PhilaU Fashion and Textiles Team Exhibits Collection at Epson Show: California Apparel News

A Philadelphia University team of fashion and textile designers showed their vibrant collection at Epson’s Digital Couture event kicking off New York Fashion Week Feb. 7, California Apparel News reported Feb. 16.

“Working with Epson was fabulous because they allowed us to use our textile knowledge using printing,” said textile engineer Mark Sunderland, who served as team director for Philadelphia University’s collection, noting that PhilaU has the largest digital printing facility of any university in the U.S.

“It’s really exciting because this is the first time I’ve had an experience working with professional models and showing my work on such a large scale,” said PhilaU fashion design senior Maria Balestino. “[Epson] pushed the boundaries on what we can print on.”

Senior fashion design student Huyen Doan added, “I’ve learned a lot about technology and how to transfer prints into a real garment.”

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Harlem Globetrotter Bria Young ’15 Honored by Philadelphia City Council

Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution today honoring Bria Young ’15, a standout student and basketball player at PhilaU who was selected this season to join the Harlem Globetrotters.

Bria YoungYoung, whose Globetrotters nickname is “Swish,” will be honored at a March 2 City Council meeting. The resolution was introduced by City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell. The Globetrotters will make their first local appearances since Young joined the squad March 4-6 at the Wells Fargo Center.

“I absolutely love it,” Young said of the experience so far.

At PhilaU, where she majored in psychology, Young scored 1,067 career points as a three-year starting point guard for the Rams. Her many accolades include first team all-league, first team all-region, and co-MVP and Defensive Player of the Year of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

The Globetrotters are an internationally renowned basketball squad known for entertaining arenas with their eye-popping trick shots and dribbling skills, as well as community outreach. Young is only the 14th woman selected for the team in its 90-year history.


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Highest Honors: PhilaU Graphic Design Students to Watch 2017 in Graphic Design USA Magazine

For the sixth year in a row, the PhilaU Graphic Design Communication program is represented in the prestigious “Students to Watch in 2017” issue of Graphic Design USA Magazine. Lauren King and Kelli Seiple were named Students to Watch in the February 2017 issue. Previous alums mentioned were Nicole Meyer, Caroline Noebels, Sarah Driban, Jessica Eversmeyer, Kristine Garcia, Annelise Babula, Jewell Richardson, Christina Lanzisero and Natalie Vespe as previous Students to Watch. Congrats Lauren and Kelli!


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PhilaU Fashion Students Debut Collections at NY Fashion Week: Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia University fashion design seniors Maria Balestino and Ashlee Bowers presented their spring 2017 collections Feb. 11 at the FG Designers Premier during New York Fashion Week, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Feb. 16.

The fashion show “gives students the opportunity to participate in what is, for many, their first professional show. Several of the participants have gotten private commissions as a result,” the article noted.

Read the Inquirer article and see runway photos here.


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PhilaU Fashion Students Stun Runway With Collections at New York Fashion Week

Armor, grisaille windows and illuminated manuscripts from medieval history inspired Maria Balestino’s “Iron Illumination” collection.

Armor, grisaille windows and illuminated manuscripts from medieval history inspired Maria Balestino’s “Iron Illumination” spring/summer collection.

A pair of Philadelphia University fashion students opened the Designers’ Premier show at New York Fashion Week on Feb. 11 with their stunning work. Seniors Maria Balestino and Ashlee Bowers, whom both collaborated with textile design graduate students, showed five looks each at the Affinia Hotel.

“Most designers only dream of one day showing at NYFW, so for Maria and Ashlee to get this opportunity so early in their careers is an incredible honor,” said Carly Kusy, PhilaU fashion design instructor. “It’s also a chance for them gain exposure as many industry professionals attend these events. We’re so proud of them, especially since they were the only student designers at this show.”

Armor, grisaille windows and illuminated manuscripts from medieval history inspired Balestino’s “Iron Illumination” spring/summer ready-to-wear collection.

She chose high-quality fabrics to bring sophistication and luxury to the collection, including silk organza and chiffon, metallic novelty wovens and lambskin leather, said Balestino, who worked with textile design graduate student Rachel Snack in creating a handwoven textile that became a pair of cropped pants in the collection.

“An armor-inspired bustier paired with a fluid chiffon sleeve top creates a contrasting silhouette repeated throughout the looks,” she described. “Leather meets lightweight georgette and corduroy is paired with sheer organza in other looks to bring transparency and layers to the garments.”

The colors in her collection came from a painted manuscript of mermaids, which showed blue and blush tones faded with age. She translated this image to create an ethereal palette of steel gray, blush, cream, rose gold, peach, cloudy navy and smoky blue.

Using fabric dyes, she hand-painted many of the fabrics in the collection. The painting done on the organza dress was inspired by the geometric designs from the medieval Book of Kells illuminated manuscript.

The art installation “The Boscar Project” inspired Ashlee Bowers’ activewear collection.

The art installation “The Boscar Project” inspired Ashlee Bowers’ activewear collection.

She also quilted a design inspired by armor fluting and decoration on the blush leather jacket. The geometric shapes seen in medieval stained glass windows are visible in the hand embroidery on the bodice of the laced-up dress.

The art installation “The Boscar Project” inspired Bowers’ activewear collection. “I wanted to highlight the body and create interesting negative space between clothing and skin, all while making the figure look strong and empowered,” she said. “It was important for me to design pieces that could be functional for athletic activities and have some others that had more of a fashionable, sports luxe feel to them.”

The collection featured sports bras, jackets, leggings, shorts and a bodysuit in pale grays, pinks and blues with a contrast of white, dark gray and electric yellow. Bowers used spandex, mesh, nylon ripstop and neoprene with a hint of reflective tape for the materials. One of the jackets was a blue tech fabric that she sprayed with bleach and washed to give a splatter-paint look.

She also collaborated with textile graduate student Alyssa Zebovitz to create a print featured throughout her collection. “Working with her was great,” Bowers said. “She took my inspiration and created exactly what I was looking for.”

Catherine Casano, PhilaU fashion design instructor, said seeing Balestino and Bowers craft their collections was inspiring.

“From the very beginning, they were both extremely focused on pushing the envelope creatively,” she said. “Though totally different, the two collections show a level of sensibility and sophistication usually reserved for more seasoned designers’ work. I am so proud of the work they have done and know the future holds incredible things for them.”

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Out of This World: For 40 Years, PhilaU Has Helped Produce Space Gloves for Astronauts

Brian George, associate professor of engineering, works on the space glove material in the lab. The process has remained virtually unchanged over the past 40 years.

Brian George, associate professor of engineering, works on the high-performance space glove material.

A little bit of Philadelphia University is orbiting about 250 miles above the Earth right now. Since the 1970s, the University has produced high-performance material that goes into making gloves for NASA’s astronauts as they perform space walks, and for a large chunk of that time, Brian George, PhilaU associate professor of engineering, has led the effort.

ILC Dover contacts George to begin a new job every few years. The Delaware-based company, which has a longstanding contract with NASA, specializes in innovative design and production of engineered products with high-performance flexible materials.

The process to make anywhere from 20 to 100 yards of material from Nomex fibers takes roughly six weeks to complete, with the latest batch just wrapping up in George’s Hayward lab earlier this month.

Except for some equipment upgrades, the PhilaU team follows essentially the same textile engineering process from 40 years ago, said George, who learned the craft from J. Robert Wagner, professor emeritus of textiles. The fibers are opened and carded to produce a fibrous web, which is then needle-punched to form a felt fabric. “It’s proven to be effective,” he said.

In addition to playing an important role in the success of space missions, this work benefits PhilaU students who assist George during each round. They learn real-world skills, such as processing and quality control.

The process to make anywhere from 20 to 100 yards of material from Nomex fibers takes roughly six weeks to complete.

The process to make anywhere from 20 to 100 yards of material from Nomex fibers takes roughly six weeks to complete.

“And they can say they have made something that has been to outer space,” he said.

Shana Kaplan, a junior engineering student with a textile engineering concentration, said working in the lab on the material furthers her understanding of the concepts she learns in class.

“I get to see web forming and bonding in action, and I can ask questions that would never have occurred to me otherwise,” she said. “Even cleaning the equipment has given me an up-close look at how the machinery works and connects together. Working on projects like the spacesuit felt have helped demonstrate the thought process behind why certain textile processes are chosen for a product with specific functions and properties.”

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PhilaU Welcomes New Faculty Members

Catherine Lee recently joined PhilaU as assistant professor of physician assistant studies.

Catherine Lee recently joined PhilaU as assistant professor of physician assistant studies.

Philadelphia University welcomes the following recent faculty hires. Among them, they bring a wealth of knowledge in their respective fields, including art therapy, physician assistant studies, midwifery, architecture, history and industrial design.

Rachel Brandoff, Lecturer and Coordinator of Art Therapy. Before coming to PhilaU, she worked in private practice in New York City and taught art therapy at Marymount Manhattan College. In addition, she served as executive coordinator of the Expressive Therapies Summit, an annual professional development conference for counselors and creative arts therapists.

Nicole Cournoyer, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies. She had practiced medicine as a full-time physician assistant in medical oncology and interventional radiology at Main Line Health and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Barbara Hackley, Associate Professor of Midwifery, Associate Program Director for the Doctorate in Midwifery and Dorothea Lang Term Chair. She was recently associate professor at Yale University School of Nursing and clinical director of women’s health at the South Bronx Health Center.

Jeffrey Kansler, Assistant Professor of Architecture. Kansler had previously worked at the University of Illinois as an adjunct professor where he taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses in structures and design studios. He also spent several years teaching abroad in Paris, Versailles and Barcelona.

Teishan Latner, Assistant Professor of History. Prior to coming to PhilaU, he was a lecturer at California State University, Los Angeles, and UCLA. In 2014 and 2015, he was a research associate at the Center for Black Studies Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the United States and the Cold War at New York University.

Catherine Lee, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies. She’s also currently a physician assistant at Lankenau Medical Center.

Eric Schneider, Assistant Professor of Industrial Design. He was previously a visiting assistant professor of industrial design at PhilaU.

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PhilaU Celebrates Black History Month

Student_bossesFrom discussions to movie screenings to spoken word, Philadelphia University has a full slate of upcoming programming for Black History Month:

Lets Talk About Race: Racial Reconsideration
Join students, staff and faculty for a time of sharing and in-depth discussion.
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 8-9 p.m., Ravenhill Chapel

Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse Trip
Visit the only comic book store owned by a black woman on the East Coast. More info here.
Thursday, Feb. 16, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse

MoonlightMovie Trip
Take a trip to the Ritz 5 in Center City for the 7:25 screening of the Oscar-nominated “Moonlight.” More info here.
Thursday, Feb. 16, 7:25 p.m., Ritz 5

The Black Student Boss
In this entrepreneurship panel, GeoSwap’s Jordan Gonzales, Vibrating Therapeutic Apparel’s Amira Idris and Boutique Your Closet’s Dyandra Raye Brown and Brittany Arial will discuss how they started their businesses and offer advice to students.
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 5:30 p.m., DEC Forum

“20 Feet From StardomMovie Screening
Free dinner and a guided conversation about the intersections of race and gender will follow the movie. More info here.
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7-10 p.m., DEC Forum

Brave Spaces
Black History Month: What haven’t we learned?
Thursday, Feb. 23, 1-2 p.m., Kanbar 319

Spoken Word Event
Sunday, Feb. 26, 3 p.m., Kanbar Performance Space

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Freshman ID Project Featured by Make Magazine

One of the final results from Design 1, the first studio class in the PhilaU undergraduate ID studio sequence, has been featured on the Make Magazine website:

See Woodcut Topography Come to Life with the Turn of a Crank

This DaVincian Machine Project was created by PhilaU ID Freshmen Charles Barilo, Peter Holderith and Zachary Samalonis. Using the principles of DaVincian Thinking, the team conceived, designed, tested, and built this wooden gear-driven topography, a machine-based interpretation of the Thomas Moran painting “Grand Canyon of the Colorado River”. Great work Charles, Peter and Zachary!

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Insight On Display at the ID Sprint Mid-Crit

sprint-8The team from Noria Home was back on campus Friday to participate in the Mid-Project Critique of the 2017 ID Sprint Project. This year, half of the teams are tasked with exploring new solutions in heating while the other half are explsprint-18oring cooling.

A wide array of insightful ideas was on display during the course of the afternoon. All 26 teams presented their research and development to both the client team and ID faculty members. Each team tracked the actionable insights from the feedback and direction provided in order to chart the way forward for the final segment of the project. Final Presentations from all teams will be given at the conclusion of the project this Tuesday.sprint-10


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