Duct tape fashion show tests students’ skills

Mariah Wellman

Students from all across Iowa State’s campus competed in the third annual Duct Tape Fashion Show.

Bethany Goodman, junior in child adult and family services, participated in the competition with her friend Cheyenne Graeve, junior in elementary education.

“What was appealing about this event was that it was something completely new for us,” Goodman said. “It pulled us out of our comfort zones and was a nice break from focusing just on classes and homework.”

Prior to the day of the event, participants were given guidelines on how to complete their designs. For the contest, each participant received six rolls of 3M duct tape and a utility knife.

After the duct tape was issued, the designers had one week to put together a duct tape ensemble. They were only allowed to use the duct tape issued to them, fabric fasteners like Velcro and a T-shirt underneath for construction.

Laura Piper, sophomore in linguistics, decided to stick with what she knew before completing her design.

“I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make a dress because it was one of the few things I’d sewn before and I figured I would approach the tape like I would fabric,” Piper said. “My theme was inspired by my recent, mild obsession with anchor patterns.”

Goodman and Graeve pre-planned their ensemble before they were issued the duct tape.

“We spent a lot of time researching different designs for our dress,” Goodman said. “When we found the design we loved we got started as soon as we were issued the duct tape.”

Many designers ran into challenges while attempting to finish their design in the one-week time limit they were given.

“We had a mishap with our original design and had to resort to a simpler one at the last minute,” Goodman said. “We worked very hard to make sure there were minimal wrinkles in the tape, the patterns were lined up, and it was overall sturdy enough to last a week on a mannequin We learned it is much more difficult to make a duct tape dress for a fashion show than for a costume or project.”

Many learned time management was a key skill in completing the ensembles in time.

“The experience was a little stressful for me due to the time limit and having a lot of homework over the construction period,” Piper said. “The most stressful part was pulling an all-nighter before the due date to finish because I had been pushing it back because of homework.

The final projects were presented Oct. 4 in the University Book Store with winners, including a “people’s choice” award, announced at the end of the show.

First place was awarded to Kaylea Carico, sophomore in elementary education, and Sarah Nissen, sophomore in open option; second place to the team of Katie Thompson, senior in apparel, merchandising and design, and Gracie Bojorquez, senior in apparel, merchandising and design; and third place to Sara Kinderknecht, senior in apparel, merchandising and design.

Dalton Taylor, freshman in apparel, merchandising and design, was awarded the people’s choice award.

Although the project was a difficult one, many participants felt it was a learning experience that they would be part of again in the future.

“The experience proved to be much more challenging than we originally expected,” Goodman said. “We might do it again. If we do, we will definitely be more prepared and come in with a revamped design.”