Even at age 12, Jessica Griffis knew that she wanted to be different. When her friend showed up to school with the same purse, Jessica sewed buttons, fringe, and trim all over hers to set it apart.
“I got a lot of compliments on that purse,” Jessica said. “I think that’s what started my interest in fashion.”
Now in her senior year at CCAD, Jessica is turning to a minimalistic style—far from her 12-year-old obsession with buttons and fringe—to set herself apart.
“I try to be timeless and wear clothes that will stand out in a way that’s sophisticated,” Jessica said.
That same minimal style is reflected in her senior collection—a futuristic line of garments loosely inspired by the movie π by Darren Aronofsky. The director’s first foray into the world of feature films is a high-contrast film noir that explores the extreme infiltration of mathematics and technology into everyday life.
The movie’s dark and obscure themes prompted Jessica to consider the future of fashion.
“It’s 2014 so everything has been done,” Jessica said. “One of the few ways to reinvent fashion is to allow technology to become part of it in a practical sense.”
To represent the integration of technology, Jessica incorporated utilitarian fabrics like neoprene, a waterproof performance fabric, and speaker cloth into all of her garments.
One of her runway looks, a slim-fitting neoprene dress paired with a neoprene and gold lamé jacket, embodies Jessica’s affinity for timeless silhouettes and unexpected details.
“I was really inspired to use fabrics that are going to change the way people see fashion,” she said. “The pieces I made are slightly avant-garde because they’re for the runway, but you could definitely mix and match them with some everyday pieces.”
Though unconventional fabrics are central to her collection, Jessica said that they posed construction challenges.
“Every step of the construction process was a learning experience because they are such different fabrics to work with,” Jessica said. “The speaker cloth has a lot of static electricity, there’s no stretch to it, and it frayed like crazy. But the way it draped on the body was beautiful so I was fine with it.”
Jessica was also inspired by the proportions of the human body. Classic silhouettes are manipulated throughout her collection in ways that are slightly unnatural, yet still complement the natural shape of the body.
Her second runway look features slim-fitting neoprene pants and a neoprene top with gold lamé shoulders that stand away from the body.
“I took the ideas of form, and function to an extreme. The shoulders are a little over the top,” Jessica admitted, “but it’s for the runway. You have to go big or go home.”
Pick up your tickets today to get a taste of Jessica’s Aronofsky-inspired collection at the runway show on May 9.
Jessica is from Sidney, OH, and attended Sidney High School.
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.