The art program at Niki’s university has all the first year students take the same basic art classes to establish the basics – whether you’re majoring in Graphic Design (Zach N.) or Fashion Design (Niki).  Niki has not decided exactly how she’s going to specialize in making clothes but that will come with time as she completes her internships.  In the mean time, she looked forward to this project for many weeks.

Their Body Mantle Project was to make an item you’d wear on your body (interpretation was left wide open) using at least 100 of the same item and one connector item. (Not using any type of tape, glue, or sewing)  Niki decided to use coffee filters and brass brads.


Niki’s sketch for her project.  Her teacher didn’t care for it though and told her to pick something new. In the end, she modified it to please the teacher hoping he would give her a good grade.


It took Niki approximately 30 hours to finish her coffee filter jacket.

As part of their grade, the students had to model their creation last Friday night during a fashion show – whether you were majoring in fashion or not.  The students modeled their projects by class and there were 10 classes.

The first group worried me that we shouldn’t have brought the boys.  Thankfully Les was with the boys and he body blocked them for a couple of the girls.  It was bad.  Let’s just say that I shouldn’t know that one of the girls had a tattoo under her breast.  Where 9o% of the girls wore a shirt or tank top under their dresses, some girls wanted to be authentic models – complete with wardrobe malfunctions.  Not. Appropriate.  For the most part though – the kids dressed appropriately.


Brothers – 1 hour into the fashion show


Niki felt bad for them and let them play Angry Birds on her phone


Gabriel after the fashion show

The teacher inside of me was secretly grading each student as they walked by.  Niki sat with me for about the first hour.  I’d lean into her and say, “D” or “Creative!” or “They put a lot of work into that one” or “No effort”.

Niki did a phenomenal job on her project!!!  I told her that I think there was only one other girl whose project looked like it took more time than hers to make.  There were a few that looked like they took the same amount of time as Niki’s.








Here are a few of the other projects:


trash bags & tissue paper


Zach N. –  forks & rubber bands


Paint chips


coffee filters


coffee filters


On right, paper bags