Written by Melissa Landeros
Photos by Tony Santos
Thick, coarse, dirty, unbearable to get around—SF State design students could not help but complain about having to work with such a difficult material for clothing. The royal purple and gold SF State banners that span all around campus were taken down from their poles and placed in the hands of the design students from the Apparel Design and Merchandising department (ADM). The students were given a task that would challenge their design skills. They were to create garments for Runway 2014: Provoke, an annual fashion show that the Fashion Network Association, a student-run organization, helps produce.
“We saw the material and were like what are we going to do with this,” says Soraya Davallou a design student. Aside from the material being an unknown fiber there were restrictions that accompanied the design process. The concept of “Universal Design” was set in place, meaning the construction of the garments needed to be unisex, and wearable for any shape or size.
The students’ work-space was comprised of long tables, sewing machines, and dress forms. The student designers scrambled to pin, sew, steam, and put together their purple and gold garments.
Nevertheless, the ADM students sought out this challenge in full force. Some manipulated the banners into becoming a softer material to work with by ironing it. Others dealt with broken sewing machine needles as well as edges that were rough and left unfinished.
“I really wanted the SF State logo to stand out in order to show school pride,” says Helen Nguyen. The designer and her partner did not like the restrictions of the designs but overcame them by adding adjustable straps to the garment in order to fit it in the one-size-fits-all spectrum.
While some students honed in on school pride, others focused on creating garments that would be considered unisex. Panphila Tan and her partner did just that by constructing a vest and a quilt that was adjustable with Velcro.
After struggling with such difficult material the design students executed seven garments that range from a modern kimono, a zoot suit and, a motorcycle inspired jacket and pant. From the workroom to the runway, the looks will be showcased at the San Francisco Design Center May 1st.