For his incredible talent and contributions to the world of art and design, as well as his efforts to educate future designers and to give back to North Carolina, the Design Guild Board has named acclaimed costume designer William Ivey Long the recipient of the 14th annual Design Guild Award.
The College of Design established the award in 1998 to celebrate the vitality of the design community and design education. William Ivey Long embodies that spirit whether he is working his costume magic for projects on North Carolina’s coast or on Broadway in New York.
Long’s career as a costume designer spans more than three decades and nearly 60 Broadway shows, including hits such as Chicago, Dreamgirls and Hairspray. He has garnered 11 Tony Award nominations and has won the award 5 times (Grey Gardens, Hairspray, The Producers, Crazy for You, and Nine). His work also extends beyond Broadway to opera, dance, film, ballet, Vegas shows, music videos, and private clients.
Though his career as a Broadway and Hollywood movie designer is well known and acknowledged, his work for the people of North Carolina and NC State University is not as widely known. Though his work has him keeping residence primarily in New York, for many years Long has given generously of his time to students of the College of Design and College of Textiles, most notably for the Art to Wear fashion show. His mentoring of students has provided them with invaluable experience as they learn from a true master. In 2004, he was awarded the North Carolina Award for Fine Arts.
Born in Seaboard, N.C., to a theater couple (his father founded Winthrop University’s theater department, while his mother taught high school theater) Long lived his first few years in Raleigh, where Long Sr. was technical director of Raleigh Little Theater. He spent childhood summers in Manteo where his family worked at Paul Green’s outdoor drama, The Lost Colony. There, at the tender age of five, Long made his first costume: an Elizabethan Ruff (appropriately enough) for his dog.
Long graduated from the College of William and Mary and briefly pursued a Ph.D. in art history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before moving to the design program at Yale University. There he met a host of theater majors, including Sigourney Weaver and Meryl Streep, as well as Long’s most profound professorial influence, set designer Ming Cho Lee.
Long left Yale with an MFA in set design. After a short apprenticeship with couturier Charles James, Long landed the contract for costume design of the Broadway revival of Gogol’s “The Inspector General,” beginning a career that has often included several shows a year.
In addition to winning the highest award given to Broadway professionals, Long has received other notable honors, including the “Person of the Year” (2000) chosen by the National Theatre Conference, the Art Institute of Chicago’s “Legend of Fashion” Award (2003), and induction into the Theater Hall of Fame (2006).
Each summer, since 1988, Long has returned to Manteo to serve as Production Designer for The Lost Colony. His parents passed away in 1998, but his involvement has continued steadfast and even expanded.
Most recently, Long has partnered with the College of Design and College of Textiles on the new Seaboard School of Fashion and Costume. This project will give students hands-on experiences designing and fabricating costumes for theater and dance productions throughout the state. His dedication to Seaboard is an important economic stimulus providing skilled jobs to a deserving population.
In honor of William Ivey Long, this year’s Design Guild Dinner is also collaborating with Art to Wear to celebrate the popular student-run show’s 10th anniversary.
Art to Wear is a collaborative show between students of NC State’s College of Design and College of Textiles. Started in 2002, the first show was held in ‘the pit’ at the College of Design and drew a hundred spectators. Today the show has grown in size and recognition to become one of the largest non-athletic events at NC State. Now residing in Reynolds Coliseum playing host to an audience of more than 3500 annually and another 24,000+ web hits, this eclectic show has always emphasized a fusion of art and fashion, making it anything but your typical fashion show.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Art to Wear, attendees of this year’s Design Guild Award Dinner will have the bonus of a private showing of the work of two previous Art to Wear designers, Adrienne McKenzie (Senior Art + Design) and Jenna Bost (Art + Design Anni Albers Alumnus), both of whom had the opportunity to intern with William Ivey Long in New York. In addition, Eleanor Hoffman (Senior Art + Design, Anni Albers) will be showing her new designs that just debuted at Charleston Fashion Week where Eleanor was chosen as an Emerging Designer.
Design Guild Dinner attendees have the special opportunity to purchase floor seats for this year’s Art to Wear show at a discount when also purchasing tickets for the Design Guild Dinner.
If you are not attending the Design Guild Award Dinner and would like to purchase tickets for Art to Wear go to www.ncsuarttowear.com.
Art to Wear 2011 will take place on April 12, 2011 at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Coliseum.
About the Design Guild
The Design Guild builds an intimate network of alumni and friends of the College of Design who represent the design professions and allied industries. Contributions from Design Guild members bring flexible funds to the College, providing support for scholarships, guest lectures, study abroad opportunities, professional development and student projects.