Seat belt apparel design: Buckle up for CSU’s recycled fashion exhibit

Dress woven from seat belts
Seat Belt Dress

Story by Diane Sparks

The splendor of fashion and using recycled materials in unique ways inspired apparel and merchandising students in the new exhibit in the Gustafson Gallery at Colorado State University opening Jan. 26.

Car seat belts as fashion

The designs featured in “Recycled Design Exhibit: An Exhibition of Undergraduate Ingenuity” were created by first-year students in the course “Design Foundation for Apparel and Merchandising” in the Department of Design and Merchandising.

The designs were made from an exciting variety of materials ranging from car seat belts, a re-purposed lampshade, nylon stockings, landscape fabric used beneath mulch to discourage growth of weeds, and IKEA shopping bags, to name just a few. Inspiration for the fashion design work comes from current fashion trends: creatively using materials for different purposes from what was the original intent and upcycling materials from previously existing clothing.

Principles of design

Dress made from a repurposed lampshade
Lampshade Dress

The exhibit explores the elements and principles of design within the context of a wearable garment structure. Students in the Design Foundation course are not required to know how to assemble a garment using traditional sewn techniques. Thus the garments in the exhibition represent creative strategies to employ duct tape, staples and hot glue to mold materials from flat two-dimensional shapes to volumetric three-dimensional forms for the human body. The results shown in the gallery are truly amazing examples of creative ingenuity.

Opening reception

The exhibit opens with a reception Friday, January 26, from 5 to 7 p. m. The reception is free and open to the public.

The Gustafson Gallery is located in room 318 of the Gifford Building at 502 West Lake Street on the CSU campus. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Admission is free. “Recycled Design Exhibit: An Exhibition of Undergraduate Ingenuity” will be up until April 13.

The Gustafson Gallery is under the umbrella of the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, part of the Department of Design and Merchandising in CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.