SHAY MCCOMSEY

BFA FASHION DESIGN

(SHE / HER / HERS)

During my tenure at Moore, I learned more about the impact fashion has on the environment and it has driven me to create a more responsible future for fashion. I was raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where my great aunt was an excellent seamstress and quilt maker. She taught me the basics of sewing; as a quilt maker, she always had a lot of fabric scraps to play with. She taught me how to salvage and transform discarded textiles. I aspire to change the fashion industry ethically by seeking ways to improve and protect the environment.
 

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My senior thesis is a fashion collection—my visual inspiration is a reflection of my summer in Southwest Florida. Over the summer I spent many days basking in the sun and exploring the beaches of Sanibel Island, but this place it is not always as peaceful as it sounds. The beaches are disrupted repeatedly by outbreaks of red tide. This is the name given to when the ocean water is overcome with algal bloom caused by pollution, specifically agricultural runoff. The bloom discolors the water to an orange-red and it depletes oxygen, releasing harmful toxins that may cause illness in humans but is more deadly towards animals. The goal of my collection is to help increase red tide awareness by utilizing the colors that the algae creates. Seashells and the ocean inspired my silhouettes. I reinterpreted seashells into pleated fabric; their hard shell inspired the curves and structure of my garments. The ocean inspired my color palette and fabric. I used organza which flows like the soft ocean waves that brush the shore on Sanibel Island. I used natural dyes to suggest the colors that the algae creates.

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