look to fashion’s future with parsons’ mfa class of 2016
Parsons students kicking off the spring/summer 17 show season is symptomatic of the current mood in fashion, where fresh characters are increasingly given a voice and opportunity to showcase their potential. Ahead of today’s show, we speak to the 1...
Amidst all of the fierce competition and the creative industry's austerity, what is it that continues to appeal to you? What excites you?
Jessica Shroyer: This industry is competitive and oversaturated. As a result, the voices that make it through the general fog belong to those supremely talented hustlers who have the gumption to yell. The result is thoughtful design that lives and breathes within society. We didn't like the way fashion treated its workers, so we decided to change it. We don't like the way fashion treated the planet, and we're changing it. This is the most exciting time to be in fashion, because the people who make it through aren't fucking around. We're modern thinkers, artists, and humans and we demand more from our industry. There's more that we can do, and more that we will do.
Mook Attakanwong: Fashion has so many possibilities, it's hard work but the end product is always tangible. That, to me, is both exciting and rewarding: to be able to share your imagination is a powerful thing.
Bjorg Skarp: I think the industry is changing a lot at the moment. There is more focus on sustainability and craftsmanship, for example. I feel like people are trying out different ways of being fashion designers, and that is a very interesting thing to be a part of.
Xue Gao: I can just go crazy when people wear my designs.
Alex Huang: Fashion gives me a thrill similar to science at the cutting edge. It is about exploring human limits, it's about opening a new map for the adventure, and it's about knowing that there is the 'unknown' in the direction we are taking.
Anna-Marie Gruber: Collaborations. It's about young designers learning from those who have been involved in the industry for a much longer time and passing on their knowledge. I had the support of several knitwear companies while working on this collection. About half the collection I knitted myself, but there were pieces that were limited to what a manual knitting machine could do. For that, I am grateful that these other companies took me seriously and we worked together to use technologies to solve my design problems.
Qinghe Cao: That old brands evolve, and that young brands which excite me unfold.
Maria Jahnkoy: Craftsmanship and originality.
Xiang Gao: What really excites me is that I want to face my costumer. You put yourself, energy and time into something. When people like it and are willing to pay money for it, that kind of exchange -- behind money -- is special.
Gahee Lim: I love to learn beyond the surface of fashion. Working behind the scenes, like working backstage at a fashion show, or on an editorial photoshoot always excites me. I sometimes just watch people interact with each other. Also, reading about the inspiration of a collection or interviews on industry people's personal life inspires me.
Zishan Li: I want to be a print/textile designer. And there are so many great brands I want to work for! I would love to work with a group of very interesting and creative people to create new and exciting things.
Ran Bi: I feel that creating in itself is already exciting enough for me.
What do you hope to see more (or less) of within the industry for young and emerging talent?
Mook Attakanwong: A lot of what makes fashion what it is, is the industry's crave for 'newness'. But I feel that for a lot of young talents, and certainly for me, it's all about revisiting traditional techniques and celebrating craftsmanship -- not mass-production. I would like to see the industry embracing the slowness of fashion a little more and rejecting the popular idea that a designer must show every season to stay relevant.
Jessica Shroyer: I think that as fashion moves forward it becomes more inclusive, and the 'idea pool' becomes more dense, with a rich, thoughtful result. Fashion is no longer reserved for a privileged few, and with diversity comes industry growth.
Bjorg Skarp: New York fashion has a reputation of being quite commercial, but that has been changing with smaller, younger brands. I would love to see that continue.
Alex Huang: Responsible fashion made by responsible people.
Anna-Marie Gruber: I would like to see more room for young and emerging designers to grow as I believe there is a larger interest in creativity and innovation in New York, as opposed to trends and mass consumption.
Qinghe Cao: I hope to see more creativity, and more fun, more styles.
Xiang Gao: I see designers jump from one brand to another one, which gives the impression that the industry just switches people around. People have always told me: "if you want a job, having connections is much more important than your resume and portfolio." I hope that the industry will be more open to young designers through their hard work.
Gahee Lim: I hope to see more talents who treat fashion as a medium. It's fascinating to me when fashion is used in collaboration with fine art, product design, music, and technology. I would also love to see more smart, new conceptions that will challenge current system.
Text Alysha Lee / 1 Granary