For my final project, I researched 19th century financial district and the mysterious death of Mary Rogers. My objects tell the story of Mary and what was possibly the truth of her ill fate, a forced abortion that killed her. The four objects are a cigar box, a baby’s dress, an abortion tool called “obstetrical forceps”, and a handwritten letter with a New York check from Mary’s fiancé. My objects, which tell the Mary Rogers story, represent the significance of the female gender in-between state within society during the mid-19th century.
Maintaining a healthy balance between work and play is a lifelong challenge that begins from the delicate time of childhood. Discipline, hard work and success are best complimented by play, laughter and friendship. As a Fashion Design major with a focus in childrenswear, I have discovered that my smartest ideas have spawned from my silliest moments. Living in New York City has given me endless opportunities to seek adventure and fun. I take those experiences into the studio at Parsons School of Design and try to create something new and exciting. I design garments that are multi-functional for a child. Rompers that double as sports practice attire, or dresses that double as art smocks are garments that encourage children to succeed in their areas of interest, while providing functionality for their busy schedules. Recently, I took this concept a step further and began to design school attire that incorporates crafty features that allow children to play with their clothes. Tops you can paint on, vests you can weave together, and jackets with patches you can take on and off give a child a fun activity that allows them to express themselves. Using classic silhouettes and clean lines, combined with non-traditional materials and bold color pops, I try to give recognizable staple pieces something new and unique. I don’t research ideas; I let them come to me naturally. I often go to toy stores, playgrounds, and bookstores and let my inner child run free. Usually, I will stumble across something that sparks a new idea. Next, I begin to design. My 2D designs are guided by my 3D discoveries. I can’t draw a garment until I know how and if it will work. To begin, I create tons of swatches to test combinations of fabrics and attachments. Next, I test different crafts and transformative ideas. Once I know what works, I begin to draw my designs in Illustrator. I use simple silhouettes, which serve as a canvas for the more intricate features. The challenge is to create something that is simple, smart, and durable, while still appearing chic and stylish. In a society where kids are pressured with increasingly heavier loads of homework and unrealistic standards for success, it is very difficult for so many to find a healthy balance between work and play, which is crucial. If I could create something that gives them the ability to play and boost their confidence, then I would feel like I made a difference. Going forward, I will continue to build on this concept and expand my knowledge of craft and wearable tech. Working more directly with children during my process will allow me to connect with their ideas and opinions. In order to design for a kid, sometimes I have to think like one. One day, I hope to start my own line and share my vision with the world. I believe everyone should spend their lives smiling, not stressing. As Mary Poppins said, “in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Find the fun and the job’s a game!”