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tennessee technological university

TTU News


thumb StudentSewingNot all college students can sew, but that doesn’t mean they can’t try their hand at being designers, according to Tennessee Tech University’s fashion merchandising students.

TTU’s Fashion Merchandising Association is hosting Thrift Store Couture, an upcycled competitive fashion show featuring looks created from thrift store finds. Any student is welcome to participate and create a look.

“It’s not people who aspire to be a designer. It’s about the creativity,” said Audrianna Lyles, a sophomore from Columbia, Tenn. “And it’s competitive so we get to see a lot. Everyone could do this.”

Any student who wants to design a look will be assigned another student as a model and will have access to the fashion merchandising labs to work. The first 15 to sign up will also get $10 to spend at Goodwill. There will be three days when TTU fashion students plan be at Goodwill to help the designers select their items in early March.

Because the designers will use four items from a thrift store, sewing skills become less important, which opens the playing field to all majors.

“That’s why we came up with the idea of upcycling, so even if you don’t have much experience with sewing, you can still create something great,” said senior Taylar Noblett. “The point is that no one is sure what to do. You have to go to Goodwill and get some inspiration.”

The first portion of the April 7 show will be the thrift store looks, where the designers explain the outfit. That will be followed by an intermission and silent auction to fund fashion merchandising trips to fashion capitals. The end of the show will be pieces students have designed and created from bolts of fabric and a showcase of garments from local boutiques.

“We are doing this because we want to have full design shows but we want to do it in steps,” Lyles said. “Not everyone can bring in bolts of fabric and just make a dress.”

The show will be April 7 in the Roaden University Center second-floor multipurpose room. Students must enter the competition by Feb. 28. Registration lists are in the lobby of Foundation Hall and on the bulletin boards in the RUC basement.

Tickets to the show are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. All proceeds help fund study tours to fashion cities including Milan, New York and Atlanta.

“This major has so much to offer the university, but we don’t have as much visibility,” said sophomore Rob Bond, of Lebanon, Tenn. “This school is not known for its fashion merchandising program and we want to change that.”