By Anna Muckerman
For most classes, the final exam involves pens and paper, desks and bubble sheets. At the Maryland Institute College of Art, or MICA, there’s one class where the final is rather untraditional.
Since September, one group of students has been working to produce a fashion show called XIX: an Experimental Fashion Event. They were able to see the culmination of all their hard work on April 5, when their designs were proudly paraded in front of a sold-out audience. The designers are mainly senior fiber majors, MICA’s department for fashion and textiles. The consensus seemed to be that this unusual final exam was stressful, yet enjoyable.
Designer Joanna Para compared the process to writing a term paper, saying “it's kind of like you write the paper and you revise it and you’re done. Here the garment is your paper so…you make 7 to 12 of them.”
Her designs are based on her Polish-American heritage and the landscape of her homeland. While her design is intricate, model Nicki Sebert says the bright blue skirt and laced top is “actually very comfortable. I would wear this all the time.”
While Joanna’s designs took a personal approach, her classmate Sarah Meeranje chose to use her pieces as an exploration.
“I'm picturing the Catholic religion in the future. I see them as the savior of mankind but also as the totalitarian military,” she says.
Another designer, Izzy Lawlor, says “I really enjoyed coming up with this work. It’s what I wanted to do rather than just assignments. It’s kind of like I was really able to put my heart into it.”
The designers have used each other’s’ feedback to make their clothing the best it can be.
“We discuss. We have critiques in class then we see each other’s work and it’s definitely an influence on our own work,” says Sarah.
Around the room, it’s clear countless hours have gone into each piece. Another student designer, Heyhee Choi, holds up her yellow outfit, made to resemble a flower and says “it’s been crazy. I can’t believe this is over.”
To see this year’s eclectic designs visit http://www.mica.edu/Browse_Art/XIX_An_Experimental_Fashion_Event_2014.html .