Editor’s Note: The Lariat is co-sponsoring Project Greenway along with Uproar Records. The Lariat’s A&E Editor, Joshua Madden, will be a judge at the event.
By Candy Rendon
Hosted by Baylor’s own Uproar Records, Project Greenway is a one-night event where students design pieces of apparel created and inspired by recyclable goods and showcase the garments to a panel of judges while Baylor musicians perform.
With Project Greenway just around the corner next Thursday, Sugar Land senior Caleb Thompson has been working hard to get prepare for the event.
“Project Greenway is great for me as a design student,” Thompson said. “It allows me to stretch my creative legs and try different directions.”
As Uproar Records website states, the night is a “mesmerizing collaboration of music and ‘green’ design.” The mission is to spread the word about communal conservation and environmental awareness.
The participating students are organized into teams of four, with a head design student leading the team. The teams will brainstorm, sketch, gather and complete uniquely attractive clothing for the evening. On the night of the event, a member will then model the garments across over the runway, displaying his or her team’s designs to the audience and judges.
Thompson says he becomes so involved with the project that he is constantly thinking about new and exciting ways to change up his designs. He says he enjoys the event’s “crazy fun” vibe, as it allows him to cut loose a bit and forget about fashion marketing and other apparel business guidelines. But the project is not easy with all that creative freedom.
“I am designing with a team,” Thompson said. “I can’t just do things my way.”
Thompson said the group must focus on the designs at hand and avoid the temptation of drastically altering the designs. Thompson said he must contemplate the end result and integrate his team’s ideas in a way that satisfies the needs of all. Although it may sometimes provide some challenges, he said that this method of incorporating any and all team member suggestions has worked for the group’s favor.
“Our final design is definitely stronger than it would have been if I was by myself,” Thompson said.
Thompson says that their unity first came in the form of subtle changes, such as their decision on designing men’s wear instead of their work on last year’s Project Greenway, which consisted solely of women’s wear.
Teammate and fellow collaborator Dannie Dinh said that her experience with Project Greenway has been wonderful thanks to Thompson’s charismatic nature. She said the experience was exciting and that the sketches and designs look excellent. She also said that the both of them along with other designer Michael Hannon meshed together perfectly.
“Caleb and I have been great friends for over two years now,” Dinh said.
“We bonded over many common interests, among which are fashion, art and sustainability. We all make a good team, mostly due to Caleb’s leadership and realistic approach to turning our wild and scattered ideas and inputs into something executable and holistic.”
Thompson has also made an impression on some of the faculty and staff. Dr. Lorynn Divita, associate professor of family and consumer sciences, said Thompson is a creative student and she could tell that he was a gifted designer from the beginning.
“Caleb stood out right away at his first day to my class,” Divita said. “He was the most engaged student in the class.”
Divita said that Thompson’s aesthetic is influenced by his apparent love for knowledge and attempt to understand the world.
Divita also said that Thompson is ahead of the design game in his ability to effectively cooperate with his peers and competitors. She said that his ability to calmly accept criticism is something rare to find in artists, and Thompson will prosper for it.
“Many designers let their ego get in the way and don’t accept judgement well,” Divita said. “But Caleb knows how to move forward with an optimistic attitude to the fashion field. It is obvious that Project Greenway is helping him in his pursuits.”
“I am excited to see Caleb’s strong leadership, marketable work, thoughtful wearer-based designs, and sense of style,” Dinh said. “[It will] take him far in his profession.”
Thompson says he is appreciative of all his friends and fans. He believes the event will be a lot of fun, and he explains his excitement with possibly winning.
“Of course we’d love to win,” Thompson said. “But I have no problem losing to someone that deserves first place. Knowing that there is worthy competition is what really makes Project Greenway fun for me.”
For more information about Uproar Music’s Project Greeway visit uproarrecords.com/projectgreenway.