Gallery 2022 – Gabriel Melendez

Sportswear

Coraje

My generation is looking for a safe place to embrace the beauty of being alive. I drew a lot of inspiration from my younger self recognizing the complexities of growing up in an always-changing world. The pieces in this collection are transitional, genderless, and empowering. They create a perfect space for transformation and growth, like an insect’s cocoon.

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Bibi is in front of a colorful brick wall with her arms crossed behind her head. She is wearing black ribbed sleeves covering her elbow and disappearing under her overflowing hair. Her stance is like a Roman goddess. As the dress allows the body to move, her shoulders and sides get exposed. The dress contours her body and enables it to merge seamlessly with the volume of ballooned wool pants. They are tied around her waist effortlessly with a dark string. Layers of contrasting fabric get exposed with the movement as they work in harmony to create optical illusions.

Expandable bomber jacket, screen-printed modular looped dress, and balloon pants

Bibi is leaning back on a brick wall covered in graffiti. Her voluminous wool balloon pants are exposed, and her dress drapes to the ground behind it like a train, complementing the structure. We see more of the contrasting fabrics, like the aqua-green quilted foam, alpaca fur, and cashmere wool. The modularity and movement of the dress contours and complements the body and enhances the volume.

100% deadstock fabrics from local sources, recognizing the importance of circular fashion

We see Bibi with her back turned to the lens in this composition. With the jacket fully open and the silhouette of the balloon pants exposed, the outfit makes a shape reminiscent of an oversized hourglass. Several large screen-printed images are visible on the back of her dress, one with a large number 16. The layering of materials in the back is reminiscent of insect wings folded under a hard, protective cover.

Hand screen-printed neoprene, aquaigreen quilted fabric, cashmere-wool, vinyl, rib-knit, alpaca

Steph is standing in a school hallway lined with blue lockers. There is a bright smile on her face. With the cocoon closed up around her, we can appreciate the play of organic, waving shapes created by the modularity and volume of the pieces.

Jacket with harmonica-effect fully closed, train from dress, overhanging sleeves, exposed pants

Mighty Gsoo is standing in front of a mirror, looking confidently into the camera. The tails of the modular dress are looped back and over his shoulders. We see more detail, like the long side seam of the front and back lined with silver loops where pins can easily attach. There are a few visible on the shoulder strap. Rib-knit elastic sleeves cover most of G's arms and palms, and his hands rest on his abdomen, making a rhombus shape. Corajo, the fearless cat, is screen printed on his chest.

The cocoon open: modular looped dress detail, rib-knit sleeves, screen-printed coraje cat

Meet the Designer

Gabriel Melendez

Barranquitas, Puerto Rico

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Credits:

Photographer: Gabriel Melendez Cintron
Model: Bibi UV, Mighty Gsoo, Steph Flores

FIT, State University of New York

©2022 Fashion Institute of Technology