By Ashley DiFranza ’14
Hanna Hejmowski, the executive assistant to the director at the Central European Institute at Quinnipiac University, and her team of designers have been hard at work constructing dresses made completely of recycled materials collected across the university’s three campuses.
In the upcoming weeks, Hejmowski and her 25 student volunteers will design a total of 12 outfits, which will be modeled by Quinnipiac students on April 22 at the annual Earth Day.
“A lot of the students who agreed to work on smaller aspects of this project came to one workshop and realized they were actually interested in designing dresses,” Hejmowski said. “It was really interesting for me to see that transition and for them to become confident enough to want to design on their own.”
Student volunteers will not only help with the designing and modeling of the dresses, but will also work with professionals to do the models’ hair and makeup on the day of the show.
With only a handful of workshops under their belt, the group has already constructed the bodices and parts of the skirts for multiple dresses, which can be seen in the photos above. They also have exciting ideas for more custom outfits, many of which were thought up by the student volunteers themselves.
One designer, Hannah Kissinger, has used Albert Schweitzer Institute booklets and brochures to weave a skirt for her dress, while another, Caroline Artz, has made her entire outfit out of Central European Institute’s “Art as Ambassador” booklets and main Quinnipiac brochures. Hemjowski’s personal design is made out of Quinnipiac Alumni Association gift bags, as well as Quinnipiac wrapping paper, and is featured along with Kissinger and Artz’s in the photos above.
“It’s just amazing to see all these students from different departments coming together to work on one project like this,” Hejmowski said. “This project in particular brings life to the school, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”
Students interested in assisting in the dress construction should email Hanna.Hejmowski@quinnipiac.edu.