is inspired by the beauty of the human brain and the abstract nature of human emotion. Many people suffer from mental disorders such as Depression Anxiety; the purpose of this concept is to give a visual of what these thoughts look like.

What do you think is it about your work that sets you apart?

My work is simultaneously gritty and adorable.

Any projects you want to plug after Runway 8.0?

I want to continue crafting jewelry after the show and graduation.

What other activities do you enjoy doing besides design?

I own a lot of books, so you can say that I am an avid reader. Reading molds people into better writers and inspires me when it comes to designing.

What are your goals for designing? What type of person do you imagine you’re designing for?

I just want to be great. I’m not into constructing gowns, but it would be nice to perfect that type of design one day. I imagine I’m designing for an outgoing person who isn’t afraid to take risks when it comes to fashion.

If you could design for one celebrity, who would it be and why?

Rihanna. Trend followers watch her, it could be a smart way to get my name out there and she makes everything she wears work.

Could you give us a little preview of what to expect at Runway 8.0? What type of collection are you showing? What are the inspirations behind it/the philosophy guiding it?

The collection I am showing features laid-back design silhouettes and vibrant prints/colors. The silhouettes are minimal but the prints are expressive.

What can you tell us about the color scheme, construction and how you went about making the collection on the more technical side?

I only used four colors when designing my prints. The electric orange color that is spread throughout my collection is meant to tie the pieces together. The collection is flowy and meant to be comfortable. All of the dresses featured in my collection were draped using muslin and I also did a bit of pattern drafting.

How many hours a day do you spend working on your collection on average?

On average, I usually spend 6-8 hours working on my collection.

How do you think your education has prepared you for Runway 8.0?

Everything I have learned at Buffalo State has prepared me for Runway 8.0, though I am still learning a lot when it comes to apparel design, I would not have the skills I have today without the courses that Buffalo State offered me.

Runway Fashion Show student portraits.

Post-grad plans?

After graduation I plan to travel and eventually look to work in the textile design field.

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