Dresses made of pink wine corks, tissue paper and other recyclable items are now on display throughout Columbia’s Downtown District as part of the annual Breaking the Pattern campaign in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.
The project challenges students to research breast cancer stories of hope and survival and create dresses with messages to reflect those stories. The dresses are made of recyclable materials in Tina Marks’ Creating Sustainable Communities course and are installed as window displays by students in Caroline Bartek’s Visual Merchandising class.
Seniors Rachel Ballew and Karina Palencia were charged with putting Emily Horner’s flower-themed dress on display at Makes Sense custom fragrance shop on 9th Street.
“We’ve never done a window display before,” Ballew said earlier this month during the installation process. “We met with the designer and talked about what she wanted to portray and then went to Pinterest for ideas. We decided to portray a garden.”
Butterfly cutouts and hung paper tissue decorations filled the backdrop of the window.
“It’s something to add to our portfolio,” Palencia said.
Makes Sense Owner Christina Kelley participates in the project every year, saying it’s a great experience for designers to have their work shown in actual stores. It’s also an eye-opening experience for those installing the window displays, she said.
“That’s incredibly important,” Kelley said. “That’s the first impression the public has of your business. It’s what draws people in.”
Kyla Cherry and Elana Jones put Kara Henry’s “Beauty Beats the Beast” dress up in the window of Calhouns, where it’s now lit at night. The dress is made of table cloth, paper plates, ribbon and deer antlers to contrast the ugly disease with the beauty of hope.
Typically, faculty judges select the best of the dresses made in Marks’ class to be displayed downtown. This year, all 13 dresses were chosen and are now on display.
The public will have another chance to see them in the spring. Each of the dresses will be worn at The Collections student designer fashion show in April.
See more photos from the project here.
Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need to download Adobe Reader.