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Design Student's Dress Makes Oscars Debut

No silkworms died in the making of Suzy Amis Cameron's Oscars dress, designed by a 21-year-old Michigan State University student with sustainability in mind.

The wife of "Avatar" director James Cameron unveils the silk dress Wednesday night, when she and her husband host a pre-Oscars party in Los Angeles.

While the dress will be displayed on a mannequin at that party, Amis Cameron plans to wear the creation to Sunday's Academy Awards. Her husband's movie has been nominated for nine Oscars at the 2010 awards.

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"I'm really excited to see Suzy on the red carpet wearing my dress," said Jillian Granz, a senior from the Detroit suburb of Canton majoring in apparel and textile design.

Granz and Michigan State spokeswoman Kristen Parker flew to California on Sunday to be on hand for the unveiling of Granz's design, which Amis Cameron selected from hundreds of entries as the winner of a national charity fundraising contest.

Amis Cameron created the "Red Carpet Green Dress" competition to support Muse, an educational organization in Topanga Canyon, Calif., founded by her and her sister Rebecca Amis.

The guidelines called for a dress made of only sustainable material.

"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," Parker explained in a posting on the school's Web site.

The dress was made by Hollywood costume designer Deborah Scott, Parker said.

Parker said the design also used a "no-waste pattern, in which every part of the pattern is utilized and put into the final garment rather than being discarded."

"Choosing from sketches and designs worldwide, it was a tough decision," Amis Cameron said in a statement. "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."

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