by Barb on April 10, 2010
With concentration in Apparel Design in the Fiber Science and Apparel Design (FSAD) program at Cornell University, senior Abbey Liebman unveiled a fashion first on March 13th – a dress that not only gleamed in the sun, but also charged electronics with the use of solar energy.
Showcasing her line at the 26th annual Cornell Design League Show, Abbey’s collection featured separates and dresses constructed from jersey knits, hand-painted crepe de chine done in a silk painting process, silk crepe, brocade, and twill, along with the use of leather, suede and beading for trims. Inspired by her trips to the Southwest, particularly Utah and Arizona, the designs carry a hint of a Western style in terms of seams and color choices. The piece that’s been drawing attention, the solar powered dress, was a collaboration between Abbey and Juan Hinestroza, assistant professor of fiber science and director of the Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory. The garment relies on the Cornell-developed and patented technologies by Hinestroza and George Malliaras, associate professor of materials science and engineering. What these two technologies offer is the ability to coat cotton in a pattern that is no more than 80 nanometers thick, but allows for the transmission of current as though it were a metal wire.
Aside from pursuing her interests in fashion (with impressive work experience under her belt – internships in the design studios of Cynthia Steffe, Zac Posen and Jill Stuart), Abbey also possesses an interest in costume. Working at Cornell’s costume collection as an assistant to the curator, she notes that the collection is incredible with at least 15 000 pieces dating back as early as the 19th century.
Be on the look out for more of Abbey’s designs as she graduates from Cornell University this May!
Images courtesy of Abbey Liebman