The fabric of fashion design
Students in Missouri State University’s merchandising and fashion design program can study textiles with a professor who is deeply passionate about this topic in fashion.
Textiles are quite literally the fabric of the fashion industry. Understanding the yarns, threads and wools that can be spun, woven and tied to manufacture clothing is essential for fashion designers.
“I love textiles,” Dr. Starr said. Her office is draped with various patterns and prints of different materials. “What a wonderful job to have where I can take my collection and share it with my students to show them different kinds of fabrics.”
“The students are what make it worthwhile.”
As a student, Dr. Starr was in a program for FACS Education, a program involving fashion, nutrition, cooking and childcare.
However, every time she went to enroll for classes, she was drawn to design. She eventually switched her major to apparel design.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in apparel design, she focused on functional design for her master’s degree.
Functional design focuses on creating clothing that is specifically designed and engineered to ensure predefined performance requirements and functionality for the user.
Dr. Starr has worked on several different functional design projects, including research on garments for firefighters, including cooling vests and hazmat suits.
“I love that I’m able to work with an area of interest that I’m just as excited about today, if not more excited, than I was when I first started,” she said. “It’s never boring. We’re always changing.”
MSU’s best kept secret
“Fashion studies are alive and well at Missouri State University. We are a department that is growing, and we’re very competitive with other universities similar to ours,” she said.
“Sometimes I think that we’re the best kept secret at Missouri State.”