Penn College Student Transforms Trash to Fashion for Show

Published 11.18.2016

Student News
Engineering & Industrial Design Technology
Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies News

A Pennsylvania College of Technology student’s ability to transform trash to fashion will be showcased for the public on Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. in the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center.

The “Trashion Fashion Show” is a free event devised by industrial design student Ashley E. Mahaffey, of Hughesville, as part of her senior capstone project.

“This show is intended to be evocative, to promote the upcycling lifestyle, which repurposes materials that no longer have use,” said Thomas E. Ask, professor of industrial design and Mahaffey’s capstone adviser. “Ashley is expressing design of three-dimensional forms as fashion. She has a longtime interest in fashion.”

Penn College of industrial design major Ashley E. Mahaffey, of Hughesville, works on transforming trash into fashion as part of her senior capstone project. Her efforts will culminate in a free, public showcase, “Trashion Fashion Show,” on Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. in the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center.Mahaffey employed materials such as discarded newspapers, magazines, feed bags and candy wrappers to create five outfits and 10 accessories. She and four classmates will model the results.

“I have been working on this project since June, when I started collecting trash,” Mahaffey said. “I have about 20 feed bags and a couple boxes of newspapers and magazines. I basically saved any item that had some type of plastic in it in case I found a use for it.”

“Something like this has never been done in our program,” Ask said. “It’s an effective means to highlight creative use of discarded materials.”

Unlike the outfits she has seen at trashion shows, Mahaffey doesn’t want her designs to resemble trash.

“I’ve been trying to create more elegant pieces, which has been challenging,” she said.

Designer Valerie Beggs, director/owner of Make What You Wear at Williamsport’s Pajama Factory, has assisted Mahaffey throughout the project.

The senior capstone is a core component of the college’s industrial design bachelor’s degree. The program prepares students to become designers of marketable products and systems. Students combine creativity with technology to transform ideas into practical designs for products that are optimized and customized for human use.

For more on the industrial design major and other programs offered by the college’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development. For more information, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.