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From Studio to Stage

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Art2Wear is celebrating its 13th year as a student-organized runway show that presents fashion, costume and wearable sculpture created by the students of the NC State University College of Design and College of Textiles.

Hosted by the College of Design, the event is expected to attract more than 4,000 people this year. The purpose? To challenge the audience and designers to question the boundaries and conventional definitions of “fashion.”

“Art2Wear [is] very conceptual. It’s having an idea you feel strongly about and executing the idea in every way possible,” said designer Marina Pappas, senior.

“I think the main point is freedom of expression and being unafraid to express yourself and be bold.”

And bold they are. Art2Wear’s broad definition of “fashion” ranges from products or sculptural pieces that serve as cultural artifacts and illustrations of identity to reflections of society and starters of revolutions.

To even get the chance to explore this definition of fashion, designers have to audition for a spot in the lineup. Once they make the cut, it’s a long road to the finish line that is the stage.

“The fact that it’s taken a year basically to get here is a lot more long-term than anything I’ve done before,” said designer Emma Ptak, senior.

“I work pretty well under pressure, so it’s a pretty familiar feeling. I’m ready to see how it all comes together.”

From studio to stage

The designers shared their goals for their collections with us 11 days before the April 17 event.

“I want to invoke emotion, invoke inspiration and cause people to relate to what they see,” said Bethany Faulkner, junior.

Senior Georgia Hobbs wants to surprise the audience.

Pappas wants people to feel like they can express themselves freely.

Senior Sara Clark creates a story of wanderlust and wants to inspire those trying to decide what journey or route to take in their life.

Senior Morgan Cox wants to celebrate the joy of childhood through clothing.

“This is the first year we’ve had children in the show. I feel like it’s a chance to have more fun and be more creative because kids can wear really wacky things.”

No matter the goal for each collection, Art2Wear brings the designers together and gets them ready for what’s next.

“I think that it helps us all prepare for the world. Not only are we making a collection, but we’re working with professionals,” said senior Rachel Bridges.

“When we go out to search for jobs we’re going to have to work with account managers, directors. The people putting on the event are as important as anyone, and it’s a great show in that aspect.”

The designers are in the home stretch before the main event, but they agree that they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’ve compared this journey to a marathon many times because you don’t get to stop until it’s done,” Faulkner said. “If you let up now, it means you have to run harder later, so we’re running as hard as we can until we hit the finish line.”

Art2Wear is Friday, April 17, at the Talley Student Union. Get your tickets here.