Kanbar Selects

Selections of Capstone and Industry-Sponsored projects from
the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce

A Spectacle of Knits

Meghan Kelly

Graduate Textile Design

Historic Vaudeville theatre and three-ring circuses shared a central theme: entertainment in the form of a spectacular show. As performers would enthrall the audience with their act, the bold and bright colors and textures of the scene would bring a playful sense of drama. The Vaudeville girls wore provocative costumes of little more than feathers and lace, displaying an untouchable elegance while singing and dancing on stage. Circus performers’ costumes shared the same bright colors and eye-catching detail. Both Vaudeville and circus costumes were designed to endure physically demanding performances, such as vigorous dancing, trapeze artistry and animal wrangling.

Similarly, Meghan’s collection of costumes was made to be fun, dramatic and suited for performance. Bright shades of pink, red and orange were paired with black and dark violet for the garments and capes. Highlights of fluorescent orange and yellow were used to exaggerate edges, and brilliant cerulean blues mimic the flirtatious, flamboyant peacock. These bright colors allow Meghan’s garments to be singled out from a crowd. Every look is paired with a cape for dramatic flair, and each one features knitted details like pointelle or shaped ribbing.

The Passap Duomatic 80 manual knitting machine and the Shima Seiki SES-SWG 10g electronic knitting machine were used to develop and create this collection. Meghan employed Shima’s proprietary Whole Garment™ software while she designed the leggings, shorts and dresses to the exact measurements of her model. Meghan then finished each piece by hand, adding details like decorative crochet edging. As a collection, Meghan’s unique designs embody the colorful array and wonder of her spectacular inspirations.