Five design students from the class of 2022 on the future of fashion – WWD

Five design students from the class of 2022 on the future of fashion – WWD

Five design students from the class of 2022 on the future of fashion – WWD

Students in the class of 2022 are, in many ways, a product of their larger environment. These young designers completed more than half of their education during the pandemic, while the world around them experienced long-overdue social upheaval and change.

While commercial interests have since allayed some of the fashion industry’s urgency regarding sustainability, social equity and inclusion, these graduate fashion students are steadfast in their beliefs. The themes of nature, sustainability, building cultural bridges and inclusion were key in the collections of five recent graduates interviewed by WWD, which were highlighted by their respective schools for exemplary design work. Many of them have incorporated high-quality knitwear and recycled fabrics into their collections, infusing the designs with a sense of craftsmanship and longevity.

Here, students from five globally recognized US-based fashion design schools offer a window into their thesis collections and design ethics as they look towards a bright future:

SCAD student Beckham Lin.

SCAD student Beckham Lin.

Courtesy

Savannah College of Art and Design

Name: Beckham Lin

Hometown: Changhua City, Taiwan

Age: 22

WWD: Talk a little about the projects and the concept of your thesis.

Beckham Lin: This collection represents when a person leaves the comfort of home, like a bird leaving its nest to fly into the world. Every journey that people experience is moving towards a dream for themselves, just like the bird flying to great new heights. The bird represents my journey to find and build my home and environment where I can be my true authentic self. Much inspiration comes from Eastern and Western cultural perspectives of domestic and family dynamics. My collection explores the idea of [xiào or filial piety] and each look represents the different phases of growth and the embrace of freedom.

WWD: What is important to you as a young stylist? Where do you think the industry can improve?

BL: For me personally, authenticity and the embrace of my individuality are of the utmost importance in making my art and collections stand out. Fashion offers me a platform to communicate my feelings, desires, beliefs and connect with others. Sustainability and inclusivity are incredibly important issues for me and my generation of colleagues. It is inspiring that the fashion industry in general is making sustainability, body positivity, sexual identity and general inclusiveness a priority, and that there is also an openness to embrace new talent, especially one. multicultural stylist like me.

WWD: Anything you would like to say to the designers who inspired you along the way?

BL: Three designers had a profound impact on me as an artist and designer and allowed me to see fashion as a true art form. To Iris Van Herpen, thank you for creating such amazing and inspiring garments. To Alexander McQueen, thank you for your genius and for sharing your art of storytelling through design. To Guo Pei, thank you for always embracing your traditional Chinese culture and influences in your creations.

WWD: Do you have a job planned? If so, where?

BL: Next month, I’m thrilled to be moving to New York City. I have been overwhelmed by the amazing and positive feedback I have received on my final SCAD collection and hope to devote my time to developing my collection and making meaningful connections with the industry.

FIT student Monica Palucci.

FIT student Monica Palucci.

Courtesy

Fashion Technology Institute

Name: Monica Palucci

Hometown: Pound Ridge, New York

Age: 25

WWD: Talk a little about the projects and the concept of your thesis.

Monica Palucci: Entitled “Close to Home”, my thesis work refers to the memories of the nature reserve where I grew up. It is a reflection of my relationship with the natural world. My work aims to explore reciprocity with nature, facilitating outdoor experiences while taking a critical look at outdoor culture. Multifunctionality and low waste practices have been implemented to extend the use of garments. Single-fiber materials, reusable hand-stitched hardware and biodegradable wax treatment were used to ensure circularity. My juxtaposition of found artifacts, traditional techniques, recycled hiking gear, and technical design is a nod to the disconnect between nature and how we sometimes engage with it.

WWD: What is important to you as a young stylist? Where do you think the industry can improve?

MP: After my first year in FIT, I took some time to reflect on what an approach to fashion would be like in a way that felt good. I immersed myself in studies of sustainability, ethics and dimensional inclusion, looking for opportunities and experiences that would help me answer this question.

At this point, it is widely understood that the industry needs to improve its sustainability practices, but it can be convoluted at times. A commitment to long-term solutions is key. I think starting with fashion education is a great way to start.

WWD: Do you have a job planned? If so, where?

MP: I am currently doing an internship for Danielle Elsener at Decode MFG and I am involved in freelance upcycling design.

Parsons student Briah Taubman.

Parsons student Briah Taubman.

Courtesy

Parsons School of Design

Name: Briah Taubman

Hometown: Los Angeles

Age: 22

WWD: Talk a little about the projects and the concept of your thesis.

Briah Taubman: My “Broken / Open” knitwear collection is inspired by a beautiful and suffocating relationship that eventually ended. This collection was born out of my affinity for knitted yarns and bright colors.

The “shirt of anxiety” embodies this collection more. The black and red cropped / spiral top pays homage to the visceral anxiety I felt in deciding whether I should let go or hang on to my relationship for fear of not finding such love again. Just like my shirt, the seams were bursting.

WWD: What is important to you as a young stylist? Where do you think the industry can improve?

BT: It’s a shame for me that the industry has lost nuance as the collective continues to move towards mass production, fast-fashion and the rise of digital clothing.

I fell in love with fashion because, as an outlier, I finally found an art form in which I could express myself. I would like fashion consumers to appreciate the ateliers and the handmade clothing process that takes months of meticulous design and craftsmanship. I would like design houses to publish only two seasons a year, thus giving the designer time to reflect and gather inspiration for their collections without the pressures of impatient consumerism.

WWD: What is your dream job? Anything you would like to say to the designers who inspired you along the way?

BT: My dream job is to have my own brand, Artemis. I want my brand to give a voice to women who feel shy or unable to express themselves with words, just like I did as a child. I want my clothes to highlight the personality of my consumers.

My other dream job would be to work for designers like Glenn Martens, Kiko Kostadinov and Jonathon Anderson; these designers make me fall in love with fashion again with each collection.

WWD: Do you have a job planned? If so, where?

BT: I currently work as a freelance knitwear designer for a knitting consultancy called Studium. At the same time, I am a freelance assistant stylist for independent stylists and magazines, currently W and Mastermind magazine.

Trung Tin Pham, student from Pratt.

Student Pratt Trung-Tin Pham.

Courtesy

Pratt Institute

Name: Trung-Tin Pham

Hometown: San Diego

Age: 21

WWD: Talk a little about the projects and the concept of your thesis:

Trung-Tin Pham: This collection, titled Synonym, is a fictional world that I created from fake IDs. [When non-white communities have] a passed ID, there is a photo showing someone looking similar and, due to micro-aggression and racism, the fake is accepted. Growing up as an Asian American, there are many times when I have experienced the random grouping of Asian guys as an archetype. Synonym is my satirical response to all of this, launching 12 similar-looking models that pose as “Trung-Tin”.

My designs incorporate elements that can be found in different places throughout the collection, creating a clone feel.

WWD: What is important to you as a young stylist? Where do you think the industry can improve?

TT.P .: I think representation is very important for the industry. Growing up Vietnamese American, I have never seen people like me in any form of media, but I never questioned that. Moving out of my city made me understand the importance of representation in all forms of art. The fashion industry needs to improve by humanizing people and work[ing] on diversity until it is reflected at all levels of the sector.

WWD: What is your dream job? Anything you would like to say to the designers who inspired you along the way?

TT.P .: My dream job is to become a knitting programmer working with Stoll or Shima machines. During my undergraduate course, I fell in love with knitting after taking a Shima Seiki course. My collection relied heavily on complex programmed knitting, which I am very proud of. I have always tried to incorporate technology into my profession.

WWD: Do you have a job planned? If so, where?

TT.P .: I don’t have a solid job planned, but I plan to move from New York to California to get closer to all programming jobs on the West Coast.

RISD student Jackie Oh.

RISD student Jackie Oh.

Courtesy

Rhode Island School of Design

Name: Jackie Oh

Hometown: Seattle

Age: 25

WWD: Talk a little about the projects and the concept of your thesis.

Jackie Oh: The overall aesthetic took inspiration from musical artists adorning themselves with gold Jesus pieces studded with diamonds and oversized dresses; as well as extravagant paintings of Christ, his followers and enemies of the past. Bordering kitsch, camp and cathartic, I mixed casual, but exaggerated, garments with a “more is more” mentality.

WWD: What is important to you as a young stylist? Where do you think the industry can improve?

THU: I have never focused only on the garments: initially I graduated in FAV [film, animation, video] before even devoting himself to clothing design. And even then, I spent most of my time in the makeshift jewelry studio I set up among the sewing machines.

WWD: Do you have a job planned? If so, where?

THU: In fact, once September arrives, I will be returning to class as a post-BACC student here in Seattle. I hope to be able to complete all of my scientific prerequisites in the next couple of years and then apply like crazy to dental school. In the meantime, I am working on a second children’s book with my brother, as well as spending some time in a couple of jewelry ateliers in the area.

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