UNT fashion professor, graduate student win awards at international conference

“Urbane Rebel
“Urbane Rebel" designed by Fashion Design Associate Professor Li-Fen Anny Chang
“The Scorpio”
“The Scorpio” designed by Fashion Design Associate Professor Li-Fen Anny Chang
“Origami Meets Eco-Fashion”
“Origami Meets Eco-Fashion” designed by fashion student Chanjuan Chen
Friday, November 1, 2013 - 11:13

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- College of Visual Arts and Design professor and student each received two awards at the International Textile and Apparel Association’s Annual Conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana on Oct. 18.

Fashion design associate professor Li-Fen Anny Chang was awarded the two highest professional level awards at the conference. For her design “Urbane Rebel” she received the ITAA Award for Excellence in Target Market Design and for her design “The Scorpio” she was awarded the Lectra Outstanding Faculty Designer Award and a trip to Paris, France.

Fashion design graduate student Chanjuan Chen’s design “Origami Meets Eco-Fashion” received two awards first place for Cotton Inc. Innovations in Cotton Design Award at the graduate student level and Fashion Supplies Innovation Design Award first place at the graduate student level. Chen was awarded prizes worth more than $1,750.

Winning these international awards was not only a proud moment for Chang, but an example of how the fashion design program at UNT prepares graduates for careers as designers in today’s competitive market, Chang said.

 “I had an overwhelming sense of accomplishment after we each were announced as award recipients,” Chang said. “While the award Chanjuan attained is highly respected, I believe that exposure to creative work and competition outside the university is even more valuable to her education.”

Chen researched sustainable clothing, natural fabric, origami techniques and transformable design to prepare to make her design “Origami Meets Eco-Fashion.” Her design was influenced by the origami principle of folding to prevent fabric waste. Chen’s main area of research for her Masters in Fine Arts is sustainable fashion. She is currently working on sustainable, transformable clothing for her final collection.

 “What we wear and how it’s made and sold can have a huge positive impact on our society and environment, if we create sustainably,” Chen said.

Chang agreed, noting that her piece, “The Scorpio,” which was created as a prom dress for her daughter used leather cut in a way so as to reduce fabric waste.

“In this day and age, wasting of any sorts is unnecessary. A traditional prom dress can generally be worn only once and the purpose of the design was to create a prom dress that is versatile and suitable enough to be worn to various special occasions” Chang said. “I made a point to carefully cut my patterns so the minimum amount of leather was left over.”

The amount of thought and planning that goes into design is evident by the time is takes to make each outfit. For “Urbane Rebel,” Chang started in September 2012 and finished in January 2013. It took her four months to create “The Scorpio,” which includes a darting technique that was influenced by “Urbane Rebel,” Chang said.

“I like to take my time and think about what I’m going to do, and search for a unique idea,” Chang said of her design work. “This is the part that is most challenging, but is the best part of the design process.”

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