Help a young fashion designer create her final collection for a MFA from Parsons New School of Design.
Help a young fashion designer create her final collection for an MFA from Parsons New School of Design. It will form part of an exhibition held in New York City in May 2013 and will be presented at Milk Studios at New York Fashion Week in September 2013.
My work is loosely drawn from concepts of scale, process, authenticity, spacial relations, movement, and perception.
My personal philosophy on clothing is that it should enhance, not detract from the wearer. Materials, construction, quality, and the wearer's experience are all very important to me and tend to inform my design process. My aesthetic is clean and pure, with emphasis on simplicity, utility, movement, androgyny, and form. I design for women who are more concerned with style than fashion.
For a short project we were asked to explore a craft and I chose beading. I began thinking of beading architecturally, noticing that there was limitless potential in building through identical materials, like bricks. I found an exaggerated, long bugle bead that allowed me to play with height and depth. In my research, I discovered a Native American off-loom weaving technique, which I applied to these particular beads. This resulted in a modular-like fabric with unusual properties. I decided I wanted to enlarge the scale and began sourcing and experimenting with various sizes of medical tubing.
This experimentation lead me to discover that I could create pattern pieces by weaving the glass beads into "fabric" panels and joining them with tubing cut into the shape of pattern pieces. I will attempt to make entire, wearable garments from glass, which will act as layering pieces within a tailored collection.
Some glass pieces will be layered over striped fabric. The overlapping creates a moiré effect, redolent of interference patterns captured when digitally photographing a computer screen. I will also include a beading technique I developed from bending the tubing into obtuse angles—these beads I will densely apply to leather, creating a three-dimensional pattern.
The rest of the collection reflects the magnifying of scale and modular-like quality of the beads. It will reference elements of traditional tailoring and menswear but with exaggerated proportions. Patterns will be complex but appear simple. Materials will include crisp cotton shirting, viscose, leather, and wool/alpaca suiting and coating. Bonded fabrics will allow for a paper-like crispness and collage-like effect.
I will be completing a collection consisting of a minimum of ten looks, which I will design, pattern, and construct. I will choose how to present it within the exhibition space. The collection will be documented in a photo shoot and I will create a film to support my concept. Your money would go towards the development, realization, and presentation of my project. From materials, fabric, and supplies, to the creation of my portfolio, which will be an essential tool in advancing my career as a designer.
Any help you are able to give is sincerely appreciated. Although your money would be going toward my individual project, you are in a sense supporting a new generation of fashion designers who are searching for more substance and meaning in our relation to clothing.
About the program
The Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program was launched in September 2010. It is the first graduate program offered at Parsons and is the only such program offered in the USA. It offers a unique interdisciplinary approach to fashion design, with an emphasis on making and learning through doing.
A very special thank you to Schott Glass for supplying the glass material and to Atlantic International Technologies Inc. for cutting so many beads.
All rewards are designed and handmade by Abigail Lewis.
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Making glass garments will be as challenging as it sounds. However, the potential result drives me to do whatever I possibly can.
The collection will be completed one way or another, however, the more support I receive, the stronger it will be.
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