Fashion Designer, Fashion Editorial, Style

Recent Fashion Design Graduates

Recent Design Graduates

A selection of recent graduates from design schools across the US. Here we showcase five of the most forward-thinking and young upcoming designers: Donghyuk Dan Kim, Azede Jean-Pierre, Massayuki Ito, Helen Hao Wu and Danielle Frankel.

Recent Design Graduates

2011 MFA Fashion Design graduate, Donghyuk Dan Kim attended Academy of Art University in California. He is originally from Incheon, South Korea and I now lives in Irvine, California.

What was the inspiration behind your design (used in the editorial)?
DDK: I looked to vintage military uniforms and clothing from the American West for inspiration, interpreting the signature elements and fusing them with my own vision. I focused on small design details that are often forgotten, and made them relevant for today. I was also inspired by the shapes of windows — mimicking their patterns in fabric manipulations such as quilting and taping.

What materials do you use?  Why?
DDK: I used leather, melton wool, waxed cotton and wool plaid shirting. All of these fabrics had a somewhat traditional, military feel that helped to bring my inspiration to life in the collection.

Who would you love to work with in the fashion industry?
DDK: If I ever had the chance, I would love to work with Aitor Throup. He is a young men’s wear designer from Argentina and he has such a remarkable point of view — truly original.

Recent Design Graduates

Azede Jean-Pierre is a 2012 Savannah College of Art and Design graduate.

What was the inspiration behind your design (used in the editorial)?
AJP: A goddess fallen from grace, cast out of heaven to live on Earth, is the inspiration of Jean-Pierre’s collection.

What materials do you use? Why?
AJP: The collection uses a contrast of warm and cool tones, chiffon scallops that evoke wing-like movement, flowing hoods and one-strap togas for body conscious drapes and asymmetric hems.

Recent Design Graduates

Massayuki Ito is a 2012 BFA Fashion Design graduate from the Academy of Art University. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ito has been living in San Francisco for the past five years.

What was the inspiration behind your design (used in the editorial)?
MI: I was inspired by the angular shapes found in traditional Japanese menswear.

What materials do you use?  Why?
MI: I used vintage Japanese Kimono fabrics such as silk brocade, silk jacquard, raw silk, and Japanese silk satin that I combined with modern silk fabrics, linen and fabrics made from bamboo. I also embellished the fabrics with embroidery. I chose to use the vintage kimono fabrics because I felt they offered a perfect juxtaposition to the modern silhouettes.

Can you tell me a little about your ‘creative process’?
MI: My creative process started by visiting my heritage, because I wanted to make it very personal. After sourcing my fabrics, I sketched my looks and then developed the garments on the dress form. Working on the dress form in 3-D allowed me to resolve the drapes and folds in my designs, so that each fit the body perfectly.

Who do you envision wearing your garments?  Who is your target consumer?
MI: My graduation collection was very conceptual — it combined structure and draping, resulting in rather dramatic pieces. My target costumer is a woman who appreciates good design. She is less concerned with what is in that season, preferring fashion that will stand the test of time.

Recent Design Graduates

Helen Hao Wu is a 2012 graduate of Rhode Island School of Design. She was born in Shanghai, raised in various parts of South Africa, California, New Jersey and now currently works in New York City.

What was the inspiration behind your design (used in the editorial)?
HHW: Beginning with monochromatic images of landscapes, the inspiration draws upon the physical quality and distinct characteristics of rock formations. At the very surface of the inspiration, by acknowledging the fracture lines and irregular layered breakage, I wanted to reinterpret the inspiration through a build up of the silhouette–a  balance of volume and graphic linear elements. I also kept the overall look monochromatic in order to emphasize the “appearance” of numerous colors on a faceted or fractured ground.  The embroidery mimics the textural surface, but also utilizes the refraction of light as a reference to the various planes that rocks create as a whole.

What materials do you use?  Why?
HHW: Menswear, for me, is about the subtle nuance of details in clothes.  I am always trying to communicate the idea of ‘quality’ through a relationship formed between the wearer and the garment.  From the cashmere suiting and the contrast of the embroidery’s raised surface texture to the specificity of the grey sheen, these minute elements combine to express my idea of  luxury.  Each material is chosen for its inherent qualities or nature, so that the hand of the fabric or yarn resonates with you.

What are you working on now?
HHW: Working, thinking, and creating at Patrik Ervell.

Recent Design Graduates

Originally from Los Angeles, Danielle Frankel is a 2012 Parsons graduate currently living in New York City.

What was the inspiration behind your design (used in the editorial)?
DF: Cacti- the extreme symmetry and asymmetry that is found in the plants. The draping patterns were taken directly from the shapes of the plant.

What materials do you use?  Why?
DF: Pony hair, gazar and silk tulle are some of my favorites. I have always loved pony hair. For this collection, there was a lot of hair-like qualities in the plants that I wanted to emulate. Gazar is amazing to work with because of the sculptural shapes you can achieve when draping with it.  I also love silk tulle because it drapes like water. I wanted all  of these sculptural elements to be mixed with soft lines.

Who do you envision wearing your garments?  Who is your target consumer?
DF: My target consumer is that eclectic girl everyone knows and is always staring at on the street, wishing they had the confidence to wear the clothes she wears. I try to invision Kristen McMenamy wearing my garments. She exudes a spirit I look for in a woman.

Can you tell me a little about your ‘creative process’?
DF: I always start working from the form. I rarely draw an initial idea; I always try to get what I can out of the actual fabrics and materials I use. Laser cutting the pony was something that stemmed from the florals that I found in my research. I wanted to work with small pieces that I could build something from.

Crew credits: photography Walker Brockington, styling and art direction Fernanda Steinmann, hair Josh B, makeup Claudia at Workgroup, postproduction: Juliana Gianni, models: Maxwell Runko @ Major Models, Malwina @ IMG.