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Kirsteen Buchanan ’83 and Tonya Pesch ’15

Kirsteen Buchanan ’83 (pictured right), professor of fashion design and an alumna of the fashion program at Stephens College, won awards for two of her recent designs.

 

The Cost of Vision

"The Cost of Vision," a garment Buchanan designed and constructed from contact lens packaging and mylar, won best overall at ReVision: Fashion with Compassion, a fashion show in Kansas City that benefits ScrapsKC and highlights the work done by recycled materials resource centers around the country.

 

Tonya Pesch ’15 modeling The Cost of Vision
Tonya Pesch ’15, B.F.A. Fashion Design and Product Development, modeled "The Cost of Vision" at ScrapsKC Revision in October 2019.

Borders that Unite

Buchanan also received the Next Generation Award in Exhibition in Print: Soft Borders by Surface Design Journal

“As a fashion and textile print designer and fashion design educator, I work predominantly at the intersection of fashion, visual communication and language,” Buchanan wrote in the journal's fall 2019 issue.

Her award-winning design, “Melting Maps,” is part of her mini-collection, “Borders that Unite.” The collection is based on visions of maps that are bounded by border prints constructed of motifs common to many cultures, as well as by those commonly used in mapmaking.

“As a maker, I visualize the people of the world having the potential to be united by a common love of craft. What opportunities of fusion exist to creat new cultural hybrids? Where is the border between borrowing and appropriation? And if we remove these artificial borders, do we risk losing our distinct cultural craft identities?

Working with students seeking to pursue their own careers in fashion has offered me constant renewal and an intriguing window into myriad mindsets, fashion sensibilities and creative processes. Similarly, the development of digital textile printing has been an incredible game-changer for designers — and students of fashion design — who can now not only design garments, but create their own original fabrics.

Kirsteen Buchanan ’83

“As a designer, my driving force is to find ways to fuse beautiful product design with meaning, exploring design concepts and a range of questions that center on transformation, connection, communication and storytelling.”

 

Sydney Bias modeling Borders that Unite: Melting Maps 2019
Borders that Unite: Melting Maps 2019, silk chiffon caftan, velvet bra, silk habotai pant, digitally printed, indigo dyed, 45" x 65." Model: Sydney Bias; Photo: Aaron Ottis.

About Kirsteen Buchanan '83

Kirsteen Buchanan, a Stephens alumna, has taught at Stephens for over 20 years. Her broad fashion industry experience in New York, Chicago and Dallas includes retail product development, branded design, product development for a sweater factory, domestic and offshore manufacturing, trend surveillance, creative fashion design and technical design. She has also designed costumes for the Okoboji Summer Theatre in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and for dance company productions in Dallas.

Buchanan has a Master of Arts specializing in Visual Communications from the Missouri School of Journalism. Buchanan's design practice aims to fuse beautiful product design with meaning. She focuses on the intersection of fashion, visual communication and language, using surface design and mixed media art to explore design concepts and a range of questions that center on transformation, connection, communication and storytelling. She regularly exhibits work in Surface Design Association international conference shows. Buchanan was a 2003 finalist in the GenArt/Florida Grapefruit Juice National Handbag Design Challenge, a 2002 finalist in the “Inspired By Threads” competition and a 2001 finalist in the Beefeater Bold Spirits Design Competition.

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