AUBURN, Ala. – The Iron Bowl – a term normally used in reference to sporting events, now relates to fashion too. Four Auburn University students and four students from the University of Alabama are competing in the Huntsville Museum of Art’s firstFashion Fusion Face-off competition as part of the museum’s Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art exhibit.
A junior level design sewing class in Auburn University’s department of consumer and design sciences in the College of Human Science was given the assignment after being contacted by the museum for the competition. Students were instructed to draw inspiration from a selection of artwork from the museum ranging from sculptures to paintings. Students were allowed choose more than one piece of art to create their original garment. The four finalists from Auburn were selected after submitting their completed designs.
“I chose a picture of an old couch as my inspiration. I wouldn’t usually be attracted to this style of art but I felt that the various aspects of the art allowed for a lot of flexibility with my design,” said Sarah Steles, senior apparel design and production student at Auburn University. “I studied the various aspects of the picture and created an elaborate ball gown that I feel embodies the story behind the couch.”
The students have the opportunity to win up to $1,500 in cash if chosen as the crowd favorite and having their garment chosen as the winning design selected by a panel of judges comprised of fashion industry professionals.
“I think whoever wins will use the money toward the costs of living wherever they do their internship. I might even use the money toward my future designs if I win,” said Steles.
The crowd favorite will be selected based on votes from the competition’s website in addition to votes that will be collected from voters who visit the museum. The designs will go on display in the featured Folk Fusion exhibit in the museum in April.
“I feel like the competition is really anyone’s game at this point,” said Steles. “All the designers from Auburn and Alabama are extremely talented as is evident by the garments on display for the competition.”
Voting will continue until April 7 when the winners of the awards are announced at the Fashion Fusion Face-off Cocktail Party. The designer who wins the crowd favorite vote will be rewarded $500 and the designer of the winning garment selected by the panel of judges will win $1,000.