Julia Ruan Provokes Thought with Abstract Collection

May 3rd, 2012 by Kristen Foley
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When Julia Ruan couldn't find fabric she liked, she made her own.

One of the key things for any design is the fabric. The Fashion Design seniors this year shared stories of how they spent countless hours in fabric houses in New York City, Chicago, and Cleveland looking for just the right color or feel. Others embellished their fabric to make it more of what they wanted. Julia Ruan made her own.

“I am very proud that I made all the fabric by myself and with my own hands, even though it took a long time,” she says. “I bought wool and placed netting behind it so I could roll the wool out.  Then I dyed it and washed it. The whole process took around eight hours for each piece.”

Julia, a native of Hangzhou, China, wanted to create fabric that was very abstract in nature and reflected the inspiration she gained through viewing the works of Chu Teh-Chun, a famous modern artist from China. She paid close attention to the patterns and abstract colors he used throughout his works and tried to mirror that, but still add her own personality to the mix.

“He is best known for his abstract oil-on-canvas works. He paints a country whose existence is found only in his paintings, and is both imaginary and real at the same time,” reflects Julia. “I am inspired by Chu Teh-Chun’s work where light looms up and creates and develops a broken succession of echoes.”

Illustrations from Julia's collection.

Julia admits she took great risks with the designs of her collection. Not only did she create her own fabric and dyed each piece in bold, vibrant colors; but her collection also differs from every other designer’s garments in the Senior Fashion Show. She jokes that it is not pretty or feminine yet each piece certainly makes a statement.

“In my collection, the structure is simple and pure, but the colors and textures are full of rich levels.  It’s not sexy and it doesn’t take the female shape at all because it’s very abstract and the shapes are very stiff,” she says. “But, it combines splashy prints and contrasting colors with geometric shapes to create a fantastic style.”

Julia loves that she is able to challenge, disturb, provoke, and entertain people with her designs and hopes to someday design clothes professionally either back home in China or in the U.S.

Until that time, you will get the chance to see her creations when they take the runway on May 11. The show is just a little more than a week away, buy your tickets today so you can say you saw these incredible designers when their works were first introduced to the fashion world.

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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.

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