First off, I want to extend a hearty congratulations to our newest MFA graduate, Shanna I. Parks. Shanna is off to work as a draper at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. I have some great photographs of two of her final projects that compose the third-year thesis: creative draping, and historical reproduction.
For Shanna's historical reproduction, she chose a garment from our antique clothing collection, a polkadotted Charmeuse gown from the turn-of-the-century. Eventually her pattern and accompanying research paper will be downloadable and accessible on the online archive, but for now my amateur photography will have to suffice.
Shanna worked with a digital fabric printer to exactly reproduce the pattern, scale, and color scheme of the original dotted fabric onto Charmeuse. All of the appliqués are on a net ground and edged with soutache motifs.
This is a particularly special piece, as we have photographs of the original owner of the dress wearing it in a family portrait. Thus, Shanna was able to study how it was originally worn on the body for which it was made. Sadly, the silk of the original dress is shattered, and the piece is too fragile even to display on a form. It would fall to pieces. This reproduction is likely the only way we can see in three dimensions how the original looked.
This project was displayed at the Young Designers and Technicians Forum at USITT's National conference this year in Charlotte. It also won her second place in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus-wide research exposition.
For Shanna's creative draping project, she chose a dress from a chewing gum advertisement, the original of which was definitely a Photoshop creation--the model wore a dress with a parasol canopy for a skirt. Shanna's challenge was to make the artist's vision a reality. Because she had assisted me multiple times with altered parasol canopy forms and done her own explorations in that area, she was prepared to rise to the occasion!
understructure detail view
Bravo, congratulations, and best wishes wherever her career takes her next!