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Consumerism and creativity collide at new exhibit in Scottsdale Fashion Square

ASU students' garments and artwork are being displayed at Fashion Square Mall


Fashion Square shoppers stop to look at some wearable technology garments made by ASU fashion students on Sunday, June 24, 2018. 

On the third floor of Fashion Square mall, to the right of H&M, is the new ASU School of Art exhibit. Behind the shiny, glass display cases, bordered with ASU’s classic maroon color, holds students’ hand-made garments and 4 student paintings. 

This Fashion Square showcase holds clothing ranging from a denim collection from ASU’s Fashion Construction II class to wearable tech from ASU’s Fashion Technology class.

Read more about ASU’s Fashion Technology class here: ASU goes fashion forward

Dennita Sewell, professor of practice and leader of ASU's fashion program, wrote that it’s exciting to have the opportunity to show student’s work at Scottsdale Fashion Square. 

“It connects the art and fashion being produced by the talented students in the School of Art to a cross section of our community,” Sewell wrote. “The display also brings a greater awareness to our new fashion program and the longstanding excellence of the art school.”

Cindy Tran, a recent ASU alumna, has a garment called Porcelain Prevalence displayed at this exhibit. She constructed this wearable tech with her cousin and fellow classmate Carol Wong. This piece was created in ASU's Fashion Technology class and brings awareness to the different types of pollution in urban cities.

Tran's piece includes a face mask and a skirt with brown flowers on it. This piece was designed to represent the issues of living in urban heat islands and protections the wearer needs from different types of external pollution. 

“The three main pollutions we are focusing on include air pollution, heat pollution and waste pollution,” Tran wrote in an email. “The mask is used to help block out the harmful air pollution, and the jumpsuit is designed to protect the skin from both air and heat pollution. The Kombucha skirt is used to show that there are other more sustainable ways to make clothes.”

Tran wrote that the purpose of the showcase is to allow ASU students to display their work in a public area where people can see and enjoy the pieces that they have spent countless hours working on. 

“I personally don't know how to sew and mostly worked on the tech and hard goods for our garment in the Fashion Tech class, but I know for a fact that the fashion students spend countless hours and even night(s) in the lab working on their pieces,” Tran wrote. 

Layne Farmer, a recent alumna from the ASU School of Art’s MFA program in drawing and painting, is one of the two ASU students who has his paintings displayed at the showcase. Farmer’s artwork has been featured in galleries in Japan, China and Phoenix. 

Farmer has 3 abstract, non-objective paintings of different sizes at this showcase.

“I think they did a really good job at pairing up the clothing items with the paintings,” Farmer said. “I thought they did a good job in terms of (not only) color, but also texture and things like that.”

Farmer said something that stood out to him was how large the exhibit is in terms of storefront.

“You're not just going to walk past it,” Farmer said. “I would imagine most people are gonna stop and look.”

Tran wrote that she believes that the professors in the fashion program at ASU care greatly about their students and are always trying to find ways to showcase student work.

“It would be a shame for the students to just get grade(s) for their work and just call it a day,” Tran wrote. “It is also a good way to tell the world that ASU has a fashion program and show (how) talented (ASU) students are.”

Farmer says that this exhibit is an incredible opportunity for those who have pieces featured in the exhibit because of the amount of traffic there is in the mall.

“I think it's a great way to get some exposure and not just for me, but for ASU as well,” Farmer said. “I think it's super important that we're kind of positioned in these places throughout the community so that people know, we're involved and we're out there.” 

Reach the reporter at or follow @jessiemy94 on Twitter. 

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