Vivid swatches of woven, knit and printed fabrics draped the walls of The Design Center at Philadelphia University Dec. 5 at the opening reception for an exhibition of final collections by graduating textile design students.
Extraordinary workmanship and creativity was evident in the multi-faceted work of the three graduate and six undergraduate textile design students featured in the exhibition, which will be on display through Dec.12.
Mary Armacost, an M.S. in Textile Design student, presented her black, white and gray-themed woven collection inspired by the West African masquerade costumes she encountered while studying abroad in Burkina Faso last spring.
“I wanted to explore different surfaces in my textiles, so I used different finishing techniques like washing, heat pressing and coating the material,” she said.
Armacost collaborated with fashion design students and faculty members to turn her fabrics into three stunning garments. Anne Hand, associate professor of fashion design, created a bustier with a bold pop of color, while students Coral Heffron Neuhold and Kara Maraldo fashioned two unique coats from Armacost’s textiles.
Meghan Kelly, also a graduate student, creatively displayed her vaudeville-inspired knit collection through a video of a trapeze artist doing aerial moves while modeling Kelly’s hand-finished costumes. “I’m interested in stage performance from the costume maker’s point of view,” Kelly said.
The collection by undergraduate student Rebecca Flax featured Sherlock Holmes-themed prints fabrics that included question marks, violins and houndstooth patterns. Flax will continue her PhilaU education in the M.S. in Textile Design program. “I received an assistantship with the textile design department,” she said. “I’ll be doing outreach for high schools in the community for textile materials technology.”
Undergraduate student Alexys Brown focused on the textural aspects of natural animal and plant fibers, such as alpaca wool and flax, for her collection.
Brown began her PhilaU career as a fashion design student, but soon realized she was passionate about her textile design courses. “I was designing my garments based on the fabrics, and I wanted to be more involved in designing the fabrics,” she said.
The textile exhibit is on display through Dec. 12. Faculty and staff can use their ID cards to enter The Design Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during that time. Students and the public may view the exhibit on Wednesday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at other times if accompanied by a faculty or staff member.