assignment had fashion design students needling for a cause.
jean jackets and chic runway apparel aren't usually used in the same sentence.
But the five jackets dreamed up by a group of design, merchandising and
textile students this year certainly fit well into the world of fashion
The vividly colorful and delightfully imaginative
jackets were sewn to benefit Design Industries Foundation Fights AIDS
(DIFFA), a national organization that has raised $31 million since 1984
to provide funding to hundreds of AIDS organizations nationwide.
Polly Starr, professor of design, merchandising
and textiles, said the class was excited to participate in the event.
"TCU has always had a philanthropic spirit
towards organizations," Starr said.
Starr's class of 14 females was split into
five groups, and each designed a distinctive jacket for the Dallas chapter
of DIFFA with this year's theme of "Evolution." DIFFA Dallas
has granted over $1.7 million to local AIDS programs since 1988 through
its Dallas Collection fund-raising event. The student-designed jackets
were up for bids at the March 13 auction, starting at $500 each.
Fiona Tolunay, a junior fashion merchandising
major, said the best part of the project is the wealth of creativity among
the team members. She said there are no limits or restrictions to her
team's jacket design.
"Our jacket represents the evolution
of a garden by incorporating clouds, rain, a rainbow, green vines and
embellished flowers," said Morgan Moe, a sophomore fashion merchandising
major, and Toulenay's teammate.
Ashley Terhall, a junior fashion merchandising
major, volunteered at the Dallas DIFFA event last spring. Some of the
premium jackets (many designed by celebrities) were auctioned off for
as much as $15,000, she said.
Ashley Bigbee, a sophomore fashion merchandising
major, said her favorite part of the project is knowing that her group's
jacket will be modeled on the runway, and could fetch a large auction
Bigbee's group dyed the jean jacket pink,
ripped it apart, and incorporated a clear shower curtain into the design,
she said. The collaborative effort was really sort of a joke, until the
whole thing came together, especially the colorful butterfly adorning
the back, Bigbee said.
Even though the class gets hands-on experience
in the fashion merchandising world, the true rewards come from the benefits
the jacket will provide to those suffering from AIDS, Starr said.
"These girls really have an opportunity
of a lifetime to give back to the community while exercising their creativity,"