FIDM OC Earns Two Awards for “Canstruction” Evening Gown

Results of the 2010 Canstruction Orange County charity project are in, and FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is proud to boast two awards: the People’s Choice award and the Honorable Mention award. The giant 3-dimensional evening gown, created by FIDM Orange County Graphic Design Students and led by FIDM Orange County Education Coordinator Cheryl Iannello was created as part of an international charity project in which architects, engineers, design students and other organizations compete to build structures out of canned food to benefit food banks around the world.

FIDM’s evening gown structure, titled “AdDRESSing Hunger,” was designed by Graphic Design Student Breanne Cadabona and created using nearly 8,000 canned goods including corn, peas, beans, carrots, and of course pink-labeled tuna cans. The FIDM team was honored to receive nearly 600 votes out of 2,400 for the People’s Choice Award. “It turned out beautifully,” says Iannello.

It took more than 10 hours for the team of FIDM students and staff to build the larger-than-life evening gown in the South Coast Plaza Mall, from 10:00 p.m. on September 3 through 8:00 a.m. the next morning. The FIDM team took on an especially challenging feat by using so many cans in their design, and actually began the build more than once to create their vision. “At the mall, you have to gage the direction in which the structure will face and measure it all out, and if you’re off even a little bit, it is a problem,” says Iannello.

All of the entries for this year’s Canstruction Orange County project have been on exhibit at South Coast Plaza since September 4 and will remain there until September 26. Awards in the categories of Best Use of Labels, Best Meal, Structural Ingenuity, Juror’s Favorite, Honorable Mention and People’s Choice were announced at an awards banquet on September 19. FIDM’s evening gown is currently displayed among 14 other designs including a miniature-sized “Emerald City” from the film “The Wizard of Oz,” designed by Dougherty & Dougherty Architects, a space shuttle designed by Fluor Corporation and a sea turtle designed by Design and Engineering/Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

This year, FIDM Graphic Design Students were not only involved in the design and construction of a structure, but also with the branding of The Canstruction Orange County project on a broader level. During the Build Night, Canstruction volunteers wore T-shirts designed by FIDM Graphic Design Student Izsak Lopez, and Graphic Design Student Citlali Pereya designed T-shirts that are on sale on the Canstruction OC Website. Finally, FIDM Graphic Design Alumna Nicole Wright designed the Canstruction OC logo that is featured on the T-shirts, marketing materials and Website for the Canstruction OC chapter.

Congratulations to all of the Graphic Design student designers!

To read more articles about this FIDM’s involvement in Canstruction, click on the articles below:
Check Out New Pics and Vote for FIDM’s Canstruction Ballgown
FIDM Students Design Apparel Graphics and Marketing for Canstruction Charity Project for Orange County Community
2009 “Walking in Our Shoes” Article by Breast Cancer Network of Strength

Check out the information below that was displayed on a sign at South Coast Plaza to accompany the “AdDRESSing Hunger” gown:

FIDM – Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
AdDRESSing Hunger
8000 cans
Because helping others is always in style, cans are the new black.  Our Haute CANture gown has been custom created by our graphic design student, Breanne Cadabona, and is made from 8000 cans of food. The outside of the dress is fashioned in pink tuna cans and inside the dress is a mixture of carrots, green beans, peas, corn, beans, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes to help adDRESS hunger.

At the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, we go by Coco Chanel’s philosophy: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.” We believe it will always be fashionable to adDRESS others needs instead of skirting them, and we believe that helping others is always a perfect fit.

Team Members:

Jim Nemmert, Team Captain

Andrew Chen

Cheryl Iannello

Eileen & Jerry Garlock

Jorge Panameno


Special thanks to all of our team members including:
 Instructors Steve Metzger and Kelly Capps, FIDM Graphic Design students, and all the students, staff, and faculty at the FIDM Orange County campus for their support.

 Special thank you to our generous sponsors:
Trader Joe’s Mission Viejo, Mima & Dale Ransom of Ransom Group LTD, Jim Swaniger LMFT, of, Service Building Maintenance Co., Marathon Triad Carpet and Diamond Rich Katnik, and friends of FIDM, for their dedication and generous contributions to our structure.

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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