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Blass Seminars-updated!

General info about The Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series:

The Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series was established in 2002 with a bequest from fashion designer Bill Blass, a native Hoosier and friend of Indiana University. The Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series is presented and hosted by the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Renowned Textile Designer visits IU as Bill Blass Design Lecturer!


The Sage Collection at Indiana University is pleased to present Bill Blass Fashion Design Speaker Erich Biehle.  Mr. Biehle will give a talk entitled Designing for Luxury Brands in the IMU Georgian Room, 4-5pm, Wednesday, February 19th.  This lecture is free and open to the public. For information on this event, please call 812-855-4627, or contact Kelly Richardson at ksrichar@indiana.edu.

Erich Biehle is a contemporary textile designer who transcends the boundaries of fashion, interior, industrial, and architectural mediums. Born in Lucerne, Switzerland, Biehle currently lives and works in the United States and splits his time between teaching, lecturing, advising young designers, and consulting for many renowned fashion brands. 

Much of Mr. Biehle’s career has been spent specializing in fabric designs for haute couture and prêt-à-porter fashion houses, including world-famous labels such as Balenciaga, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Lanvin, Dior, and Ungaro.

Biehle studied with Bauhaus artist Johannes Itten and began his professional career at the Abraham Silk Group, where he created designs for the most influential Paris couturiers of the post-war era.  In 1976, he moved to Givenchy, where he worked directly with designer Hubert de Givenchy on concept, design, and development of worldwide licensing.  In 1991, as part of a rebranding effort, Bally International brought him on board as creative director and deputy chairman of the board.  From 1996 to 2002, Biehle served as CEO and chairman of the board of his former employer, the Abraham Group, with companies in Zurich, Paris, and New York. 

His work for Yves Saint Laurent was featured in a retrospective exhibition devoted to the designer that was organized by the deYoung Museums in San Francisco, that travelled to the Denver Art Museum, le Petit Palais in Paris, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal. Biehle’s work has also been on view at the Mode Museum in Antwerp, the Museum of Design Zurich, and the Swiss National Museum. His designs are in the collections of the Kent State University Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Les Arts Decoratifs. Most recently, Mr. Biehle is the subject of a forthcoming book (2014) entitled Patterns, that illustrates his work from the 1960s through the 1980s, and outlines the production process of his designs.

Thursday, February 20th Mr. Biehle will be giving a second public talk at the Indiana University Center for Art + Design (IUCA+D), 310 Jackson Street, Columbus, Indiana. This talk, Changing the Brand Image of a Luxury Brand, will take place from 6-7:30pm and is free and open to the public. For more information about the IUCA+D lecture, please call 812-375-7550.

 


Legacies of Adornment: The Necklace Art of Barbara Natoli Witt

Barbara Natoli Witt Necklace #1599. Small collar with pre-Columbian gold pieces and beads: Calima man with inverted bird headdress, Sinu filigree earring as pendant, and many fine gold beads - additional ancient beads of crystal quartz & modern beads of 22k gold and rutillated quartz.

The Sage Collection at Indiana University is pleased to present Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series speaker jewelry artist Barbara Natoli Witt.  Ms. Witt will show her latest works and talk about her design process on Thursday, October 17, 4-5 pm, in the Whittenberger Auditorium at the Indiana Memorial Union in Bloomington. This talk is free and open to the public. For information on this event, please call 812-855-4627, or contact Kelly Richardson at ksrichar@indiana.edu.


Barbara Natoli Witt is a contemporary artist with the rare distinction of having created her own medium. Her unique necklaces blend tapestry techniques to form intriguing webs of colored threads, ancient beads, and gem stones which capture at their centers precious sculptured pieces, artifacts, and heirloom treasures. In the course of her 40-year career she has introduced a new facet of jewelry arts, perpetuating the beauty of the ancient, the ethnic, and the exquisitely quaint within a framework of contemporary beauty and utility. Her work is included in many outstanding collections including the Smithsonian Institution; Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; The Museum of Arts and Design in New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Oakland Museum of California; and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta.


Ms. Witt became fascinated by cross-disciplinary research into the origins of the art of adornment while studying the ancient ethnic artifacts used in her work.  The range of symbols illustrated in Witt's designs is impressive and demonstrates the universality of such images including birds, butterflies, spiders, fish, frogs, snakes, trees, flowers, fruits, lions, deer, horses, sun, clouds, faces, masks, hands, and geometric patterns. She is drawn to the evolving, implicit meaning of symbols that are universally embraced and expressed in the material cultures around the world. “We are very happy to have Barbara Witt bring her current collection to Bloomington,” said Kate Rowold, Professor and Curator of the Sage Collection. “It is particularly exciting that Ms.Witt will be on campus as the ZOOM Symposium (a School of Fine Arts event) begins on campus and around the community.”


Barbara Natoli Witt will also talk about her work and present a mini-exhibition of her latest work at the Indiana University Center for Art + Design (IUCA+D), Saturday, October 19, 1-3 pm. The Indiana University Center for Art + Design is located at 310 Jackson Street, Columbus, Indiana. For more information on this event please call (812) 375-7550.

These events are free and open to the public.



Maximum R&D: Architecture and the Art of Technology Transfer

 


Design for an off-road, house-moving robot, Mike Silver

When do architects, mathematicians, computer scientists, artists, and engineers work together? Architect Mike Silver will answer that question on Tuesday, March 26, at 2:30 pm in the Frangipani Room of the Indiana Memorial Union when he speaks with students from the Indiana University department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design (AMID). Mr. Silver directs a multidisciplinary design laboratory based in New York City, whose mission focuses on diverse consumer products, such as web sites and buildings.

Mr. Silver conducts pioneering research in the field of digital mapping, supercomputing, and proprietary software development. His most current work explores technologies like L.I.D.A.R., CFD simulation (computational fluid dynamics), computer programming (Automason Ver. 1.0), and a variety of new robotic fabrication tools including numerically controlled fiber-placement technology and hot-wire digital foam cutting.

Mike Silver holds a Masters of Building Design from Columbia University. He is a LeFevre’ 29 research fellow for The Knowlton School of Architecture in Columbus, Ohio, the Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan, former Director of Digital Media at the Yale School of Architecture, and a former studio instructor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He is also the author of numerous books and articles on the relationship between technology and design including "Pamphlet Architecture #19 Reading / Drawing / Building", AD’s “Mapping in the Age of Digital Media”, and “Programming Cultures”, an upcoming release from Wiley and Sons.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Mike Silver will also be presenting this talk Tuesday evening, 6 pm, at the Indiana University Center for Art + Design at 310 Jackson Street, Columbus, Indiana, 47201.



How do you become a designer? Why would you want to?
A Case Study: Niketown, 20 Years after the Beginning--A Look Back

L. Brittain A. Brewer is a designer and project manager in Portland, Oregon. He studied architecture, interior design and regional planning at Auburn University. As a senior designer for Nike, Inc. he was among the first designers charged with developing the concept into a retail design program after the successful opening of the first store in Portland, Oregon, in 1990.




Monday, April 9, 4-5:15
Chemistry Building, Room 122

800 East Kirkwood Avenue

Indiana University

Bloomington, Indiana

--and--

Tuesday, April 10, 5:30-7
Indiana University Center for Art + Design

310 Jackson Street

Columbus,
Indiana

For more information>>


 

Textile and Fiber Artist Mary Hark

The 2012 Bill Blass Fashion Design Lecture Series is pleased to announce free public lectures by textile and fiber artist Mary Hark.

Recent Work in Handmade Paper and Cloth


Hark will discuss the development of her studio work as a textile artist and papermaker as well as share images of her student's work from the Textile Design Department at UW-Madison. This free public lecture will be held on the campus of Indiana University-Bloomington in the Fine Arts Auditorium, Fine Arts (FA) 015, Wednesday, February 29, 4-5:15 pm.

Lecture flyer

 

---and---

 

A Textile Artist in Ghana: The Story of Take Time Press and the Development of the First Hand Made Paper Mill in West Africa

 

In 2006 Mary Hark was awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Grant to SubSaharan Africa. Since that time she has spent several months each year in Kumasi, Ghana, responding with her artwork to the particular environment of Kumasi, Ghana, and where she is leading a group of artists and scientists in establishing the first handmade paper mill capable of producing high-quality papers from local botanicals. Hark will discuss the development of her "constructed paintings" and share the story of her most recent project, a limited edition fine press book under the imprint Take Time.

This free public lecture will be held at the IU Center for Art + Design (IUCA+D) Columbus, at 310 Jackson Street, Columbus, Indiana, from 5:30-7:00 pm.

Lecture flyer

Mary Hark headshot

Professor Mary Hark (MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago), lectures and exhibits internationally. Her work is represented in numerous collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and many university collections. Most recently in 2011 Hark's work was exhibited at the International Paper Museum and SOHO20 Chelsea, in New York. Hark currently divides her time between Saint Paul, Minnesota and Madison, Wisconsin, where she teaches in the Design Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin. Her textile and paper work is profiled in the Summer 2011 issue of Surface Design Journal.

 


 

The Texture of Ideas: Dynamic Symmetry in Handwoven Textiles by Mary Crovatt Hambidge

green dress

The 2011 Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series will include a presentation by Susan Neill exploring “The Texture of Ideas: Dynamic Symmetry in Handwoven Textiles by Mary Crovatt Hambidge” November 15, 2011 in the Whittenberger Auditorium, Indiana University. Ms. Neill will also deliver her illustrated lecture at the IU Center for Art + Design in Columbus, Indiana, November 16, 2011.

After learning to weave in Athens in 1920, Hambidge applied design principles to fabric and garment production that her husband Jay argued were used by ancient Greeks in their art and architecture.  She established the Weavers of Rabun in north Georgia in the mid-1930s and for twenty years operated Rabun Studios, a retail shop on Madison Avenue in New York.



Susan Neill head shot

 

 


Neill is Vice President of Collections and Exhibitions at the Atlanta History Center, where she also serves as Curator of Textiles and Social History.  The textile and manuscript collections of Mary Crovatt Hambidge are among the institution’s holdings.  Neill has curated ethnographic textiles, fashion, and historical dress collections and presented her research at numerous professional conferences.

 


Shibori: The Basics and Beyond


Friday, September 23 at 10:00 am, in the Indiana Memorial Union Walnut Room, the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design will present a free public lecture by tie and dye textile artist Sharon Kilfoyle.


The ancient art of bound resist patterning on fabric appears universally in clothing, from almost all cultures of the world, in the distant past to contemporary design. The use of "tie and dye" patterning is called "shibori" in the Japanese tradition. The word itself, as a verb, means to twist, wrist, or squeeze, and the Japanese have perfected many patterns of fabric manipulation. Textile designer Sharon Kilfoyle will explore several of those resist dye techniques in the IUB presentation "Shibori: the Basics and Beyond".


Ms. Kilfoyle began her career in textile design working with wool from sheep, angora goats, and angora rabbits. She raised the animals, cultivated the wool, and gradually expanded her art into spinning, weaving, felting, and natural dyeing with plants from her farm. In the 1990s, Kilfoyle's attention turned to silk and the art of shibori dyeing. While living in Japan, she began teaching shibori and developed her own version of nuno felting. Since then, she has dedicated her life to full-time studio work, teaching textile art seminars in Japan, Korea, Mexico, Canada, Paris, and all over the U.S.A.


While in Bloomington, Ms. Kilfoyle will teach a three-day shibori workshop for students studying accessories in the newsly approved Fashion Design major.




Natalie Chanin - Alabama Chanin Natalie Chanin

Monday, October 25, 2010, from 4:00-5:15 in the Whittenberger Auditorium of the Indiana University Memorial Union, the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design will present a free public lecture by Natalie Chanin. Natalie “Alabama” Chanin is best known as the founder and designer of the American couture line Alabama Chanin.  Her designs for hand-sewn garments constructed using quilting and stitching techniques from the rural south have been lauded for both their beauty and sustainability.  Producing garments from organic and recycled materials by artisans located near Natalie’s home in Florence, Alabama, Alabama Chanin is a lifestyle company Influenced by the slow design movement, using a design/build philosophy and lean manufacturing, and nearing its goal of becoming a zero waste manufacturer.

Based on the thought that good design should be a part of everyday living, Alabama Chanin gives modern context to techniques that have been passed down through generations of women and men. It stands as a comprehensive look at simplifying the apparel supply chain: farmer to fiber to artisan to home, reviving a model that was assumed to have lost its relevance.

The designs of Alabama Chanin have been featured in Vogue, The New York Times and on the CBS News.  The company was currently selected as one of the ten finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for 2009 and will be included in the Cooper-Hewitt Global Triennial for 2010.


Carmen Benavente

Carmen Benavente

Carmen Benavente presented a free, open-to-the-public lecture on her embroidery project with the women of Ninhue, Chile, on September 20, 2010 in the Whittenberger Auditorium at the Indiana Memorial Union. Born, raised and educated in Santiago, Chile, Carmen Benavente is a teacher, lecturer, and author of Embroiderers of Ninhue. In Benavente’s poignant telling, the embroiderers of Ninhue map a social, economic, and artistic journey inspiring to artisans, aficionados, curators, historians, and economists.

Amid the political upheaval of 1971, Carmen Benavente returned to her native Santiago to find much of her family’s farmland expropriated and resentment fomenting against former landowners. “Death to Benavente” she saw painted on one wall as she drove through the streets.

Benavente was determined to bridge alienation, to reach out to the families she’d grown up among. Going door to door, she offered to teach the women of Ninhue wool embroidery, a nontraditional art. What followed is a story of a remarkable group of women empowered creatively and economically by their new undertaking. Their work stands today among the most evocative of Chilean arts, as evocative as the story of how they came together at a crucial moment in Chile’s history.

For more information, see http://carmenbenavente.com/.


Alastair MacLeod of Hand & Lock Embroidery, U.K.

Alastair MacLeod

Chairman of the United Kingdom-based Hand & Lock Embroidery, Alastair Macleod, spent April 19-20, 2010 in Bloomington as one of Indiana University’s 2010 Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series speakers. The visit was sponsored by IU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design.

In addition to spending time with students and faculty, Macleod presented a free, open-to-the-public lecture titled "A Taste of the Rich Tradition of Embroidery" from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. April 20 in the Whittenberger Auditorium at the Indiana Memorial Union.


Alastair Macleod Lecture Poster

Hand & Lock's hand-embroidered products bring together elements of the military, entertainment industry, and couture with elegant high fashion. The company's embroidery has been used in Broadway's The Lion King and Wicked, and its work has been seen in Oscar-nominated films such as The Last King of Scotland, as well as for the coronation of the King of Tonga in 2008.

Macleod's campus visit is part of a spring tour of American universities and Embroiderer's Guild branches. His public lecture will cover the origins of embroidery; gold and silver wire; military embroidery; an outline of different hand and machine techniques; and contemporary design and its future.

View a PDF of the lecture poster »
For more information, see http://www.handembroidery.com.


Jo Paoletti

Jo Paoletti

The Indiana University Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design welcomed University of Maryland Professor Jo Paoletti, as one of the department's 2010 Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series speakers at IU Bloomington. This free, open-to-the-public lecture, "Before Pink and Blue: Baby Clothes Before Babies had Gender," was held January 13 in the Whittenberger Auditorium of the Indiana Memorial Union.

Paoletti is an Associate Professor in American Studies whose training is in apparel design and the history of textile and clothing. She has spent over thirty years researching and writing about children’s clothing in America, particularly the development of gender differences. Most recently Paoletti has been focusing on everyday ethical concerns such as conscious, ethical consumption, frugality and voluntary simplicity. You can visit her blog dealing with those issues at http://nicewhitelady.blogspot.com/.

"Before Pink and Blue" was presented in conjunction with Child’s Play: Aesthetics, Gender, and Children’s Clothing, an exhibition of more than 50 ensembles from The Sage Collection exploring the dynamics of aesthetics, gender, and fashion at the Monroe County History Center.


Dr. Patrik Steorn, Stockholm University

Patrik Steorn Lecture

Swedish fashion is today mainly associated with chains like H&M and fashionable denim wear. Already in the 1960s Swedish designers were launched in the US, a phenomenon that is almost forgotten today in Sweden and internationally. Dr. Steorn’s lecture, “Swedish Fashion: Design and National Identity” addressed ideas about “Swedishness” in Swedish fashion, looking at examples from 1880s reform dress, the unisex jumpsuits of the 1960s, as well as today’s young designers.

Patrik Steorn is a Lecturer at the Centre for Fashion Studies at Stockholm University where he conducts research on visual culture, fashion studies, and gender and queer studies. He is currently a Fulbright Fellow at CUNY.

Sponsored by: West European Studies, Germanic Studies, International Studies, Art History, Apparel Merchandising (through the Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series), and Fulbright’s Occasional Lecturer Fund.


Julian Roberts

Julian Roberts

The Indiana University Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design hosted United Kingdom fashion designer Julian Roberts, the department's 2009 Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series speaker, April 3- 4, 2009 at IU Bloomington.

View images from Julian's workshop»
View images of student-created designs»

Roberts has shown 13 collections at London's Fashion Week and serves as a consultant to the BBC. Currently, he develops his own collections, designing both the form and the engineered surface designs. His production company, JULIANAND, is considered a leader in defining the visual identity of the 21st century. JULIANAND produces films, Web sites and graphics.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to bring Mr. Roberts to IU to share his exciting and innovative design concept," said Kate Rowold, a professor in the Retail Design and Merchandising Group and curator of The Sage Collection. "His avant- garde perspective and risk-taking technique will open our students' eyes to a whole new approach to fashion design."

IU brought Roberts to the U.S. through the California-based Center for Pattern Design to share his innovative method of shaping a flat piece of fabric to human dimensions with beauty and expression.

"Mr. Roberts has pioneered spontaneity in clothing design in a way never before conceived. He has made it possible to conceive of covering the body by subtracting from the cloth the space that the body occupies," said Rowold. "His lectures, demonstrations and workshops embody the global zeitgeist that now requires that we look at every activity in a new way in order to meet future challenges."

During his visit to IU, Roberts presented a free, open-to-the-public lecture, "Fashion Design through Subtraction Cutting," Friday, April 3 at the Indiana Memorial Union. He also conducted a two-day workshop for advanced students in the Fashion Design Certificate program in the department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design.


Joanne B. Eicher

Joanne B. Eicher

Joanne B. Eicher, emeritus regents' professor at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Design, Housing and Apparel and one of the world's foremost authorities on dress and culture, visited Indiana University-Bloomington as the 2007 Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series speaker. In her presentation, "My Life with the F Word", Ms. Eicher recounted her experiences as a global fashion researcher and scholar.

During her research and teaching career, Eicher has authored and co-authored many books on dress, culture and society. She is currently editing the 10-volume World Encyclopedia of Dress and Adornment, to be published between 2007 and 2012, and is a consulting editor for Berg Publishers. She also owns one of the largest private collections of West African/Nigerian textiles in the United States.


Helen O'Hagan

Helen O'Hagan delivered the first lecture in the Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series in April of 2004, at Whittenberger Auditorium to a standing room-only crowd. O'Hagan was Bill Blass' personal friend and co-editor of the exhibition catalog Bill Blass: An American Designer. As a publicist for Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S. and Europe for more than 20 years, O'Hagan promoted American and European fashion designers and their creations, and developed a unique perspective on the designers and their lives. She spoke about her career and shared insightful recollections and images of dozens of designers with whom she worked.