Up-and-Coming Designer Duo “Sews Up” Competition Celebrating The Innovative Use of Plastics in Fashion

Fashion WesFeld

ARLINGTON, VA (January 12, 2010) – Plastics and plastic-based materials continue to rule the runways as the hottest trend in fashion with top designers featuring sky-high Lucite® shoes, lots of sequins and plastic minis in their latest collections. Plastics Make it Possible®, an initiative sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council, celebrates emerging designers inspired by this trend and is excited to announce WesFeld, a team comprised of two up-and-coming designers, Daniel Feld and Wesley Nault, each of whom was featured on season 5 of the hit television show “Project Runway,” as the grand prize winner of its national design competition in partnership with Gen Art.  The team will receive $10,000 to create and showcase their new collection during 2010 New York Fashion Week.
Announced in October at Gen Art’s “Fresh Faces in Fashion” show in Los Angeles, the nationwide design competition challenged fashion designers to create two dynamic womenswear looks made from plastic and plastic-based fabrics. More than 160 designers from all over the country submitted their creations, which were posted online and open for review from the fashion community and general public. More than 15,000 votes, comments and reviews were generated during the competition, leading to the selection of WesFeld as this year’s winner.

“Designers frequently use plastic-based materials such as nylon, chiffon and sequins in their collections because they allow for extreme versatility and creativity, while also being durable and cost-effective,” said Steve Russell, vice president, Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council. “It’s been inspiring to see the creations and different ways plastics were used to produce such dynamic pieces throughout this competition. WesFeld’s designs demonstrate the true heart of the contest and showcase just how beautiful plastic-based fabrics and accessories can be. We can’t wait to see the full collection debut at 2010 New York Fashion Week!”

WesFeld’s winning designs are whimsical and romantic creations inspired by elements of water and nature. The pale pink evening dress features poly-organza, poly-taffeta and plastic boning to create a shape that resembles a conch sea shell with a pearl inside. The designer’s second look is a more structured and textured dove gray gown made of poly-organza, plastic woven interfacing and plastic boning, with poly-satin piping detail. This gown was inspired by a fossilized exoskeleton of an ancient sea creature and a seahorse’s paneled body.

Both Feld and Nault were formally educated at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and in their early careers have collectively apprenticed and worked alongside such designers as Donna Karan, Melinda Eng, Heatherette, Nicholas Patrou, Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen. The two met when both were contestants on season 5 of “Project Runway” and formed a partnership after discovering that they share similar aesthetics and influences from nature that are evident in their work. The duo strives to push the boundaries of fashion to design their own interpretation of beauty, innovation and fantasy.

“We think it’s interesting that plastic-based materials are fairly common in fashion, yet most people don’t realize that plastic is in many of the garments and accessories they wear on a daily basis,” said Wesley Nault, winner of the national Plastics Make it PossibleSM design competition. “You don’t tend to think about plastic in high-end couture, but plastic-based fabrics are very easy to work with because of their durability and versatility. We were excited to showcase what’s innovative and beautiful about using plastics in fashion through this competition. We’d like to thank Gen Art and Plastics Make it PossibleSM for helping us fulfill our dream to show our pieces at New York Fashion Week.”

WesFeld’s looks will be showcased alongside some of the industry’s hottest rising talent at Gen Art’s “New Garde” show sponsored by Plastics Make it PossibleSM during 2010 New York Fashion Week on February 10. The collection will be part of live model installations in a dynamic, non-traditional fashion presentation featuring elaborate set-designs enabling designers to create a cohesive mood and environment for their work. Gen Art’s show traditionally attracts over a 1,000 attendees; past designers include Project Runway winner Jeffrey Sebelia, Geren Ford, Society for Rational Dress, FORM and Kit Pistol.

About Plastics Make it PossibleSM

Plastics Make it PossibleSM highlights the many ways plastics inspire innovations that improve our lives, solve big problems and help us design a safer, more promising future. This initiative is sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council.

About Gen Art

Gen Art is the nation’s leading arts and entertainment organization dedicated to showcasing emerging fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians and visual artists. Gen Art produces over 100 events annually, ranging from weeklong film festivals to massive star-studded fashion shows, live music performances, art exhibitions, multimedia events and more. Since 1993 Gen Art has been championing the arts by creating and producing events and exhibits that have helped accelerate the careers of hundreds of young artists.