Photos courtesy of Kaiwen Shi.

Meet the Parsons MFA students graduating into a fashion industry in flux

In this documentary, the class of 2020 share their graduate collections and their hopes for a more inclusive and sustainable future.

by Nicole DeMarco
27 October 2020, 5:13pm

Photos courtesy of Kaiwen Shi.

Earlier this year, MFA students at Parsons were hard at work on their graduate collections in New York. A normal week of classes was all the more intense as they spent late nights in the studio readying their garments, taking turns napping and then waking each other up to return to their sewing machines. Then, in March, the pandemic hit. Many students were unsure how they’d even finish their collections with school shutdowns and social distancing measures in place, certain that they’d miss out on their chance to present in the annual graduate showcase.

As time wore on, however, fashion students around the world found creative ways to present their collections digitally, staging online shows and collaging lookbooks for friends to obsess over on social media. With the whole industry flipped upside down and the fashion calendar called into question, it’s almost as if the playing field has been evened out and the barrier to entry diminished.

“When all of a sudden everything kind of collapsed and you felt like you have nothing, it’s kind of another way to say, ‘Oh, now you have everything’… because everything is possible,” says Chi Yu Han, in a short documentary highlighting the work of the Parsons MFA class of 2020.

In the film, created in collaboration with 1 Granary and directed by Adinah Dancyger, the students share the inspirations behind their graduate collections, explore their relationship with fashion and discuss their hopes for a more inclusive and sustainable industry moving forward. Watch the full video and meet some of fashion’s inspiring young minds below.

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