First Lady Christie Vilsack will be wearing a dress to her husband’s Inaugural Ball next week that’s designed and “manufactured” by Iowa State University faculty.The gown’s fabric pattern is based on the stained glass windows at Terrace Hill, the Governor’s Mansion in Des Moines. Mrs. Vilsack was in Ames yesterday, watching a computer generate the pattern for a printer which was putting the pattern on the fabric. Shortly before Thanksgiving, Mrs. Vilsack asked Iowa State professors who’d been researching the antique clothing associated with Terrace Hill if they could design a ballgown. The idea snowballed, and pictures were taken of the stained glass windows for computer images that wound up on the fabric. Another professor designed the dress.The dress has a jacket, and the professors are making Mrs. Vilsack a street-length dress to match and she says she’ll wear it around the state to show folks what amazing things can be done in Iowa. Mrs. Vilsack will wear the ballgown at least twice — to the Inaugural ball in Des Moines and to the National Governors Association Ball in Washington, D.C. next month.
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