Replicant is a fashion collection inspired by Science Fiction and Film Noir movie genres. The film noir genre originated in the early 1940s so for this collection I used that as the jumping off point for many of the silhouettes. The most notable features of the 40s era garments that stood out to me were the exaggerated shoulders. I researched vintage patterns and found ways to incorporate these large shoulders into new garments while still having them look tailored.
While the 1940s may have been the jumping off point for this collection, that was only half the equation. The next part that I looked to for inspiration was the world of science fiction. Specifically films like Blade Runner, The Terminator, and other 80s Science Fiction films. In The Terminator, Director James Cameron coined the term "Tech Noir" to describe this genre of movies which combined Science Fiction and Film Noir. The 80s had a resurgence of 40s era fashion which is why the films from this decade were able to create such a perfect marriage between film noir and science fiction. I heavily researched the costuming in this films to glean some insight into how they were designed.
I began my design process by pushing the boundaries of silhouette while keeping the garments wearable. I didn't want to go avant-garde with these designs. I would start with a design almost straight out of the 40s and would try to imagine it in different forms. For example a women's work suit from the 1940s; how would I translate a garment like that into something new? What if I were to make it into a jumpsuit? And I did exactly that. I kept the shape of the work suit but designed it to be a singular piece. After doing the preliminary sketches there was still too much bulk so I slimmed down the silhouette, still keeping the large, exaggerated shoulders. Then came fabrication. I decided to go with a beautiful pinstripe wool suiting, a popular choice for men's suits however I felt like using it for this look would create something truly unique. And it did just that. I ended up with a modern-looking tailored jumpsuit which still clearly takes it's inspiration from the 1940s. In this way I was able to work through the entire collection to perfectly combine these two different ideas into a cohesive collection.
This entire collection went through two complete rounds of design before coming out as a finished collection. The first round had a much broader colour pallet including lots of blue and brown. After the second round of designs many of the first looks were retired and the collection began again, this time using only shades of grey, black, and very small accents of pastel blue. This new colour pallet added a level of cohesion to the collection which had been lacking before. The newest version of the collection was shown in New York and photographed for a full editorial shoot in black and white, making sure to stay true to the film noir inspirations of the collection and the sharp contrasts between dark and light.
As the finishing touch for the collection, the accessories helped embody the science fiction genre. Many of the models wore 3d-printed curved visors to help give a dramatic and futuristic look. The models also worse LED earrings which lit up in light pastel blue to match the accent colours in many of the garments.
Originally designed as a part of my Replicant collection, this dress evolved into a standalone piece as the collection developed. The Replicant collection was a combination of Science Fiction and Film Noir and this dress was designed to try to fit into that theme. Instead of using conventional fabrics, I took a simple and classic silhouette and used a fibre optic fabric as the material. This marriage of new fabric technology with a classic style fit with the original theme of the collection. However as the colour pallet for the collection shifted to shades of grey, this bright blue dress no longer fit with the collection. So instead it became it's own standalone piece.
The fabric for this dress was custom ordered from France because of it's special features. This special fabric has a series of thin fibre optic cables running the entire length of it. Attached to the end of each panel of the fabric is a small light which shines into the fibre optic cables which run throughout the fabric. It took four panels of the custom fabric to make this dress and involved a lot of tiny pleating and careful sewing. Because of the nature of the fibre-optics, if they get cut the light can no longer pass through them. This meant that the entire garment itself had to be pleated and could not have any cuts along the fibre optic fabric itself.
Once the dress had been fully finished, complete with light-up panels, it was time to shoot. Because of the impressive look of the fabric, I wanted to find a location that was equally as impressive. The location I decided on was the Ice Castle in Lincoln, NH. At night the giant ice structure is lit up in various colours including the same shade of blue as the fibre optics. With carefully-timed shots we were able to capture the dress in front of the illuminated ice for a truly stunning series of photos of this dress. Special thanks to my amazing model and photographer who endured -10 degree weather to get these amazing photos.
Photos - Olivia Slaughter
Model - Jasmine Hunter
After this photoshoot the dress went on to show in a number of Boston fashion shows including Noir Fashion Week and RAWBoston. The dress has since been retired and is currently being repurposed into a brand-new design.
A punk collection for the modern era. This was the first collection I designed after graduating college and started me on my current design path. The inspiration for this collection comes from the Punk Subculture. Punk originated in the 1980s however as the decades have passed, the Punk subculture has evolved and split into different branches. Instead of directly copying the punk looks from the 80s, I wanted to look forward to what the future of punk is going to be. At it's core, punk is a counterculture, meaning it's about rebelling against the parts of society that are unjust and unfair. So looking at society today what does that mean? What parts of society are the ones that people are rebelling against? As I looked for the answer to these questions and researched the history of different punk movements I realised exactly what the inspiration for this collection should be; Feminism. The feminist punk movement was by no means a new one, however the shape of it was beginning to change. And for this collection I wanted to design clothes that would be the perfect attire for the next chapter of Punk.
The Bubblegum Punk collection takes inspiration from the DIY nature of many punk fashions; repurposing vintage and used clothes, making custom patches, painting phrases onto the outfits. However, instead of using the typical black or red colours seen in many classic punk outfits I used bright pastel and white. There's no reason you can't be feminine and punk.
The collection was first shown as a part of the RAW Boston showcase in July of 2014 and while I may have spent two months researching and designing, the entirety of the collection came together in less than a week. At the time, I had moved out of my parent's house and was crashing in a friend's dorm room back up at school. I had filled my car with bolts of fabric, dye, spikes, and whatever else I thought I would need to finish this collection. I made use of my old school's sewing lab which was luckily vacant for the summer and got started on my collection. The next couple of days I spent hours in the sewing labs patterning, dyeing fabric, painting punk patches, adding spikes, and sewing garments together. It took a lot of work but in 5 days the full 6-piece collection had come together. Complete with hand-dyed shoes and custom-made accessories.
Two years after showing the collection for the first time, I decided it was time to revisit the collection. The feminist message behind the collection seemed more relevant than ever and with the election looming on the horizon, it felt like the right time for Bubblegum Punk to be revived. I decided to go back to the collection and add or rework pretty much every piece in the collection, letting it evolve as I did. The more I grew as a designer and as a person, the more ideas I had for how to improve this collection. The collection premiered for the second time at the RAW Boston showcase in February of 2016.
As time passes, the message behind this collection becomes more and more relevant. And as this new feminist Punk movement continues to grow I couldn't be happier about it. In the end that's what the Bubblegum Punk collection is all about.
The MOD collection takes it's inspiration directly from the British Mod Subculture of the 1960s. The mod fashions were fun, utilising bold, solid colours in many of their garments. The bold prints gave impact to each garment making them truly memorable. This attitude was one I wanted to capture with this newest collection. I took the ideas of bold, solid colours and applied those designs to more modern silhouettes. While many of the silhouettes are more modern, I did also try to add a touch of the 60s style back into them to really help tie in the 60s mod inspiration of the collection. Pulling in little details like the hats worn, fun geometric sunglasses, and even the types of shoes worn. Each garment in this collection comes complete with a custom hat to match, also designed and made by me.
Much like the garments in this collection, the hats also take their inspiration from the 60s mod looks. Fedoras in fun colours, bowler hats, applejacks, even some more avant-garde styles. These hats are designed to be modern and wearable while also perfectly pairing to the garments in the collection.
I also wanted to really push the boundaries of my pattern-making abilities for this collection. The first look was a black and white jumpsuit. At first glance the garment may appear to be made from a stripe-pattern fabric however each black and white stripe is a different pattern piece. The fabric was seamed together and the garment itself contained close to a hundred unique pattern pieces. The other garments in this collection also follow the same convention, using seams and creative pattern-making to give the impression of a printed fabric while in reality not a single print has been used. Only bold, solid colour fabrics which have been seamed together to create the illusion of a print. Just like in this first striped jumpsuit.