Some Michigan State University apparel and textile design students will combine sustainability and style for a chance to earn red-carpet praise at one of HollywoodвЂ™s largest film award celebrations.
Students enrolled in MSUвЂ™s spring semester class, вЂњSpecialTopics: Innovative Approaches in Apparel Design,вЂќ will participate in вЂњRed Carpet, Green Dress,вЂќ a worldwide dress and gown design competition that promotes sustainable design.
The contest is being sponsored by Suzy Amis Cameron, the wife of Academy Award-winning film director and producer James Cameron, whose newest film, вЂњAvatar,вЂќ debuts.
Amis Cameron will choose a design for a dress or gown that she will wear to the March red-carpet event. Academy Award-winning designer Deb Scott will make the garment. The requirement: Dresses or gowns must only be made of sustainable material, such as natural, organic or recycled fabric.
The contest is also a fundraiser for MUSE, the Californiaelementary school Amis Cameron co-founded with her sister,RebeccaAmis. Contest organizers said MSU was one of only three Michigan universities they contacted when first gauging interest in participation. About 200 colleges, institutes and schools were contacted overall.
вЂњThe вЂRed Carpet, Green DressвЂ™ competition is an excellentopportunity to revisit sustainable design and explore current options and opportunities in apparel design,вЂќ said Theresa Winge, assistant professor in the Department of Art and ArtHistory, who will teach the new class. вЂњThis competition is also an exceptional way to motivate students to think about design in ways that challenge the status quo and consider the bigger picture.
вЂњThis project may have lasting significance for some of our apparel and textile design students who may contribute to the paradigm shift needed for the fashion industry to limit вЂ“ and eliminate вЂ“ its negative impact on the environment.вЂќ
The class will focus on four special design projects, the first of which will be to design a dress for the competition. As part of the design process, students will research the differences among sustainable, green, environmentally and eco-friendlydesign. In addition, they will explore ways of tracking their individual carbon footprint, such as computer software and manual measurements.
Winge said students will create three-dimensional apparel designsfrom illustrations, so they fully understand the complexities of creating sustainable design, from the difficulties of sourcing materials to the carbon emissions during construction. Students will upload designs to the contest Web site. The winning design will be announced Jan. 29. The winner will later meet the Camerons and receive a personal tour of MUSE.
вЂњWe were excited to have MSUвЂ™s apparel and textile design programinvited early on to take part in Mrs. CameronвЂ™s вЂRed Carpet,GreenDressвЂ™ competition,вЂќ said Karin Wurst, College of Arts and Letters dean.