Parsons Paris

Fashion Design BFA Sophore Alex Espina: Inhabited Abstractions

The sophomore Design Studio project “Inhabited abstractions” focuses on the work of Cristobal Balenciaga and Rei Kawakubo, two designers who both radically transformed the female silhouette in the 20th century and reinvented the shape and construction process of fashion. Students explored creative solutions to incorporate movement in an abstract silhouette, build up alternative volumes and rethink the proportions of the garments inhabited by the body. 

When researching the works of Cristobal Balenciaga and Rei Kawakubo, Alex Espina took interest on their construction practices and design principles. From Balenciaga he drew inspiration of construction and pattern making and from Kawakubo he found inspiration in the notion of dichotomies. These ideas were fueled by a chapter in the book series October which explains the classic European horror movie Nosferatu (1922). Alex’s aim was to create a garment altering the silhouette of the body in a way that could be perceived as ugly or monstrous in a way thaw was also beautiful. To create this construction he limited himself to not use any padding, stiffening medium, fusing, or shoulder-pads. In the spirit of Balenciaga he instead focused on the cut and construction to create a volume supporting itself.

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