Before this class I never really thought about subject positions and how they affected how I lived my life and dressed. How the choices I have made throughout my life are essentially based off of these factors. Susan Kaiser’s ideas about subject positions and intersectionality led me to realize that everything is connected and that they all build off of each other. Assignments such as the dress practice log and the intersectionality map helped me realize my personal subject positions. Discovering the different factors that play into why certain choices are made. And also discovered what actually causes the shift in my dress practices when moving from Los Angeles to New York. In the same way, discussing the idea of time really made an impact on how I thought about the choices that I was making. Realizing the different paces of every events in life. After considering what Susan Kaiser says,”To me, the question,”What grade was that?” cannot be separated from the question,”Where was I?”(179). I made me think think about time in a personal way and how personal timelines of the events in our lives shape our dress practices. Whether due to age or life events I never really considered these ideas until taking this class. My whole outlook on fashion has shifted in a way because I didn’t realize how many external factors cause everything to be a certain way. How each idea builds off of each other and how fashion is basically a snap shot of a person in a time that is affected by certain factors. After learning about all these different topics I have discovered that fashion isn’t just what people wear but why people wear what they wear.

Susan Kaiser, “Fashion and Cultural Studies”, Bloomsbury (2012), 179

Black Fashion Designers FIT Exhibit

Black Fashion Designers FIT Exhibit: Virgil Abloh’s Off White

When visiting the Black Fashion Designers exhibit at FIT, I was drawn to this piece from Virgil Abloh’s brand Off White. Abloh named his brand Off White because he “did not want to identify his customer as either black or white”. The garment is a dusty rose ensemble with rope detailing. The museum plaque for this piece quotes Abloh who says,”Streetwear is seen as cheap…my goal is to add an intellectual layer to it and make it credible.” I think this is a relevant collection to display at this exhibit because it addresses the stereotypes of race as well as street fashion being perceived as cheap. In the lecture Elizabeth Way,the guest speaker and curator of the exhibit, talked about a designer who questioned if his collection was being described as street or if he was. I think that the same idea is brought up in this garment and also in Abloh’s brand in general where he struggles on how to identify pieces of the collection because of certain stereotypes. Abloh makes an impact in the fashion industry by trying to change our views and opinions about what we consider to be street fashion by creating a brand that floats between runway and street style. He makes powerful metaphors in his garments such as using the ropes in the jacket and the boots which are supposed to represent “climbing the corporate ladder.” His subtle challenging of the industry’s views about race and fashion in general have impacted how the industry saw streetwear.

Virgil Abloh,”Off-White” Ensemble, Italy (Fall 2015)



While doing the dress practice log I realized that I wear the same combination of jeans and a tee shirt practically everyday. The only variation being my shoes, outerwear and accessories. Otherwise I tend to wear pajamas because I am staying home to do work. My outfits are simple and straightforward. I tend to dress for comfort, more than anything, so that my body can feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible throughout the day. Dressing more to prepare for the long days than to express my identity. I dress simply so that I can focus on my work because if I don’t I find it easier to get distracted. I realized I only consider what I should wear when I have a special place to be or people to meet. For these situations I also consider other people’s opinions more and ask for advice on possible outfits or garments that I am choosing between.

Because I realized that I practically wear the same outfit everyday, I decided to take a second look into my closet and ask myself why I don’t wear the rest of the clothes in my closet. Asking myself if I bought these clothes for myself (who I currently am) or if I bought them for a new version of myself that I wanted myself to become. I then questioned why I haven’t become the person I purchased the clothes for. I also considered why I haven’t worn them. Is it because they are uncomfortable for long days? I have nothing to wear with them? Am I too insecure to wear them? The dress practice log has made me reflect on who I am as a person and really realize why I make the choices I do while getting dressed.



I chose a Balmain Paris advertisement picturing five women all dressed head to toe in black garments. While these garments are sexualized through low cuts, transparent fabric and high heels, the photograph takes on a more masculine feeling. Their expressions are filled with hard stares, pouting and open mouths which are not the soft and kind faces that a woman is stereotypically expressing. Crushed red solo cups, popcorn and trash are scattered in the foreground, the women are gathered around a television playing video games. While women do partake in eating popcorn and playing video games, it is seen as more stereotypically male to have trash on the floor and friends surrounding a television. The model’s posture as well can be seen as more masculine. Instead of the stereotypical “lady like” posture of crossing their legs and sitting up straight. These models have their legs spread open and have a slouched posture, which is a posture typically performed as a man. Even though the garments themselves are more feminine, everything else about the women and the photograph are stereotypically masculine. In the book Fashion and Cultural Studies, Susan Kaiser states,“Gender is actually not just who we are; it is what we do or perform as we participate in an embodied way of cultural discourses.(2)” I think this idea of performing as a certain gender regardless of one’s sex works in a similar way in relationship between the actual garments and the gender the person is performing as. Clothing is not the driving force that defines a person’s gender, instead it is how one performs and acts that truly defines them. This advertisement is a good representation of that because these women in the photograph are dressed in feminine garments but are performing stereotypical masculine.


  1. Sorrenti, Mario, Balmain’s Spring Summer, 2015
  2. Susan Kaiser, Fashion and Cultural Studies, 123

Fashion Studies: Post 1 Aphorisms

Choose any two of Christopher Breward’s aphorisms from his foreword to Fashion StudiesPreview the documentView in a new window, which you read in Week 1. Explain what each of the two aphorisms means (in your own words) and explain why you agree or disagree with them.

“Fashion is intensely personal in the same way that poetry is intensely personal. It is a medium through which personal stories can be told, memories re-lived and futures foretold.”

This aphorism is saying that people use fashion to express themselves individually by telling their personal stories through clothes. I agree that fashion is very intimate. People wear certain things in order to express themselves/ personalities. People may also dress a certain way because of something they experienced in their past for example if a loved one passed away, one may wear their loved one’s jewelry. What we wear can express the person we want others to see us as. Fashion has a very intimate relationship with ones body. Each body is unique and thus garments interact with the body in different ways depending on size, color, texture etc. Even if two people are wearing the exact same outfit they will both appear as individuals because of their individual relationship with the outfit.

“Fashion is gossip. Never underestimate the power of gossip. Semiologists are driven into ecstasies of supposition by its whispers.”

This aphorism explains the huge influence of media and gossip on fashion. Especially because we are living in the age of technology, social media plays a large in our lives.  The use of social media to engage with consumers has created an even closer relationship between the brand and its “followers.” We are surrounded by the influence of media which is curated similar to advertisements promoting not only what we wear but how we act and carry ourselves. Celebrities use social media as a platform to influence us, encouraging us to purchase and wear certain styles. They work with brands to even further promote a certain aesthetic. Even outside of the world of fashion, online platforms dictate the information that we are exposed to. Influencing our way of thinking and acting. As the aphorism states,”never underestimate the power of gossip.”



This image is a Macy’s advertisement from a 1986 issue of Harper’s Bazar. (The designer is Anne Klein) In my research paper I discussed Anne Klein and her goal of empowering women with her clothing. Especially during a time (the 80s) when it started to become more acceptable for women to be in the workforce alongside men, Anne Klein wanted to help these women be taken more seriously. 



Scraps Final Shirt Designers Statement

The objective of the project was to use our scraps of leftover fabric from past projects of the semester to construct a shirt. For my final shirt project I wanted to focus on reuse and sustainability. I was inspired a lot by the Scraps exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum. The way the artists used the scraps to create new textiles using water soluble interfacing and the use of everything from the left over thread to the smallest amount of fabric was incredible. I wanted to keep the design of the shirt very simple with only slight changes and exaggerations of a standard button up shirt. Those changes include one side being  longer than the other and an exaggerated the collar, collar stand, and cuffs. I decided to use my scraps by cutting them into strips and then weaving them together in order to create a new textile. I also sustainably dyed my fabric using onion skins, beets and cranberries. The water I used to make the dye came from my dryer. Usually one would have to empty the excess water and dump it down the drain but instead I used the dryer water in order to conserve water. For this project I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and use a textile with a lot of texture and color. The most challenging part of this project was sewing it together because the woven textile was very difficult to use. Especially sewing the flat felled and french seams it was difficult to fold and sew through the thick fabric and hard to control the ends of the woven pieces. In order to sew it I first cut out my pattern pieces in a light-weight muslin and then sewed them to the woven pieces. Overall it was a difficult experience but I was able to learn a lot through the process.


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Was first inspired by textiles at the Scraps Exhibit at Cooper Hewitt Museum.

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This is the shirt I took apart and made patterns for the shirt and adjusted them to make my design shirt patterns.

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These are the muslins for my design shirt. One side is longer than the other, with three quarter sleeves and an larger collar and collar stand.

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For my fabric I took all my extra scraps from the semester and naturally dyed some of them with beets, onion skins and cranberries. I then wove them all together.

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This is how I constructed the shirt. I sewed the woven piece to a light-weight muslin in the shape of the pattern piece and then cut them out.


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This is the final shirt.




I began by experimenting with different skirts. I used the method above as well as tried to add tiers and ruffles.


I decided upon a long 12 gore skirt.


When I first constructed the skirt I had to adjust the back pattern in order for it to fit properly, creating three new separate patterns to cater to the back.


I cut the front and back bodice into two simple shapes. Then I took the side closest to the side seam and added the layer on top in order to manipulate and emphasize it.

edit-5p1  This is the side after its manipulated.









cut out patterns

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sewed the 12 panels together and manipulated the sides of the bodice.

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Designer’s Statement Project 2

Project two was inspired by body dysmorphia, a disorder that causes one to overanalyze a part of their body that they perceive to be a flaw. I began the design process by experimenting with muslin to create different types of skirts. First, I lengthened the sloper and then used the slash method in order to make it fuller. I also added tiers and ruffles to the bottom. After attempting these methods I decided to construct a 12 gore skirt, a skirt made up of 12 vertical panels that hug close to the body then flare out at the bottom. I chose this because of the curve it would give to the overall body shape and putting emphasis on the bottom of the dress.

To balance out the bottom I wanted to also add weight to the bodice. I exaggerated the side pieces of the bodice, flowing from the front piece to the back. I did this by layering a large piece of fabric on top of the bodies and pulled it and folded it in order to made a large organic form that extended outwards. I wanted to make the exaggerated part as free flowing and natural as possible in order to represent the jumble of thoughts that goes through the mind of someone suffering from body dysmorphia. The front of the bodice has a deep v- neck in order to symbolize how exposed one could feel with an insecurity. The fabric I chose is a neutral light grey so that one could really focus on the exaggerated bodice instead of the color.

One of the most challenging parts of construction included making sure that each panel was carefully and accurately sewn together to ensure that the size of the dress would not become too large or too small. After realizing how tight the skirt fit on the mannequin I went back and re constructed the skirt with a smaller seam allowance. Overall I think that the dress conveys the ideas about body dysmorphia that I wanted to by exaggerating the sides of the bodice and the bottom of the dress.