Revealing the Value of Visual Design: Utilizing Design Concepts to Create Mardi Gras Masks
As one of the first courses in the fashion design and merchandising curriculum, Visual Design and Dress creates excitement about the major and serves as a recruiting tool. To coax students to utilize course concepts, the elements and principles of design, the final project involves the creation of an article of dress. The 2014 project was "Mardi Gras Recycled." Students were to create a mask inspired by another country or culture, a festival (other than Mardi Gras), work of art, animal, event, person, place, or another influence. The materials had to be recycled or repurposed goods. This project could be constructed and decorated without sewing skills, which few entering students possess. Students demonstrated considerable creativity in selecting materials and themes. Inspirations included the Day of the Dead, operas, architecture, weddings, and various holidays. Embellishments included buttons, feathers, silk flowers, sequins, seashells, wire mesh, beads, paint, and fabric of all kinds.