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180 Style Challenge - An Interview with Fashion Instructor Ingrid Uhrich

Feb 3, 2016

180 Style Challenge - An Interview with Fashion Instructor Ingrid Uhrich

Ingrid Uhrich is a Fashion Design and Merchandising Instructor at Centre for Arts and Technology and she has recently started a 180 Day Challenge.  What is the challenge?  To wear the same dress, yes the same dress, for 180 days straight.  Why would she do such a thing, you might ask?  Well, we let her answer this question in her own words...

Ingrid Uhrich

 

CAT:

What's your name?

My name is Ingrid Uhrich.

CAT:

What do you do here at CAT?

IU:

I am a contracted instructor for the Fashion Design and Merchandising course.  I've been here for about five years now.

CAT:

So the name of your challenge is "180 Style Challenge".  So tell me about this.

IU:

The "180 Style Challenge" is a personal experiment in fashion sustainability.  It basically means for 180 days I'm going to be wearing the same black dress in different ways and try to make it as fresh and stylish as possible.  The rules are I'm not allowed to wear anything new, I'm not allowed to buy new stuff, I have to wear anything in my closet or donated or recycled or used and accessorize with that. It's a fundraiser as well, as I am saving money to buy new clothes, but I'm going to take that, and I'll be fund raising for two worthy causes.  One is the St. Joseph's project at St. Joseph's Elementary school and a school in Haiti that pays for kids education.  Details are on my website.  And the goal of the project is to learn and inspire others about fashion sustainability and what it is and how it effects us all whether we know it or not.

CAT:

You mentioned a few rules, are there any more?

IU:

Yes, I have to look different, it's one thing to wear the same thing everyday but…

CAT:

Well, I wear the same thing everyday...

IU:

You know what, every guy I tell about the project they say "Well I wear the same thing everyday, what's the big deal?" but the girls get it.  (laughs)

CAT:

You have a website, and on there you have pictures and notes, and a calendar that you can click on to see what you've been wearing each day correct?

IU:

There's a bit of an explanation for each outfit and some days I will blog about the project's progress and also about different issues that come up with the sustainability factor.  I won't be blogging everyday but there will be other things, such as tips or anything that brings awareness, those kinds of things.

CAT:

Have you received much feedback so far?  Has anyone noticed you've been wearing the same dress for the past few weeks?

IU:

No, people, unless they know about the project, I just launched the website yesterday (1/21/16) so nobody had really mentioned anything, people look at me and say "I like your outfit" so I don't know if it really is the dress that brings everything together and it looks a certain way..we'll see what happens…

CAT:

So you can change your earrings, necklace…I see you are wearing a vest today…it's just the dress you can't change correct?

IU:

The dress is very versatile, I can wear it forwards or backwards, I can wear it open like a jacket or closed, I have put on pants and jeans and skirts and other things with it.  This is the first version, I'm going to need three dresses total cause, this one needs to be washed…

CAT:

That was my next question, don't you need to do the laundry at some point?

IU:

Yes, at that's the challenge, right?  The next copy of the dress will be in a different fabric cause I'm trying to explore the best materials to make it in, so it can be something that can be worn every day, and is comfortable.  So, it's a work in progress.

CAT:

Cause some fabrics breathe differently, correct?

IU:

And wash differently.  This is wool which cannot be washed so I have to dry clean it, so that brings up a lot of different environmental and social factors that I have to consider.

CAT:

Are you looking for themes, as I see at one point you were dressed as a pirate? (laughs)

IU:

Well, that was by accident, but I could.  I honestly by the end of next month I'm going to run out of clothes that I own so I'm going to have to go out and beg for donations or get my students to style me with their belts and clothes and such.

CAT:

Well luckily you have those kinds of resources at your disposal.

IU:

Yeah (laughs).  The students are totally on board, which is great.