Say Yes to the Dress: Southern University’s Newspaper Wedding Dresses Tribute
Associate Dean, of the College of Sciences and Agriculture, Doze Butler’s Family and Consumer Sciences design class went full bridal mode when creating the wedding dresses made of newspaper.
Apart of a series, the wedding dresses were the student’s fourth and final project of their fall semester so it’s no wonder they went out in style.
All of the projects that the class worked on were based around the theme of sustainability. Ms. Doze Butler was inspired by New York Fashion Week’s 2018 winners who all utilized the same theme of sustainability in their fashion designs. Ms. Butler reminds students, “We really need to be friendly to the environment and not just throw stuff away”. For project one the class made dresses out of any five recyclable materials. Project two required the students to take second hand denim and enhance it. In project three, recycled books were used to make knick knacks and small appliances such as jewelry boxes and lamps. For their final project the class was asked to make wedding dresses from old newspapers.
So, why wedding dresses? Ms. Doze Butler, who does all of the projects with her students, came across an article detailing the tragic and untimely death of Lashuntae Benton and Annette January, two Southern University female athletes who were murdered at a party near LSU. Stricken by the tragedy, Ms. Butler was immediately moved to create wedding dresses in their honor. Ms. Butler tells the Digest, “It’s a tribute to them because they’ll never have a chance to get married,” For Ms. Butler’s own dress design she uses only newspaper articles from the edition in which the young ladies’ story was published.
Since the wedding dresses were a class project, they had a few requirements: all of the dresses had to be long, they must all incorporate a veil, and each student had to write a paper detailing their inspiration for their dress design. Ms. Doze also pushed for consistency in her students’ work, so each dress uses a different but specific edition of the archived Southern Digest newspapers. Service learning students De’Ja Overton and Keith K. Taylor were tasked with retrieving what ultimately amounted in several bundles of newspapers everyday along with creating their own wedding dresses.
Although the students were allotted three class periods to design their wedding dresses, many hours were spent outside of the classroom to complete the task. The Digest spoke with student Brittany Mixon, a 22-year-old fashion design major from New Orleans, who informs us, “Creating is about sticking to who you are and digging deep into yourself.” Ms. Mixon’s wedding dress showcases her “eccentric and vivacious” style which can be further admired through her clothing brand, Euphoria.
William Waddell, a sophomore biology major from Oakland, California fawns, “I don’t know if I want to read them or wear them.” These passionate and purposeful wedding dresses will remain on display until March.
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