Published: Feb. 9, 2010

Suzy Amis Cameron to wear gown design of MSU student on red carpet

Contact(s): Kristen Parker Media Communications office: (517) 353-8942 cell: (517) 980-0709 Kristen.Parker@cabs.msu.edu, Michael Jenkins College of Arts and Letters office: (517) 355-5363 jenki250@cal.msu.edu

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The dress design of Jillian Granz, a Michigan State University senior, will soon come to life on the red carpet at the 2010 Academy Awards when the wife of a well-known movie producer and director wears Granz’s creation.

Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of movie producer and director James Cameron, chose Granz as the winner of her first annual “Red Carpet, Green Dress” contest. A worldwide dress and gown design competition, the event promoted sustainable design.

Cameron’s latest film, “Avatar,” received nine Oscar nominations for best picture and Cameron was nominated for best director. The Academy Awards will be held March 7.

“This is so exciting, and I wasn’t expecting this at all,” Granz said with a smile after recently receiving a congratulatory call from Suzy Amis Cameron. The Canton, Mich., native will graduate in May with a degree in apparel and textile design. She created the dress design as part of a class project focusing on alternative design techniques.

The contest required designers to conceptualize a dress or gown made from only sustainable material, such as natural, organic or recycled fabric. When submitting her design, Granz recommended the dress be made from peace silk, which allows silk worms to complete their life cycle, rather than be boiled, as is the case with traditional silk. Granz also recommended a no-waste pattern, in which every part of the pattern is utilized and put into the final garment rather than being discarded. 

To maintain the traditional element of surprise surrounding red-carpet glamour, details of the gown won’t be revealed until Amis Cameron wears it. But the dress will be unveiled at a pre-Oscar party hosted by the Camerons on March 3. Granz will accompany Amis Cameron to the party, which is sponsored by Global Green, a California-based environmental group.

Theresa Winge, assistant professor of apparel and textile design, said “essentially, Jillian combined thorough research with innovative fabrics and techniques to create an aesthetically pleasing red carpet-worthy gown.”

Students from Winge’s class, “Special Topics: Innovative Approaches in Apparel Design,” participated in the contest and submitted 16 designs total.

To prepare, Granz reviewed pictures of Amis Cameron at other award celebrations, paying close attention to silhouettes and her sense of style.
 
“Choosing from sketches and designs worldwide, it was a tough decision,” Amis Cameron said. “Jillian’s design was stunning and had that something special. It’s a beautiful combination of sustainability and style. I’m excited to promote the talent of this young designer.”

Amis Cameron added that by bringing attention to the beauty and practicality of sustainable design, she hopes more people will consider sustainable alternatives and practices in their own lives. 

Granz’s design will be made by Academy Award-winning designer Deb Scott. Granz will be flown to Los Angeles for private fitting sessions with Scott and Amis Cameron.

The contest also was a fundraiser for MUSE, a California elementary school Amis Cameron co-founded with her sister, Rebecca Amis. During her stay in Los Angeles, Granz will receive a VIP tour of MUSE and will meet James Cameron. 

“I just can’t wait for the Academy Awards to come so I can watch Suzy on the red carpet,” Granz said. “Until I see her wear it, I don’t think I’ll understand completely what this means for me. I think I’ll just be staring at the screen, watching her wear my design. This means so much.”

For more information on “Red Carpet, Green Dress,” visit http://redcarpetgreendress.com/.

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Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.

Click to enlarge

Jillian Granz, a senior majoring in apparel and textile design, works in the studio. Granz's dress design (not pictured here) was selected by Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of movie producer and director James Cameron, to wear at the 2010 Academy Awards on March 7. Photo by University Relations

Jillian Granz, a senior majoring in apparel and textile design, works in the studio. Granz's dress design (not pictured here) was selected by Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of movie producer and director James Cameron, to wear at the 2010 Academy Awards on March 7. Photo by University Relations

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