This Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at the Stewart Theater in Talley Student Union, the highly anticipated student-run fashion show, Art2Wear take place. With preparation starting in October, the efforts of 10 design students will be showcased.
Hosted annually by the College of Design, Art2Wear is a chance for students to gain experience designing, creating and celebrating wearable art. The event challenges students to think creatively and challenge boundaries in response to a given theme.
This year’s theme “Dissonance” prompted designers to create collections centered on the disharmony of two or more conflicting elements. Designers’ responses to this theme are brimming with creativity and innovation.
Chiana Royal, a sophomore in fashion design, based her “Eris” collection on the complexity of how women are portrayed throughout history. His designs feature bright, contrasting colors and are largely inspired by surrealism in art. Royal’s involvement with Art2Wear began its first year when it designed its first collection. This year will be her first in-person parade; Art2Wear took place virtually last year.
“I’m really excited to see how this will elevate the whole thing in terms of designs and how they’ll be presented,” Royal said.
Similar to Royal, Leah Hauser, a fourth-year art and design student with a concentration in fibers and soft construction, got her first taste of Art2Wear during her freshman year at NC State when she participated in the Reusable Paper Project, a challenge where freshmen create a wearable piece entirely out of paper. This year, Hauser will launch its “Placebo” collection, which makes a statement about the experience of having high-functioning depression and the complex influence of antidepressants.
Art2Wear directors also reached out to students who couldn’t make it to the main show to create stand-alone looks with fabric that was donated to the College of Design by Under Armour. These looks will be featured on Wednesday in addition to the main show.
Although Art2Wear is the largest student-run fashion show in the Southeast, many designers this year are entirely new to making clothes.
Miranda Green, a fourth-year design major with a history minor, said creating designs for Art2Wear was her first time making clothes. Her collection, titled “Technology as Armour,” focuses on the dichotomy between who we are online and in real life.
Art2Wear also introduced Owen Snape, a second-year industrial design student, to making clothes. About a year ago, Snape started a small brand where he printed designs on T-shirts. Realizing that he wanted to create more practical clothes, he applied to Art2Wear in October. Her “Patched” collection is made entirely from repurposed garments, commemorating her passion for thrift and sustainability.
Along with a few of the Art2Wear designers, Snape used his experiences in a studio class taught by Professor Adrienne McKenzie to enhance his collection. This course, offered each spring, introduces students to fiber techniques and gives them the chance to create their own collection, which many use for Art2Wear.
Overall, Art2Wear provides students with a platform to fully express their creativity. It aims to inspire not just designers, but everyone who attends, regardless of their previous connection to art and fashion.
Nicole Shooman, a sophomore in fashion and textile design, has always loved art and design, but it wasn’t until college that she became interested in fashion. Art2Wear gave her a chance to explore this interest.
“Art2Wear is a fantastic organization because they take everything very seriously,” Shooman said. “It makes me feel very important and it makes me feel almost professional even though I’m just a design student.”
Shooman will present its “SEX” collection, which juxtaposes the concepts of feminine and masculine forms.
For art and design third year Emma Anderson, Art2Wear was the reason she decided to pursue a career in design. When she was just 14, she attended Art2Wear and was blown away by what she saw. Her “Axiom” collection explores cognitive dissonance and features a repeated triangular pattern as well as dramatic silhouettes.
“It’s a dream, it’s such a dream,” Anderson said. “I work with incredibly talented people. I think that’s been the most exciting part is walking into the studio and everyone doing these really spectacular things. I think culture is definitely the biggest joy about it.