← Future Talk: Article
Creativity as the Antidote to Adversity
by Tom Scott, Assistant Professor, Fashion Design
Whoever imagined that we would still be in a remote classroom environment more than a year after the pandemic began? Despite unprecedented challenges, we have all adapted to very different ways of working. Through alternative problem solving, students have embraced technology and innovation with immense creativity.
Yitao (Esther) Li sourced all the fabrics in her collection from mills found on the internet, the results providing an element of surprise and unexpected detail when they would arrive. One of the factories she found was able to print her collage-like plaids on top of different lace fabrics that she mixed together in fantastical shapes and accessories. Her experimentations in layering different colors and patterns further expands this unexpected effect to an almost vertiginous dimension.
Kenny Naranjo replaced traditional draping by using CLO 3D visualization software to develop the shapes of his editorial collection. This new technology gave him the opportunity to create and manipulate many shapes and variations, pushing the boundaries of what a puffer jacket or dress could be. The padded channels of his pieces contour and cascade around the body in an unexpected and innovative way. Without a model to photograph his pieces, Kenny modeled them himself. Truly designer as muse.
Beyond navigating the challenges of working in this new environment, students honed their personal aesthetic and experimented more. Undoubtedly as a response to being apart and trying to make sense of the past year’s events, many have based their thesis collections on ideas of personal identity and connection.
Sara Alipour developed her concept around her Iranian heritage, and more specifically, on her parents’ experience in Iran before and after the Islamic Revolution. Exploring this contrast through a process of collage, she creates a layered and deconstructed collection of pieces with interesting proportions and detail.
As a Latin immigrant from Costa Rica, Mariana Gomez explored their heritage by taking elements of both their parents’ archetypal work uniforms. Their collection blends masculine and feminine elements to create a modern gender-neutral collection that can be worn in different ways. A mechanic’s jumpsuit is reinterpreted in silk/wool, an apron is made in silk organza with transparent PVC applique text, and a half-blazer is padded to add a layer of comfort and stability, all belted together with apron ties.
Emily Omesi’s work pulls from her brother’s scientific research on infectious diseases, juxtaposing his medical slide images with Victorian children’s clothing to create a modern, size-inclusive collection. Double-panel jackets, dresses, and tops are ruched and can be fit-adjusted with bungee cords that gather the fabric in interesting ways. Hand-embellished “stamens” are attached to dresses, and shoes are dipped in glow-in-the-dark silicone, mimicking the medical imagery.
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