Cross-Course Learning Portfolio Reflection

  1. My name is Ilana Nozaique Kratchman. I am a BBA student majoring in Strategic Design and Management with the intention of minoring in Fashion Communications as well. My goals are to integrate the seminar and studio skills I am currently learning at Parsons into the design of business and the business of design. I intend on pursuing a career in the branding industry but am also interested in pursuing the role of creative direction and fashion direction.
  2. The themes I believed to emerge across all of the different courses I took this semester are the roles of women, my attempt at redefining what it means to be a woman, and breaking away from the social standards we are put in. In many of my courses I took a very feminist approach to my projects, one because I am a woman in a world that doesn’t necessarily treat all genders equally and two, I wanted to learn of the evolution of female roles in our society. A lot of projects tend to tie back to my own experiences and explore my life as a first year Franco-American student. I like to touch on what identity means to me and how my multicultural backgrounds are a huge part of how I see and present myself to others. In reflecting upon these themes, I learned that the research process and explanation is just as important as the final work itself;  both elevating the final work and making it stronger as a whole.
  3. Two projects that I found to be key learning experiences were the magazine I did in studio the second semester and the 3D memory artifact project I did in studio first semester.The magazine was a long and tedious process.  I learned a lot about time management, communication, organization, and different ways to put my ideas into action. This semester-long project allowed me to really reflect on what I like and didn’t like in the world of design and fashion. Planning ahead and getting the storyline straight was key in creating the backbone for my magazine’s first issue. I spent a gruesome amount of time organizing and dealing with cancelled shoots, reaching out to people I never would have felt comfortable contacting in the first place, and experimenting with Adobe Suite software as a whole. During these four months, I pushed myself digitally and creatively, practiced using mediums that I had never really used before, and took every opportunity to get work in because of how time restricted this project was. The requirements for this magazine and lectures taught me a lot of the history of fashion and the importance of voicing our opinions in shifting the meaning of fashion. I intend on refining and adding onto this strong portfolio piece of the summer. I learned that things don’t always go as planned, especially when working with people that you can’t necessarily count so it is always important to have a back up plan, adapt, and improvise along the way. In Redact magazine, I explored one’s relationship to femininity and gave my opinion of what it is to be a woman in our day and age. I equally explored the major issues issues of the fashion industry through different editorial concepts.



    The “preserved memories” project I did in studio the first semester was one of the very first works I did at Parsons. With the help of my professor, I was able to successfully, from start to finish, carry out and revive a distant childhood memory that I thought lost through a 3D artifact. For this artifact, I chose to represent Mauritius Island through the different smells that I directly related to that location. As a child, visiting the place where my mother was born was an annual tradition. We would get to see our family and enjoy the island’s famous and flavorful creole cuisine. However, as I gradually stopped visiting Mauritius Island, my memory slowly started to fade but the smells I experienced wouldn’t. I gathered the very familiar scents that I related to this place and linked it to each individual that made up my family: paprika for me, sweet tea for my mother, the cumin for my brother, and the bois cheri tea for my father. I represented the idea of conserving this memory by dipping the cut up pieces of my tablecloth (the artifact from my memory) which had been soaking overnight in these spices and teas, into melted paraffin wax. One thing I chose to focus on from the start and really highlight in this sculpture was its shape. My intention was to show all the scents fusing together, scents that were aligned with my family members, to represent the overpowering smells that were constantly present in markets, streets, and in mauricien homes, and to represent the sense of a strong family connection as this yearly visit would bring us closer together. In this project I really experimented with sculptural elements and 3D creations.


  4. I would love to experiment more with photography over the summer and add in and refine my content for the first issue to make of it a strong portfolio piece and eventually publish it. I was always nervous to pick up a camera and shoot on my own but now I have done it for four semesters I feel that I have prepped and played with the many tools a camera offers and am willing to push these boundaries. I would equally like to improve my editing skills and digital design skills through the Adobe creative suite software. In an age when everything is being digitized, I realized how important it is to perfect these skills as they are applied in everyday design.Each project represents a period of growth and discovery of my aesthetic. A major skill I would like to learn is how to mount and manage my own curated portfolio website. 


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