Holly Corey has a passion for fashion.

In fact, she believes designing clothes is what she was born to do.

Corey, a senior fashion design and merchandising student in the West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, recently took a step toward realizing her dream when one of her dress designs was selected for the 2011 International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition in Philadelphia.

ITAA is a worldwide organization of scholars and educators in the textile, apparel and merchandising fields that seeks to advance excellence in education, scholarship and innovation, and their global applications.

“I made the dress for a flat pattern class taught by Professor Nora MacDonald and she suggested I submit it,” Corey said. “I didn’t expect to be accepted, but it was certainly an honor.”

MacDonald, professor of fashion design and merchandising, said she encouraged Corey to submit her design because it was very unusual.

“It is very prestigious to have a design selected into the ITAA Design Exhibition as it is very competitive,” MacDonald said. “This year there were 251 valid design submissions including professionals, graduate and undergraduate students. The acceptance rate was 39 percent with 32 designs accepted for the mounted exhibit and 66 designs accepted for the live gallery exhibit.”

Corey’s was one of 66 designs accepted for the live gallery exhibit.

Inspired by Brazilian Carnivale, an annual celebration held 46 days before Easter, Corey incorporated feathers, hard metals and bright colors into her reversible design.

“Holly fully explored her source of inspiration and worked concepts from this theme into her final design,” MacDonald said. “The use of fabrics and trims in a reversible apparel design was very effective and creative.”

Corey said her idea was to have two looks in one outfit – an elaborate evening look that reverses to reveal day attire.

When conceptualizing the design, the Charleston, W.Va., native envisioned her target consumer as a confident woman in her twenties who could wear the same garment two days in a row, has a love of the arts, and stands out from societal norms.

Corey eventually wants to be her own boss – creating a clothing label and selling her pieces in retail stores. She realizes, though, she’ll have to start from the ground up.

“Having my own label is a few years in the future,” she said. “In the meantime, I want to work with other designers until I understand the business aspect really well.”



CONTACT: Lindsay Willey; Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources,and Design
304.293.2381; Lindsay.Willey@mail.wvu.edu

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