Fashion Design MFA Showcase 2021
FIT’s MFA in Fashion Design is a creative laboratory where technology, talent, and inspiration intersect in one of the world's premier fashion capitals. This year's theme, "Unstoppable," relates to these students who overcame the challenges during the pandemic by creating their collection in the unique experience of working remotely and alone, but unstoppable together.
Annie Kai Ting Chen
Born in 1995, Kai Ting Chen is a recent graduate of FIT. She is a Taiwanese fashion designer, currently living in NYC. Her signature design is all about unexpected shapes and textiles based on skillful pattern making and draping techniques. Kai Ting specializes in experimenting with fabrics and texture, using draping and unusual patterns to break the structure. Before her MFA studies at FIT, she was honored as the finalist of FJU Talents Prize and released her SS19 collection at London Fashion Week. Her concepts are usually inspired by personal experience, and also probe psychological and philosophical issues in contemporary society. Kai Ting aims to initiate reflective thinking and resonate with the audience through her collection.
My collection is inspired by Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book Antifragile and the concept of accepting and not fighting against our vulnerabilities, which will eventually make us stronger. Kai Ting’s grandmother had a serious accident last year. Inspired by her grandmother’s radiographs, Kai Ting created original prints for her collection. She defined the process of facing vulnerability as a four-stage storyline: Birth, Wrecking, Mind-Changing, and Integrity. Her philosophy: live with all the vulnerabilities, they’re part of us, embrace the peaceful coexistence.
Camerin Stoldt, raised in Massachusetts, is a creator based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work straddles lines of wardrobe, anthropology, journalism, and social media. Stoldt’s collections reflect her prioritization of constant observation, reflection, and discussion in all aspects of the creative process, often collaborating with her community, and seeking to expand the ways we see and experience ourselves and each other. Stoldt received an MFA in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she was awarded the Fashion Design Department Medal, and a BFA in Fashion Design from the Pratt Institute in 2016. She is the recipient of an Honorable Mention for the 2020 Geoffrey Beene Design Masters Scholar Award.
Camerin Stoldt's graduate collection explores a contemporary relationship with fashion as a language, examining the process of self-gaze. Stoldt uses observation and interviews from over the past year to inform the collection, reevaluating womenswear today in a fluid and ever evolving space, with pieces that offer a full wardrobe and contextualize questions of gender, livability, and function.
My work presents my self-exploratory journey. It shows the contradiction and struggle to rebel against the shackles of Chinese traditional values, but at the same time be deeply influenced and shaped by traditions.The Chinese aesthetics of implicitness affected how people dressed and suppressed expressions of desire and emotion. I want to take the beauty of such aesthetics, but create work that is rebellious. The collection reflects my desire to break through the restraints while embracing the culture that is deeply rooted inside me.
Chuqiao Ouyang is a Chinese creator based in Shanghai. After graduating with her BA in Statistics from the University of Rochester, Chuqiao decided to pursue free expression and start the journey of exploring herself. She sees the process of art making as a way of self-breakthrough, and was fascinated by the form of clothing due to its intimate relationship with the body. Therefore, she studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and earned her MFA degree in Fashion Design. Her works use clothing as a medium to create installation art on the body, and to reflect her thinking and understanding of herself. All of her work so far is part of her journey of self-exploration.
South Korean-born menswear designer Clara Son launched her New York City based label while she was studying at the Fashion Design BFA program at Parsons, The New School for Design. Afterwards, she completed her Fashion Design MFA program at Fashion Institute of Technology. Clara always seeks designs that have never been seen before. She stays away from fast fashion and combines classic aspects with innovative designs. Inspirations are drawn from personal feelings, nature and art. Clara explores her spontaneous ideas with profound research on any given subject. Aware of the unconventional style behind her works, Clara hopes that the wearer will embrace the meaning behind the collection. The designer considers both sides of men’s masculinity and vulnerability, ultimately providing post-genderism in her elegant and minimal design.
The purpose of my collection is to make it possible for the wearers to present themselves to the world embracing both sides of men’s masculinity and vulnerability. My design philosophy is deeply rooted in postgenderism. It is not about blurring the gender as gender-fluid fashion or androgyny, but it is about focusing on the clothing itself before creating a garment. My designs are based on my personal experiences and visualizing them and by deconstructing the idea of sexism, the prejudice of menswear confinements diminishes and true storytelling can be achieved. What really matters in life is the story behind everything. One of my major goals is to provide more options for men, bringing my own unique perspective into wearable forms.
Macau University of Science and Technology- BA in Journalism and Communication.
Fashion Institute of Technology- MFA in Fashion Design
In the 1927 book Being and Time, Martin Heidegger believes that space is not a “what,” so we should not raise the question “What is space?” Instead philosophers should ask, “How does space exist?” The 3D modeling and model’s position in space reminded me of the panniers of the 18th century. This is emphasized due to the increase in volume. It occupies more space and provides the model with more presence. The spatialized activity of the skirt becomes a performance.
Mancy Hwang is a lonely pink fantasy world. Yearning for solitude, adhering to the persistence of naturalism, abandoning the stereotype of pink. Committed to creating a sanguine pink lifestyle.
My loneliness is a pale pink sanguine world
Loneliness is like centrifugal force
There is a tendency to stay away from the hustle and bustle
With a positive yearning
To find a peaceful world
Mannequin is my axis
Garment is my centrifugal trajectory
Just like Mars orbiting the sun
Its actual orbit deviates from a circular orbit
I am solving the equation with fashion techniques about centrifugal movement
Born on the 11th of March 1992 in Accra, Ghana, Papa Oppong Bediako is a fashion illustrator, fashion designer and a new-age artist. Papa has worked with popular brands including MAC Cosmetics and Studio 189. The young designer has also gained a lot of praise and accolades from media giants such as CNN (African Voices) and Forbes, the latter naming him one of 15 young Africans re-branding the continent. Currently, Papa Oppong lives and works in New York City where he earned his Fashion Design MFA degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology. It is Papa’s goal in life that his work in fashion contributes to the ongoing conversation on talent and the existence of opportunities on the continent of Africa.
The goal for this collection was to create a body of work which illustrates the Ghanaian woman’s life cycle creatively. Through extensive visual research and personal accounts of some of the women in my family, I am on a journey of rediscovery. My process is simple: I am molding preexisting silhouettes and shapes to suit the narrative of modern day freedom and liberation. These pieces, following a systematic order of birth through to death, symbolize a new age of the Ghanaian woman and her resilience to the shackles of society.
Mohan Shen (Phil)
Mohan Shen studied and explored pattern recognition, concept development, printmaking, textile development and materiality at the world-renowned fashion school FIT and graduated from the MFA Fashion Design Program in 2021. Mohan completed a technical knit-based thesis collection and is interested in exploring and playing with new technologies, experimental aesthetics and collaboration with different fields.
“Vision” is a collection that fully represents my aesthetic, design language, technical ability, and the latest fashion technology to engage people’s interest and imagination and help them understand the possibilities for new-generation design. The exploration of technical knitting development brings uniqueness and a spirit of exploration to my work. It leads me to go further in the fashion and technology fields.
This collection is finished on a Shima Seiki SVR 123 SP platform and machinery and involves technical knitting design, textile design and garment construction.
Qian Wu is a Chinese designer who transferred her major from design and engineering into fashion design after graduation with her bachelor’s degree. She wants to make her own statement from her perspective to see women, encouraging women with her athleisure aesthetics design.
The contrast of both feminine and masculine is always part of the inspiration of her design. For her, she thinks SEXINESS and FUNCTIONAL/ PRAGMATIC garments are ALWAYS UNDERESTIMATED! In her collections, she proposed seeing the sparks on combining these two contrasting elements—elegant sexiness and masculine functionality. Then the whole concept was formed: redefining functional garments in a rebellious, sexy, and chic way.
“Movement Creates” is a collaboration with physical therapist Mr. Bernard, taking inspiration from the fascial system and redefining functional garments in a rebellious and sexy way. Since her former major was fashion engineering, Qian pays more attention to functionality and wearability. However, she believes that functional garments such as sportswear are always underestimated from a fashion perspective. Obsessed with the contrasts between masculine functionality and elegant sexiness, Qian is inquisitive to see what will happen if these two things are combined.
Yidan Hu is a fashion designer and textile artist based in New York and Shanghai. Growing up in a Chinese manufacturing family, Yidan has brought her knowledge of metal findings and making to bring a fashion collection to life that is innovative and creative. She is also very inspired by traditional handcrafts. She has a deep respect for the handcrafted and likes to experiment, with the goal of developing new techniques that will create exciting and different results.
My inspiration originated from my personal experince with the manufacturing industry. I was born to a family of construction mechanics, which allowed me to gain access to the factory since I was a child. Hence, I have a very special feeling toward the industry workers and metal machinery. I have always enjoyed the various textures and touch of textiles and the intricate delicacy of machines.
Yue Wu is a Chinese designer who graduated from FIT with a Fashion Design MFA in 2021. She has a unique background in dance and music. Yue is dedicated to visualizing these abstract disciplines and focuses on exploring the philosophy of the body and the senses. She is good at using knotting, pleating, smocking, weaving and other techniques, and prefers to use abstract geometric shapes as the basis of design. Her works are full of fascination with dark, twisted, violent aesthetics and the dystopian world.
Dance is a diversified, creative, and philosophical discipline. This discipline defines space as the main medium of creative interpretation with dance as a way of thinking to perceive the space of the human body. Yue focuses on a dark and futuristic ballet performance to dig deep into every important part of the philosophical theory. She uses knotting, perception, and abstraction methods to make garments that follow the rhythm of the body and interact with the space. Superlight nylon and nylon bonding are used as the main materials for the collection. The purpose of this collection is to create a mutual dialogue with dance and materialize Yue’s philosophy involving dance, body and space.
Yue He is a fashion designer who comes from Chongqing, a beautiful Chinese city. Her work explores the combination of oriental aesthetics with modern fashion. She likes handicrafts, so textile development plays an important role in her work.
My collection is inspired by my mother’s garden where I always played as a child. In my deep childhood memories, my mother always strung blooming flowers together, and hung these flowers on the buttons of my clothes. At that time, I discovered that the flowers could not be kept for a long time. After several hours, they began to decay and the good fragrance disappeared. That was the first time I realized that everything in the world cannot last. Beauty is ephemeral. Flowers make me think about time. My thesis collection is textile-based. I created my own textured fabric to convey the fragile feeling of decaying flowers.
Yushi Lin is a Chinese and New York-based fashion designer. Lin’s approach and her preferred themes mainly come from the exploration of human psychology and her interest in discovering the impact of human subconsciousness on design. Always innovative, her work plays with patterns, big silhouettes, and simple colors to tell a single story. Her design reflects a fascination with the philosophies and traditions of both Eastern and Western cultures. In constant exploration, Lin strives to use design as a medium to turn clothing into a work of art now and in the future. Each piece of clothing tells a story and explores the connection between clothing and human subconsciousness.
"I cannot say that my dreams and reality are entirely separate. They are intertwined. Dreams are a kind of subconscious. They reflect our subconscious cognition of things during the daytime. Scenes of our dreams may also appear in our real lives as a kind of prediction. With the passage of time, this dreamland seems to become a part of my memory. As more time passes, I sometimes can’t tell if something that happened was a dream or something that I actually experienced."