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  • Khaila King

From Passion to Purpose

It all started at the age of 5 for Senior Elizabeth Maben. She was introduced to the realm of fashion design and textiles when her mother taught her and her brother how to hand sew a small pillow for a Barbie. From then on, her interests in fashion design only grew stronger.

She began taking classes throughout middle school and high school till it led her here at IU where her skills have now been honed, perfected and continue to grow.

“The program started me out with a ton of techniques that I did not really know and had not used before” said Maben. “Now I use them all the time.”

IU offers the major of Fashion Design as a B.A. Degree in the school of Art and Design. Being that the major is relatively new to IU, starting in 2009, the program is small with each graduating class consisting of around 20 to 30 students.

However, plans of expansion are in the works. Director of Undergraduate Studies Area Coordinator and fashion design lecturer Deb Christiansen hopes for the major to expand to a B.F.A where students can spend an extra semester honing their skills.

Maben hopes that future students will take advantage the B.F.A program, if proven successful. She said the program itself has taught her a lot of techniques and offered her plenty of opportunities. One of which was a study abroad trip to Hong Kong.

Maben also participated in the spring 2017 fashion show with coats being the theme of her collection. In spring of 2018 she plans to enter the fashion show again, this time with a different idea in mind. She plans to create East Asian inspired garments out of recycled denim.

“It’s kind of saying a fuck you to the fashion industry because a lot of water is wasted when producing denim,” said Maben. “Each garment will represent water in a way.”

As Maben prepares for the show, she works as T.A. for Professor Christiansen, where she helps students to perfect their craft.

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© 2023 by Khaila King

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