Ball State's Creativity + Innovation Award winner for March announced

Topic: College of Applied Sciences and Technology

March 1, 2007

Creativity + Innovation Award winner Mary Morris
Ball State senior Mary Morris models her award-winning gown next to the vintage dress from the Beeman Historical Costume Collection that inspired her design.
Mary Morris won the Creativity + Innovation Award at Ball State for the month of March for her work to design and produce a vintage-inspired dress.

For a costume history course at Ball State, the senior from Indianapolis was assigned to research a decade of the 20th century and make a garment from the era. Morris' inspiration came from a 1940s gown found in the Beeman Historical Costume Collection at Ball State.

"I used this design as inspiration, but I added my design taste to make it my own garment," Morris said. "I changed the colors to black and white from gold and green to give it a classical modern look. This project is highly unique in that it not only physically shows construction details, but it also tells a story about the era."

Morris, who is majoring in fashion design, had to combine many of her skills for the project.

"She utilized her creative-thinking skills while developing the dress in that she chose unique aspects of 1940s fashion to highlight," said Diana Saiki, associate professor of fashion merchandising. "The original garment was extremely difficult to reconstruct, but Mary successfully overcame the difficulty with her meticulous construction skills. Overall she was able to innovatively synthesize her historic research that ended in a successful design, which not only reflects the 1940s but is also sellable today."

Morris' design and garment was also chosen for the impact and possible influence it might have on the fashion industry in the future.

"The patterns I designed and created could be used in the ready-to-wear industry, so this dress could be available to a consumer who needs a dress for prom, weddings or any other formal occasion," Morris said. "Future designers need to know the tiny details that make up a garment from a certain time period. Teachers and students both can learn from the design and construction of this garment."

The Creativity + Innovation awards spotlight creative achievements and outstanding projects of undergraduate Ball State students in good academic standing.

Nomination forms can be submitted by anyone involved in the project, including faculty and staff members. New winners are selected each month by a panel of faculty judges, and selected projects are features on the Web site www.bsu.edu/portfolio.

By Kim Jackson

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