Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kate, Don’t Select Your Gown Yet!


Amanda Hoepker/
SUNY Oneonta student designer Kate Fragoso is “walked down the aisle” by Oscar Oberkircher, professor of Food Service Management, at the recent wedding fashion show.

Forget Vera Wang.  Future English Princess Kate Middleton might want to consider purchasing her one-of-a-kind wedding dress from SUNY Oneonta.
Drawing inspiration from the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Ms. Middleton, students in Dr. Annacleta Chiweshe’s “Innovations in Wearable Art” class were charged with deconstructing a used wedding dress, donated from the collection of the Human Ecology Department, then reconstructing the gown into a unique dress fit for a royal wedding.
From concept to product, the designers had three weeks to prepare their creation.  Then the big day arrived:  On Thursday, March 24, the Hunt Union became the runway, and each girl got to show off her design to a gathered crowd. 
The inspirations for the gowns varied from Kate’s vintage sapphire engagement ring to peacocks, cameo brooches and waterfalls. 
Pam Earnest, whose “Silver Bullet” dress featured a long braided silver and white train, said she was inspired by silverware.
Fan Chao Chen utilized an “East meets West” theme in designing her red and white creation “Raise the Red Lantern.” Chen’s dress featured a bubble-shaped skirt and a bouquet of two lanterns.  “Red is a happy color traditionally used in Asian weddings,” she said.  “It scares away evil.”
Dr. Chiweshe’s “Innovations in Wearable Art” class started in 2002 as an experimental special topics course and has since become a staple, with several of her students going on to publish their designs and compete internationally. 
“Dress is form of self-expression,” she says.  “We are making garments in the form of art – the beauty is that you can break all the rules.”
The gowns will be on display in the Human Ecology Department’s Gallery until mid-April, and the students will submit their designs for possible publication in various fashion trade magazines.

Amanda Hoepker/
Other “brides” included, front to back, Ellen Brady, Carolyn Bunn, Pamela Ernst, Alexis Gabriel, Amanda Guernsey, Brittany Meeter, Kelsey Minnich and Fan Chao Chen.

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