“I chose Issey Miyake because of his concept of using origami in his garments,” noted Stevie Smith when asked which Masters of Design inspired her collection. “This would give me the chance to further explore constructing garments that are not ready-to-wear.”
A quick look at the fall 2011 Issey Miyake collection quickly underscores Stevie’s statement.
Issey Miyake has long been known for creating feminine pieces that incorporate architectural and geometrical elements. He is also known for his Pleats Please line, which he launched after developing a revolutionary technique for creating pleats. His process not only made pleating easier for manufacturers to produce but also made the final garment easier for the wearer to care for—thus making pleating more friendly to the ready-to-wear market.
It is Issey Miyake’s more high-end conceptual work that is reflected in Stevie’s collection. She incorporates geometric elements that nod to Miyake, but she has brought in a color pallet that she feels adds a sense of strength to her looks. She wants the woman wearing her designs to feel powerful even in a feminine fitted skirt.
While developing her collection, Stevie first had to figure out how to incorporate the Masters of Design theme without losing her voice.
“It broadened my horizons, and I had to step out of my comfort zone,” she said.
Stevie started with the body. Wanting to incorporate geometrical elements, she needed to consider where those elements would work on the body so as to still allow for an elegant fit and feel.
Once she established the points of the body where her more sculptural elements would be integrated, she could start building a pattern and plan for construction.
Stevie’s design approach requires careful attention to construction details, which is an aspect of design that she finds particularly satisfying.
“I like patternmaking because it’s like a puzzle and you have to piece it together,” she explains. “Without double checking and rechecking the pieces it will not work. It’s something I enjoy.”
Like her peers, Stevie also found that even after double checking, sometimes the best way to learn is to fail.
“The first fabric I chose stretched more than I expected it to,” she shared. “I had to learn to interface and stabilize it. I then redid the piece, using the interface technique to get it to work the way I wanted.”
Using the interfacing and some heavy-weight tightly woven fabrics helped Stevie achieve the geometric shapes she was going for, and pops of deep color in the lining provide additional depth.
These elements are prevalent in Stevie’s runway looks, which she is particularly proud of because they are, as she intended, more couture than ready-to-wear.
These looks will join 48 others on the catwalk May 13, at CCAD’s Fashion Show event. As of this posting there were still a few tickets left at www.ccad.edu/fashion.
The CCAD Fashion Show is an annual fundraising event that showcases the talent of graduating Columbus College of Art & Design Fashion Design Seniors. This popular event sells out every year and this blog is a portal through which to view the behind-the-scenes goings on.