Thesis project hits runway

BY KIMBERLY CHOU

Published April 4, 2006

There's a brand new dance at the Michigan League ballroom tonight, and three Art and Design seniors want you to know its name.

Sarah Royce
Concept art will be on display at the show. (Courtesy of Lauren Silverstein)

Part of the first class to graduate under the School of Art and Design's new curriculum - which now requires a senior thesis project - Joanne Kantor, Lauren Kuzak and Lauren Silverstein will present their fashion and accessories show at 7:30 p.m. Dubbed "Raw Runway" for the students' relative newness and fresh take on the design world, the event features clothing designed by Kantor and Kuzak, as well as handbags made by Silverstein.

"It's basically three separate runway shows," Silverstein said. "We each have our own completely different, separate ideas, just at the same venue at the same time, one after another."

For this show, Kuzak focused on structured silhouettes, such as corsets, Silverstein said. In contrast, Kantor applied African, Jewish and American themes to contemporary clothing. Silverstein fashions her bags from leather and denim, weaving some of the fabric herself and using cut-up jeans for other pieces.

Though there is no specific fashion design major at the University, the girls have made the best of it.

"The three of us have learned by ourselves basically - independently, through whichever professors who could possibly help us; we bought patterns and we bought fabric; we practiced and made things up and (took) classes elsewhere," Silverstein said. "There's really no fashion (program), but we've managed to do it anyway."

Raw Runway is the culmination of the students' independent project class. The show is essentially the Art and Design oeuvre, which took them two semesters and 12 credits to complete.

"That might give you some sort of idea how much work we've put into this, but I'm not sure it even comes close, because I've been working on this project 12 hours a day, every day for the past few weeks," Silverstein said. "I think about it constantly; I can't get it off my mind."

All three designers will mingle with the crowd at the pre-party an hour before the show. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served, and the original concept drawings for the clothing and handbags will also be displayed.

"I want to be out there talking to people and seeing who's coming," Silverstein said. "We're opening the doors earlier so everyone can view the drawings. (They) are a really important part of my project in particular so I'm glad that people have time to see them."

As other students in the Art and Design program can attest to, creativity and innovation are the keys to success.

"As big as you can think - that's what you can do," Silverstein said.

Raw Runway
Tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Free
At the Michigan League Ballroom