by Liza Roberts
What is fashion? When is it art? For 15 years, N.C. State’s College of Design has challenged its students to ask and answer these questions with Art2Wear, a student-organized runway show that showcases a juried selection of fashion, costume, and wearable sculpture.
On April 22, the school’s latest crop of design talent – under the guidance of celebrated designer and faculty member Justin LeBlanc – will show how far this annual show has evolved.
Incorporating fabric they’ve printed and knitted themselves, accessories they’ve stitched and forged, and boundless imagination, 10 students, whose studies range from industrial design to textiles to art and design, will showcase the polished and sophisticated results of months of hard work. The creations of Quinan Dalton, Bailey Knight, Leeza Regensburger, Susan Stephens, Meaghan Shea, Gena Lambrecht, Grace Hallman, Kathleen Davis, Angele Gray, and Annie Gray Gibbs will be on show. Their designs, which will be modeled by fellow students, include hip eveningwear and polished sportswear as well as imaginative creations that push the boundaries of fashion.
The designers were chosen last December from a pool of applicants by a jury that included Walter editor Liza Roberts, N.C. State University Theatre director John McIlwee, Scholastic UK Creative Director Jennifer LaRoe, and author and consultant Heather Allen.
The show “seeks to explore new fashion ground,” says LeBlanc. With a definition of fashion that includes “a product or sculptural piece that interacts with the body and serves as either a cultural artifact, an artistic expression, a reflector of society, outward illustration of a person’s identity…(a) starter of revolutions, economic building block, basic human need, or body covering,” you’re in for a treat and more than one surprise.
Art2Wear: 7:30 p.m., April 22; Talley Student Union, 2610 Cates Ave. Tickets: design.ncsu.edu/art2wear/eventstickets