Apparel design class at MSU customizes dresses for Louisville girls

Apparel design class at MSU customizes dresses for Louisville girls
Photo by: Russ Houston

Sixteen students in a Mississippi State University apparel design class will deliver their final projects to the "clients" they were tailored for Saturday in Louisville, and the young girls receiving new dresses will showcase them in a fashion show.

"Project Runway Kids" was embraced this semester as a service-learning component of the entry level course in the School of Human Science's fashion design and merchandising department.

With guidance from the university's Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence, also known as CASLE, instructor Caroline Kobia led her students through a process that ultimately is benefitting children in the Winston County community that earlier this year was impacted by a devastating tornado. Kobia said the nearby city was an ideal choice to target with an outreach project, and local volunteers helped put the class in touch with the girls who met with students, gave their measurements, and communicated about the design process throughout the semester. This week, the girls will add their customized dresses to their permanent wardrobe.

Free and open to the public, the Project Runway Kids fashion show will be held Saturday [Dec. 6] at 11 a.m. at the MSU Extension Service office located at 460 Vance Street in Louisville.

In addition to modeling their new garments, the children will speak briefly about a component of their dress which they learned about from the MSU student designers.

Kobia said the project was gratifying and educational not only for the university apparel students, but for the younger participants as well.

"As our students worked to make dresses for each child, they were all learning, and at the same time they were teaching the girls something new also," Kobia said.

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Dated: 12/5/2014