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University of Cincinnati Student on Pins and Needles
Preparing for Paris Competition

Date: Dec. 4, 2000
Story by: Mary Bridget Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Archive: General News

A University of Cincinnati fashion design junior will pick up more needles than just those that fall from the tree as Christmas approaches.

The season finds Cynthia Hamilton of Indianapolis in stitches as her fingers fly to complete a design that will be one of a handful representing the United States in the year 2000 International Young Fashion Designers Competition to be held Dec. 14 in Paris.

Hamilton's design

About ten U.S. schools B including UC, Art Institute of Chicago and Pratt Institute B will send the nation's best student designers to compete in a runway fashion show with peers from about 15 countries, according to Margaret Voelker-Ferrier, associate professor of fashion.

Professional designers and journalists serve as judges. The grand prize winner earns about $4,000 and a one-year scholarship to a top Paris fashion school (the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne). The winning garment also goes on permanent display in France's premiere fashion museum, the Musee des Artes de la Mode which is part of the Louvre.

Hamilton, from Indianapolis and a 1997 graduate of Brownsburg High School in suburban Indianapolis, is creating an entry that she describes as "elegant with a raw edge." Her piece is made of vintage wool that her mother brought home to Indianapolis from England 30 years ago. The fur trim on the garment comes from a vintage fur coat bought from an Indianapolis civic theater sale for $5.

Hamilton's ensemble, which she created as part of a tailoring studio led by Injoo Kim, assistant professor of fashion design, combines a long, slim coat of wool with a matching skirt that reaches to the floor. The vintage fur material (from the civic theater sale) serves as an underskirt and as trim. The fur, being old and worn, provides the "raw edge" for the ensemble, according to Hamilton as do the recycled purse buckles she is using as buttons and cuff links.

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