Arts

Student designer shows off creations

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON Feb. 9, 2005 

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To the background of birches, Individualized Major Program senior Katherine BonDurant reinvigorated timeless pieces in her fashion show "Winter in Red Square" Feb 5 at the Bloomington Convention Center. By contrasting stiff equestrian styles and fabrics with satin and silk in addition to delicate nuances, BonDurant softened her otherwise traditional line.

Rich jewel tones lent a daring amount of saturated color to her prominent earth tones. According to BonDurant's program, she drew from the styles of Soviet Russia.

"My line of wearable winter clothing was influenced by the style, civilian and military, and architecture of mid-twentieth century Russia," BonDurant wrote in her program. "Textured wools in rich earth tones share the stage with velvets, silks, and satins in a palate from midnight blue to winter white ... And, just as reds and golds warm up the Russian winter landscape, those colors provide a bright note throughout the collection."

The majority of the pieces featured subtle delights such as demurely puffed sleeves or punchy coral lining. Yet some pieces didn't maintain the underlying sensibility of the line. Her patterned velvet sleeveless dress paired with a maroon velvet jacket simply was too heavy and lacking textural contrast. Her midnight-blue belted dress lacked the shape and tailoring of the other pieces. But perhaps her most daring ensemble, a bubble wrap skirt and jacket, fell flat against the deluge of substantial and conventional fabrics.

However, most of the ensembles were stunning in their simplicity, from BonDurant's crisp winter white suit to the raspberry and maroon bridesmaid dresses, which featured a striking combination of satin and velvet. The designer successfully incorporated faux furs, giving texture to her pieces. BonDurant's cropped pants lent an equestrian edge, or what her program called a "contemporary counterpoint to traditional silhouettes." Her use of wool was richly done. But BonDurant's cream satin wedding gown gave a dramatic nod to the past and was the most impressive piece of the show.

Presenting her line as a fashion show is not a requirement of the program, but BonDurant chose this traditional approach to showcase her creations. BonDurant's professor, Kathleen Rowold, said the show was well executed.

"(The show) was nicely done," Rowold said. "I think her line of traditional tailoring showed the Eastern European influence."

The classes conducted by the sponsors kept the designers on track, BonDurant said.

"There are a couple of classes dedicated to this -- their sole purpose," she said.

As for her plans after graduation, BonDurant remains "open," she said.

"I'm going to start applying at jobs," she said. "I'm fairly open with what I want to do."

 

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