Belmont University Fashion Students Team Up With Singer on Upcycling Project

I think about the typical particular person assumes vogue design faculty is one thing like a four-year-long season of “Project Runway.” In actuality, there’s much more to it than high-stakes design challenges and brutal critiques, however typically tasks come alongside that match into that TV depiction, model sponsors and all.

At Belmont University’s O’More College of Architecture and Design in Nashville, Tennessee, Fashion Design & Merchandising college students are challenged with a minimal of 1 partnership mission annually. For 2021, sophomore and junior design studios have been tasked not solely with designing and producing eveningwear appears impressed by the primary Singer stitching machine invented 170 years in the past, however additionally they had to make use of upcycled supplies present in Goodwill thrift shops. Both Singer and Goodwill have been sponsors for the mission.

Jamie Atlas, the college’s chair of Fashion Design & Merchandising, explains that Singer reached out with the thought to have a good time its one hundred and seventieth anniversary. The sewing-machine firm relies in La Vergne, Tennessee, which is exterior Nashville, and has a longstanding relationship with O’More. “During Covid, they really donated 50 house stitching machines to our college students,” Atlas tells me. Goodwill is a frequent companion as nicely.

Participants within the four-week problem, who, by spring, have been largely again on-campus have been tasked with incorporating some parts of the machine launched 170 years in the past, from the strains to the colours: black and gold. Meanwhile, the upcycling factor compelled college students to think about designing with sustainability in thoughts. 


Design: Maddy Clements | HMUA: Nissi Lee | Model: AMAX Talent-Shelby Khoury

Design: Maddy Clements | HMUA: Nissi Lee | Model: AMAX Talent-Shelby Khoury

“We focus on sustainability in all of our lessons,” explains Atlas. “Especially with Gen-Z customers, they need to help sustainability and moral manufacturing is vital to them, however they cannot afford the higher-end, new product within the luxurious model market. So the best way to do it’s to go to the Goodwills and the thrift shops.”


The eveningwear directive additionally made issues harder, particularly with the unconventional supplies at play; many college students used issues like bathe curtains, drapes and fabric cloth. “They additionally included corsetry, piping and used superior stitching strategies,” Atlas says. 

In the trite phrases of Tim Gunn, they made it work. The commonest problem from college students was sourcing sufficient materials and dealing with restricted sources.

“It was troublesome to supply the massive quantities of material mandatory for a night put on look from Goodwill, however I used to be ready to make use of tablecloths and curtains to achieve extra yardage and execute my look,” says Maddy Clements, who took inspiration from the stitching machine’s construction in addition to basic corsetry.

“Not discovering sufficient yardage of particular materials resulted in some design modifications,” explains Alisha Ascencio, who was impressed by Zimmerman’s Spring 2021 assortment. “I ended up incorporating different colours and including seams with a purpose to execute the design silhouette I had needed. I imagine this elevated the design in methods I hadn’t anticipated.”


Design: Kat Westmoreland | HMUA: Nissi Lee | Model: AMAX Talent-Elona Snitko

Design: Kat Westmoreland | HMUA: Nissi Lee | Model: AMAX Talent-Elona Snitko

Despite some preliminary issues, college students got here away from the mission with new problem-solving abilities and a greater sense of cut back waste of their design processes.

“I imagine the perfect designs come from determining an answer,” says Marian Anderson, whose gown was impressed by the Vera Wang robe Zendaya wore to the 2019 Emmys. “As our pure sources are working out, it is essential that I’m able to create and assemble clothes from restricted provides, upcycled supplies, and thrifted materials.”

Sarah Toloo needed to go to a number of Goodwill shops to search out materials she might work with to create her New Look-inspired gown, however the difficulties have been value it in the long run. “I’m so completely happy I used to be capable of do one thing like this as a result of it made me extra assured in my designing abilities and the end result was very rewarding,” she says.

“I discovered that I might marry my love for thrifting into my design schooling,” provides Ascencio.

While college students did get to current their ultimate appears at school, they have been as soon as once more unable to place on an on-campus vogue present as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. Instead, we’re highlighting them right here on Fashionista. A digital showcase was designed, which you’ll see beneath, in addition to a gallery of a number of the ultimate designs, with particulars on the stunning supplies used to create them.

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