Krista Guanlao Sison: Executing a Vision

April 5th, 2013 by Fashion Blogger
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Krista Guanlao Sison found inspiration for her collection in Spain. Photo by Kristen M. Foley

Krista Guanlao Sison found inspiration for her collection in Spain. Photo by Kristen M. Foley

By Kristen M. Foley

Inspiration comes in many forms. It can be a cloud on a sunny day, a random splash of color from a garden of flowers, a sharp angle on a sign, or even from a church. For Krista Guanlao Sison, her inspiration came to her while traveling in Spain and visiting La Sagrada Familia.

“I’m Catholic so every time I go into a new church my mom tells me I should make a wish. So I made a wish when I went in there and it was a really amazing place,” remembers Krista. “I don’t think I ever felt that way before. My breath was taken away. I wanted to recreate that feeling in my collection.”

Although her designs are not exact replications of the space that touched her so deeply, it did encourage her to think beyond customary fashion materials and produce something entirely unique. She hopes that those who experience her work understand the message she was trying to convey with the pieces.

“Even though it doesn’t reflect the same kind of coloration or structure, I think it shows the feeling of what a home is or what a sanctuary is to a person,” said Krista. “I think everybody goes through that search of who they are, where they belong, who they belong to, and if they fit in anywhere. I wanted to show that the body is a person’s home. Only in your own self can you truly feel at home.”

A detail of one of the garments created by Krista.

A detail of one of the garments created by Krista.

She originally tried to construct her architectural inspired designs out of fabric; however, she quickly learned it wasn’t reflecting her original vision. After expressing her frustration, her teacher simply asked, “Why do you have to use fabric?” That question prompted Krista to start over, this time with materials that better suited her vision.

“I used weird materials that a lot of the designers probably wouldn’t use, including acrylic, Plexiglas, and a lot of vinyl, which was really hard,” said Krista. “I’d never worked with leather and vinyl is similar, but I had worked with Plexiglas before.”

Krista wanted to recreate, in her collection, the feeling she experienced visiting La Sagrada Familia. Photo by Kristen M. Foley

Krista wanted to recreate, in her collection, the feeling she experienced visiting La Sagrada Familia. Photo by Kristen M. Foley

For one of her pieces she started the process by creating two isosceles triangles from foam core, traced it out on Plexiglas, drilled holes in it, and then connected it with fishing wire. In the end, Krista thinks it took her 80 hours to complete.

“It was built piece by piece,” said Krista. “I couldn’t really plan out the whole thing because it had to fit around the whole form. I had to hang it on the form and then add another piece and then another and then another. When it went down the runway for the jury I was crying because that’s the first time it actually worked on the body.”

As commencement draws near, Krista is looking to graduate school, and has applied to the internationally renowned Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London. After spending last summer there for a three-week program she knew she wanted to return to continue her studies in sculptural fashion.

You’ll soon have a chance to see Krista’s collection, “Sanctuarium,” at CCAD’s 2013 Senior Fashion Show on May 10. Make sure you get your tickets today.

Check out Krista’s website: www.kristaguanlao.com

Krista Guanlao Sison is a native of Parma Heights, OH, and a graduate of Valley Forge High School.

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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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