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Birmingham Fashion Week names Lauren Garrett as Rising Design Star

Lauren Garrett's design for Birmingham Fashion Week is a sweetheart, short-sleeved dress in black, white and red. (CONTRIBUTED)
Lauren Garrett’s design for Birmingham Fashion Week is a sweetheart, short-sleeved dress in black, white and red. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Ironically, Lauren Garrett was in Times Square for a fashion tour when she learned about her selection as a Rising Design Star for Birmingham Fashion Week.

Garrett was in New York with peers from James Clemens, Bob Jones and Arab high schools. She attends James Clemens.

The design challenge inspires Alabama youth to create wearable pieces of art, Sherri Shamwell said. Shamwell teaches family/consumer sciences at James Clemens.

Birmingham Museum of Art sponsors Fashion Week on April 21-26. Live models will wear the top 24 garments on the Birmingham Fashion Week runway. If judges don’t select it for runway, Garrett’s dress will be on exhibit at Birmingham Museum of Art.

Students were challenged to create a garment using non-traditional materials, Shamwell said. “I still need to set the mannequin to my size to create the top half,” Garrett said.

“My design is a sweetheart, short-sleeved dress that lies just above the knee,” Garrett said. The formal dress uses basic colors — black, white and red. She envisions a woman wearing her dress on the ‘red carpet’ or even on a dinner date at a fancier restaurant.

After experimenting, Garrett used multiple layers of Saran Wrap connected by staples as the lining. “This makes it easier to connect other materials and add a more complicated look,” she said. The dress bottom and sleeves use black pipe cleaner.

“For the top, I taped white muffin cups for a pleated look. I wanted something a bit crazy and ‘high fashion,’ so sparkling red pipe cleaner accentuates the waist line,” Garrett said.

The dress is comfortable and loose. “Women will have enough leg room to walk,” she said.

By sixth grade, Garrett had taken four sewing classes. She then sewed doll clothes and miniature pillows. By middle school, she was watching television fashion shows.

“I really started considering fashion as a piece of art,” Garrett said. “I love how people can express their mood by clothes.” Her parents are Bill and Debbie Garrett.

For more information, visit bhamfashionweek.com.

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