Looking Back at Sophomore Year
As another academic year comes to an end, it’s always interesting to look back and reflect on the journey, through both the hardships and achievements. Araz Yaghoub Nakhjavan Tapeh, a BFA Fashion Design student wrapping up her sophomore year, was able to ask some of her fellow Fashion Design rising juniors about how their experience of this year has been… and to compare it to their first week of sophomore year. Here’s what the students had to say!
“Sophomore year at Parsons Paris was unlike anything I’d ever expected. After a long, well-spent, yet productive summer back in Bali, Indonesia, I was still brimming with creative energy and excited to take on the new year with a confident stride and spring in my step. Nevertheless, that spring in my step (often attributed to my love and engagement with illustration, painting and other usual forms) was also balanced by the nervousness related to my technical abilities. I’d never done any pattern-making or construction practice since doing a Pattern Making Course at Istituto Moda Burgo back in Jakarta in December 2016. Fortunately, all of the teachers and faculty seemed very open and prepared and realised that many of us weren’t as experienced and were here to learn. They guided us in a way that balanced both our creative endeavours and technical requirements in order to achieve them. In essence, after looking back at the beginning of the year up to now, I truly believe we all have come very far and have found out a little bit more about ourselves, how we work (our strengths and weaknesses) and how to embrace coming out of our comfort zones head-on. We have improved exponentially in both our technical skills and considering them, with our creative outcomes, as a foundation, not a fear.” – Noa McDonald
“The beginning of our sophomore year feels like years ago. The first weeks were super fun, but intense since I had to work fast and understand the pace of the classes. I was also shocked by the number of things we were going to learn. Looking back, we’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time, which is amazing. I also remember being super shy with the people I shared my classes with, but now that we’ve spent so much time together in the studio it feels like a small family.” – Allegra Cortese
“This year we have been through a lot. We started not knowing how to stitch and we ended up making a shirt at home with online classes. It has been challenging but full of opportunities for creative solutions. It has overall been a great year of learning and understanding what fashion design is all about.” – Patricia Sanchez
“The second semester of the sophomore year started with a familiar challenging atmosphere, and it was interesting to start on a new project that was very different from the ones before. However, when COVID-19 hit we had to adapt. There’s a stark contrast between working in the studios compared to the confinement of our homes. At school, there was a lot more space and the tables were larger, making it easier to create patterns and cut fabric on. Working from home, there was a struggle with being unmotivated to do work. However, it was an important learning curve overall as the confinement sort of made me want to do more as I could not physically present my work to the professors. In the end, I got to try a lot of new techniques and push my creativity to a whole new level.” – Chia-Yu (Beryl) Hsu
“Looking back to the first week of sophomore year, it’s clear to see how much has changed. After a year of long studio hours and working with dedicated professors, it’s obvious how we as a class have grown as fashion designers. From improvements in communication to technical skills, this year has provided the foundation that we all need to be successful in the industry.” – Laura Robbins
“I still remember that the first week of my sophomore year I was trying to memorize all the basic steps of using different machines and I could barely stitch a straight line. As we were going through this academic year I learned how to drape, make patterns and so many other skills. All this learning process prepares me to now develop my comfortable way to approach certain tasks instead of following the systematics as I used to.” – Mingrui He
To all Parsons Paris faculty, staff, and students, We did it! We managed to get through a difficult end of the year through hard work and perseverance. With that, I wish you all a restful and well-deserved summer holiday.