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Tablecloths inspire fashions for IADT students

At this fashion show, models walked the runway wearing the same linens that covered the banquet tables in the audience.

Students at the International Academy of Design & Technology, 2495 Village View Drive in Henderson, were commissioned by the American Rental Association to create dresses from this year’s collection of decorative tablecloths during the organization’s annual convention.

The fashion show was held Feb. 9 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, 201 Sands Ave. Eight fashion students created 15 dresses using 10 fabrics.

“They’re really different from the usual fabric we work with,” said student Mengxi Wang. “They’re heavier and a little bit stiff. It’s also why I think it holds the shape better.”

Wang made two dresses for the event and said she enjoyed the challenge of working with nontraditional fabrics. Wang grew up in Shanghai and was studying business before moving to America in 2010 with her mom.

“I wanted to do something I like,” she said. “I wanted to work on something I have a passion for. Since I was a little girl, I liked to draw girls with beautiful dresses.”

Wang has two years of school left and said she would like to be a designer in New York City.

“It depends on the opportunity,” she said. “Right now, I just want to start building my career no matter where it is.”

Her classmate, Dorota Johnson, aspires to open an Internet store and sell couture pieces.

The fashion show was something she could add to her résumé.

“I think it was an opportunity to show people what I can do,” said Johnson, “to put my name out there a little bit.”

Johnson also made two outfits for the show. She said fashion has been a part of her life ever since she was growing up in Poland.

“Since I was 7, I’ve always done something with clothes,” said Johnson, adding she would alter or “revamp” her older sister’s hand-me-downs.

“Whenever I see a fashion show, whenever I touch fabric, there’s something that wakes up inside me and wants to do more,” she said.

“You’re putting a piece of yourself –– your imagination –– out there. You translate your feelings into the fabric and the outfits.”

Carol Franklin, a member of the fashion faculty at IADT, said there are about 100 students in the school’s fashion program. She said an assignment such as this is especially rewarding for students.

“It was good for them to use these challenging fabrics,” she said. “They’re going to hang and drape differently. A particular fabric will work well in one design but maybe not another.

“For them to view something unconventional and solve a design problem was good. That’s the whole process of designing in general –– you have to solve a problem.”

The students also liked the project, said Franklin, because, unlike most of their assignments in school, they were given “creative license” and all the fabric for free.

“Most of the time, we’re giving them a design brief,” she said. “I think the fun thing for them is they had free reign; they could do whatever they want.”

For more information, visit iadt.edu/las-vegas.

Contact View education reporter Jeff Mosier at jmosier@viewnews.com or 702-224-5524.

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