Congratulations to the fashion design graduates of Parsons School of Design. I'll be bringing you my favorite looks from the Parsons Fashion Show 2016. I love seeing how fashion and new designers evolve every year at my alma mater. Today I am showcasing the sculpted wearable art of the fashion dreamers (and my three favorites).
Jackson Wiederhoeft opened his show with a fantasy video showcasing his "Dollies". The looks were a mix of fairy-tale, Baroque and club kid glam. He loves to explore and blur gender lines, as long as his muse has the right attitude. While his personal collection is closer to costume design, he already has a job lined up developing collections with Thom Browne.
Annie Li designs through emotions and the transformative power of clothing in the realm of art. Her collection played with style lines, silhouette, unusual ways to cover the body and odd proportions. The quirky collection mixes the whimsy of childhood with adult sophistication in the clothing execution. She had some of the prettiest embellishments with embroidery in her applique flowers. She had already won multiple design awards before her graduation and launched her eyewear collection.
When I first saw the all-ivory knit collection of JZ (aka Sijun Guo), I was impressed at the beautiful silhouettes and mastery of textile. Then, when I saw the back of these dresses I almost fell off my chair. These were walking sculptures of animal heads roaring right off the body. As fantastic as each look was, I can still see many people wearing them. The single neutral color was an apt choice as it made you appreciate the fully dimensional quality of her work. The collection of soft chains and animals had a narrative that expressed her emotion and fine art background in an antidote to the typical "fashion portfolio".
A major difference between when I graduated from Parsons Fashion and now is how savvy designers are in creating their brand. Many of the designers had multi-media presentations and a following on social media already. Many have already been slick about getting press for themselves for their work. This is all before they even graduate. In my time, there was a strong emphasis on designing for "7th avenue". These designers here are following their art and emotion to create their collection.
Stayed tuned for more designers from the Parsons Fashion Show 2016!
All photos by Mariana Leung