My name is Zachary Fernandez and I am currently a First-year Parsons student with a major in Fashion Design. I have shown an interest in fashion design since I was as young as five years old. I started sewing and creating pieces at the age of seven. It was during that time where I fell in love with construction and creating garments. I later attended Oakland School for the Arts where I was able to further my knowledge of design and construction.
In the past, I have been able to work in the fashion industry on many different levels. I started working in the fashion industry at the age of fifteen when I was a finalist on Lifetime’s first season of “Project Runway Junior”. There, I was able to showcase my work on a large scale and learn a lot about the demands of the industry. The following summer, I sought out an internship with Marchesa and was able to learn about being a working professional within the fashion world. While working there, I was living independently in New York and was able to explore and take advantage of the various opportunities the city provided. From there, I was able to intern at various New York Fashion Week Shows as both a design and production intern. I have been able to transfer the lessons I learned from both Project Runway and Marchesa into my daily life as I attempt to also start my own label.
My foundation year at Parsons has taught me a lot about the design process and development. I have been able to learn new techniques and experiment with various media and art forms. The projects assigned to me have allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and expand my capabilities and breadth. The challenges I have faced have allowed me to strengthen my artistic, communication, and time management skills.
Throughout my first two semesters at Parsons, I tended to explore concepts related to perception and identity, the effects of technology, and religious imagery. These concepts surfaced throughout multiple classes including Integrative Studio and Seminar 1 and 2, Time, and in my spring elective, Digital Craft. I found the skills I learned in Digital Craft to be extremely useful. Learning how to laser cut and 3D print, allowed me to create interesting and innovative work.
The work I did in Integrative Seminars 1 and two, greatly impacted my thinking and inspirations for my other projects. The research paper in Seminar 2 directly influenced my final piece in studio and allowed me to create a tightly conceptual piece that questions the importance of the internet in our everyday lives. I truly appreciate when artistic projects are then supported with research and history in order to develop a social commentary through my work. It is what makes my work more exciting and relevant.
First semester, I experimented with using unconventional materials in a wearable fashion design. My Integrative Studio: Fashion Avatar Bridge 3 design used vacuumed formed plastic, embossed vinyl, and approximately 2,000 clear zip ties in order to create a futuristic and texture-rich ensemble. In this collaborative project with Danni Gomez, we wanted to explore the future of fashion and imagine how clothes would be adapted to fit the future climate, government, and society. When touring the exhibit “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” at the Museum of Modern Art, I was fascinated by the stark contrast between the old and new. Many of the clothing items were modern and relevant such as the basic blue jeans or the simple white crew neck t-shirt. They were then adapted into a future “prototype” that shed light on how artists view the future. We took inspiration from the fur coat, down jacket, tracksuit, trench coat prototypes and bodysuits. We then adapted those elements into our final look.
This two-week project required a lot of planning and adapting in order to correctly execute our idea. We started with sketches and fabric manipulations in our sketchbooks to try and visualize our ideas and merge our designs. We then spent countless hours securing zip ties onto the outfit and making molds to create the plastic bodice. In the end, I think this project accurately depicted our concept, and we created an interesting and dynamic piece.
Second semester, I focused a lot on the importance and impact of the internet in our present culture and explored these concepts in Seminar, Studio, and Digital Craft. For my studio final, I developed a conceptual piece that looked at the relationship between the internet and religion. This process has helped me truly understand who I want to be as a designer. I think the final product perfectly represents the dichotomies in my design style. I liked that I played with light and heavy, sheer and opaque, and excessiveness and minimalism all in these two looks. Moving forward, I want to try and refine my design style and continue to do things that challenge and excite me.