While most Fort Hays State University students were working on projects to hand in to their professors, Sara Updegrove, Wichita senior, was putting the finishing touches on her mannequin's dress she designed for a New York auction.
As part of the PAVE (Planning and Visual Education Partnership) Mannequin Form Auction, Updegrove was selected to design a dress for a mannequin PAVE provided with the intention of sending it to a silent auction at the Annual Fundraising Gala on Thursday, Dec. 4, at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, New York.
PAVE is non-profit association whose objective is to attract students to study in the fields of retail design, store planning and visual merchandising. The auction, which is held each year, raises funds to support its annual student design competition.
Updegrove, who is enrolled through FHSU's Virtual College, was given the opportunity to take part in this prestigious event thanks to her Fashion Design independent study professor, Dr. Merlene Baird, professor of art. Baird serves on PAVE's Board of Directors and requested that Updegrove be given a mannequin and have a chance to design a costume for the auction. Baird said that it was Updegrove's interest in the field as well as her study habits that prompted her to make the request.
"She's the one student I have who's interested in fashion design," Baird said. "And she's a very motivated student."
Twenty-seven mannequins were sent around the world to designers for Neiman Marcus, Kohls, Abercrombie & Fitch, Saks Fifth Avenue, The London Institute, Estee Lauder and many others.
"It's a pretty prestigious group she's among," Baird said.
Costumes will be designed by everyone who was sent a mannequin and each will be auctioned off at the Gala for a minimum bid of $100.
Updegrove is excited about the opportunity and hopes it will give her a greater chance of achieving her career goal.
"I would love to work on the East Coast designing clothes for a company," she said. "This event could possibly get me a name."
She said that the actual project took six weeks. She was inspired by Victorian era clothing and high fashion magazines, such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Style, she said.
Updegrove is working towards a general studies degree with an emphasis in fashion design and plans to graduate in the fall of 2004.