‘Salvage’ draws biggest crowd in recent years

Abbey Linville

Design and trash coalesce in fashions at Beaux Arts Ball

Sophomore Monika Lange models a dress designed by Megan McCann, a member of the Synthetic Coup d’Etat design team at the Beaux Arts Ball on Friday night. Nathan Edwards | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

VIEW an audio slideshow of the Beaux Arts Ball.

Dresses with crumpled newspaper attached as ruffle, a vest made out of tied plastic Acme bags and an a-line skirt made out of blue water bottle labels were among the designs that walked the runway Friday night at the Student Center Ballroom.

The Beaux Arts Ball, a fundraiser hosted by members of the American Institute of Architecture Students, the Interior Design Student Collaborative and the Fashion Student Organization, held an amateur fashion show with a “salvage” theme, featuring recycled designs, a second runway show for fashion students and a dance for all.

“I think the meaning behind the Beaux Arts Ball is to have an exposé of different designs that represent how we can come together and work together,” said Lindsey Ray, senior interior design major. “The biggest misconception is that it’s just for interior design, architecture and fashion students.”

Ray said this year’s turnout was huge – between 700 and 800 guests, compared to 400 to 500 in previous years. The money from ticket sales is split between each student organization to help support the design programs.

Members of AIAS created a large cardboard structure that was a place for socializing and seating. A portion of the cardboard wall, likely used as packing material in its former life, read “FRAGILE DO NOT TOP LOAD.”

Environmental facts such as, “The U.S. is the number one trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year,” flashed across a projection screen throughout the night.

Ray said the group used alternative advertising methods to reduce waste and material use.

“We thought if we’re going to preach sustainability, we should use sustainability in the way we market this whole event,” Ray said. “We marketed on Facebook, e-mails, word-of-mouth and tried not to waste paper.”

Sustainability is a method of design that repurposes materials to reduce waste and selects environmentally-friendly materials for architecture or design.

Students from all different majors crafted recycled outfits to participate in the ball’s amateur fashion show. The designs were rated based on the response from the crowd, with dresses made from Blow Pop wrappers and the water bottle label skirt receiving the loudest applause.

Kent fashion students hosted the second runway show, which offered designs constructed with household items.

Jacquie Barkett, senior fashion merchandising major, participated in the design event by using a tablecloth, shelf-liner and sponges to create a top and skirt for her model. The theme Barkett and her group came up with, “Desperate Housewives,” displayed creative use of everyday items.

Although many students in attendance seemed to enjoy the ball, there were those who disagreed with the presentation of the theme, “salvage.”

Senior architecture major Matt Graham said the theme did not reflect true sustainability.

“What I see here is when they thought of salvage, they thought of garbage – mainly plastic bags is what it seems,” he said. “They made a dress or suit – or whatever – out of trash, and when they’re done after this, they’re going to throw it away. And any good that might have been done to save that as an outfit is going to be totally null.”

Contact architecture and environmental design reporter Abbey Linville at [email protected].