Robin Vande Zande, an associate professor in Kent State's school of art, told the audience about the recently released book titled “Fashion Fundamentals,” in a Zoom seminar on May 19.
The book was co-written by Zande and three other educators who share a common interest in fashion. Co-authors include School of Fashion Design and Merchandising professor Marjorie Wachowiak, Terese Giobbia of West Virginia University and art teacher Gretchen Kaine at Stow-Munroe High school.
Each author presented their chapters while providing lesson plans, inspiration and experience for the audience.
“Students are thinking and connecting with fashion from the moment they wake up and decide what to wear to school,” Kaine said. “It’s a perfect way to start connecting with them.”
When talking about the process of the book, Zande said it took approximately 13 years to put together, but they all had a great time along the way.
The idea of the book came to mind after Zande’s former graduate student Kaine made a self-portrait paper doll in her class. Since the doll was made out of paper, this inspired the conversation of creating a book filled with knowledge and crafts that people would enjoy doing.
Zande said the book is a useful tool that can be used by anyone. It includes a plethora of crafts that can be used in art classrooms or at home.
“We wanted to create a book that people would enjoy having, while also creating something that could be useful in the classroom,” Zande said.
After they both realized this was a project they wanted to pursue, the only questions left were how much information they were going to provide and who was going to be involved.
Zande said she was fortunate enough to meet Giobbia at the National Art Education Association, and Wachowiak at a College of the Arts meeting.
“After a couple of personal conversations, it seemed like the four of us would be a great fit to put this project together,” Zande said.
Giobbia’s mission was to take unconventional fashion, things that people would never think to wear, and turn it into wearable art.
Giobbia created a paper plate dress with materials from her home as part of her research. She said the inspiration came from her family, after seeing the number of times they were using paper plates daily.
“Unconventional fashion can move the fashion scene in a new direction exposing students to beauty and aesthetics,” Giobbia said.
Wachowiak talked about a chapter in the book all about color. In that chapter, an activity is included which only requires a color wheel, paper, magazine and glue to create a color wheel collage.
“Students can use color to understand the relations to other colors and provide excitement and knowledge,” Wachowiak said.
If you missed the seminar, it will be available for viewing on davisart.com/freeresources by the end of the week. That is also where you can find and buy a copy of the book.
“This book is not just about fashion,” Giobbia said. “But about creating and cultivating creativity.”