Fashion school professor wins award

Allison Tomei

Kimberly Thompson, a member of the Board of Trustees, takes notes during a meeting on the second floor of the library Wednesday.

Credit: Jason Hall

For Linda Ohrn-McDaniel, a few zig-zags can go a long way.

To Paris, specifically.

The assistant professor in the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising won first place in the International Textile and Apparel Association’s annual design competition.

Besides recognition by her peers in the industry, the prize also includes a crystal trophy and a trip to Paris.

Ohrn-McDaniel won The International Textile and Apparel Association 2006 Lectra Premier Vision Award for her design, “Heart Waves.” The ITAA is a professional and educational association of educators and students in the textile and apparel industries in higher education.

She said the design was inspired by the different emotional and physical waves of the human heart. The dress, which is mainly black, has 16 white ruffles, each 4.5 yards long.

After putting the main parts together, she said she machine-embroidered large zig-zag patterns onto the white ruffles, which were meant to resemble an EKG monitor.

Ohrn-McDaniel said the hardest part of creating the dress was doing the stitching.

“I literally had to turn and twist the fabric while sewing the zig-zags,” she said. “And the ruffles are each 4.5 yards long, so it was time-consuming.”

Ohrn-McDaniel said 241 entries were received for the competition, and 100 of them were selected by judges to be featured in the fashion show portion of the conference.

Ohrn-McDaniel said she has entered the contest for five years, but has never won first place as an educator. When she was a graduate student at the University of North Texas, she won in the student competition.

“I’ve always just wanted to be in the exhibition and share my work,” she said. “But winning is good, too.”

Ohrn-McDaniel, a native of Sweden, said she has entered designs five of the six years she has been in the United States.

“Entering in the competition is my way of doing research,” she said. “Instead of writing papers, I design garments and enter them in this contest.”

Ohrn-McDaniel teaches machine knitting and fashion studio, a senior level class in which students construct their final collections.

Contact School of Fashion Design and Merchandising reporter Allison Tomei at [email protected].