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Davis College professor named 2022 WVU Art in the Libraries Faculty Exhibit Awardee

Photo of poster of dress and fashion article

MORGANTOWN W.Va. - Beautiful photos of dresses now adorn the lower level of Wise Library, merging aesthetic trends, scholarly research and environmental conscientiousness.

West Virginia University Art in the Libraries Faculty Exhibit awardee is fashion, dress and merchandising professor Colleen Moretz from the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.

Moretz submitted her designs and abstracts on sustainable fashion to the Art in the Libraries jury, which selects one faculty member a year to showcase their work. Art in the Libraries develops exhibits and programming for the campus libraries that highlight the creative scholarship of WVU faculty, staff and students.

photo of woman smiling

“Sustainability in fashion design can influence how people dress and how they think about fashion,” Moretz said. “So much of sustainability is changing someone’s perception of how and why they purchase or wear a particular garment. It makes people think.”

One of Moretz’s award-winning designs featured in the exhibit space is the “Macchia Spiral into Zero-Waste Times Two.” It uses a zero-waste pattern design, an approach that makes the patternmaking stage an integral part of the design process—rather than a stage that follows it. Moretz also dyed the fabric to size to eliminate wasted dye.

“When a garment, let’s say a shirt, is produced, there’s all this waste because things don’t fit together exactly,” Moretz said. “That’s what ends up on the cutting room floor, so I’ve tried to design a garment that has no waste, and I gave that challenge to my students.”

What makes Moretz’s exhibit different is her inclusion of student work. Zero-waste and transformable designs by students in the apparel design studio course can also be viewed at the Wise Library.

Fashion, dress and merchandising student Natahsa Yarowenko designed “Diamond,” a dress inspired by iridescent planes of plexiglass inserted inside fence cells. The dress features a series of lacy, sculptural forms suspended in space with fabric sourced and printed from an ecofriendly textile company.

Other student designs include “Gimme Shelter” by Emily Quarantillo, “Spring Affair” by Jacob Dial, “In Bloom” by Jordan Spears, “French Flare” by Madison Hess, “Purple Reign” by Chelsea Hidalgo and “New York Nights” by Peyton Burford.

Moretz encouraged each student to design an engineered print in their garment.

“The students have to figure out how they can design a print and make it work within their pattern,” she said. “During the designing and the patternmaking phases, you have to think about sustainability before the garment even gets constructed.”

With her exhibit featured until May 2023, Moretz wants to raise awareness of the importance of fashion design’s impacts on the environment, as well as the fashion, dress and merchandising program at Davis College. 

“I have to say it’s fun to have your things on display, but I really like having my students’ work recognized so they can see their things on display and people can see their designs,” she said.

Moretz will give a presentation on her exhibit at 4 p.m. on March 1, 2023.

The Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design envisions a world sustainably fed, clothed and sheltered. To learn more about the Davis College, visit Keep up with the latest updates and news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by following @WVUDavis.



CONTACT: Leah Smith  
Public Relations Specialist
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design  


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