The challenge was to create a modern-day fashion design using the inspiration of vintage clothing from The Darnell Collection—one of the largest private fashion collections of its type in existence today, containing over 8,000 pieces from 32 different countries. The collection includes garments from many of the leading designers in fashion history. “Our mission is to preserve, develop and enhance the collection's ability to educate, interpret and inspire existing and new audiences for the better understanding and appreciation of the art of fashion,” said Charlotte Smith, owner of the collection.
As part of the challenge, dresses were selected to represent the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s styles, and students were asked to conceptualise, design and create updated versions of these styles.
The seven participating colleges were the fashion program of The Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Ga.; the apparel design program from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla.; the fashion design and fashion management programs of University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas; the clothing and textiles program of Antelope Valley College, Lancaster, Calif.; the fashion design program at the Art Institute of California, Inland Empire, San Bernardino, Calif.; the fashion design program at El Centro College, Dallas; and the apparel design and manufacturing program at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.
Students from these colleges sent sketches, photos and physical garments to Gerber in September for judging, which was based on creativity, marketability and presentation of the dress, and use and continuity of the inspiration piece.
Subsequently, five winning pieces (one representing each decade) were presented at a runway show at ideation2015, the premier software conference for the fashion, apparel, accessories and footwear industries that took place October 29-30 in Las Vegas.
“The Gerber ideation2015 design competition gave our students the opportunity to participate in a well conceived design challenge,” said Brenda Carlson, fashion design coordinator with El Centro College. “Students learned about Charlotte Smith's vintage Darnell Collection, then researched, sketched ideas, created muslins and ultimately constructed their designs. Gerber's attention to detail set a high standard for our students' garments. The entire process reflected the real world demands of the fashion industry.”
“Students have truly embraced today's technology in the design and production of their garments,” said Mary McFadden of Gerber. “They have been very quick to incorporate AccuMark into their design work, and see the value it brings in speeding time to market. They're gaining skills through this competition that will benefit them throughout their lives.” (RKS)
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