The Fashion Design Department’s teaching success is credited to the practice of placing the professional designer alongside the student, offering them a glimpse of the future of fashion design from those who invent it. Each year, the department invites prominent fashion designers and stylists, called Mentors, who provide a design direction to the Junior and Senior class.
The Junior direction is focused on casual and active sportswear in the moderately-priced market, including a sustainable design project, while seniors are given design direction for tailored garments, evening wear, couture, and costumes for the luxury "designer" market. After receiving design direction from Mentors, students engage in a vigorous process to define and clarify the conceptual basis of the design problem with weekly guidance from their faculty.
Mentors offer an assessment of the students’ work via critique of mentored projects during design development, sketch selection, and fittings. By sharing their invaluable professional expertise directly with students, Mentors inspire new ways of thinking about design, share new ideas for construction, materials, and insights into the design process.
This pedagogical approach embodies the department's teaching philosophy which advocates student learning through interaction with industry professionals. Additionally, it promotes a high degree of professionalism, as well as providing indispensable network opportunities to support students’ career goals.
Mentor: B. Akerlund
Acclaimed celebrity stylist, B. Akerlund, presented the Senior class with a direction to create edgy, fashion-forward social distancing looks of the future for a consumer who wants to stay safe from future pandemics.
Jill Zeleznik, Chair of the Fashion Dept. and Mitra Rajabi, Assistant Chair, address the Senior class on a Zoom screen during a remote fitting.
Julia Choi and Lea Na integrated over one-thousand laser-cut organza masks to create their stunning eveningwear ensemble.
Mitra Rajabi holds up an illustration created by Julia Choi and Lea Na, who watched their design remotely being fitted on a live model while on campus.
Student-designers, Emmette De Zubiria and Viri Ramirez collaborated to create a tulle dress, integrating recylced plastic bags.
Student-designer Soline Gauthier embellished her dress design with multiple decorative beetles.
Designs created by Julia Choi & Lea Na (left), and Sokhom Chea & Junxin Pang (right).
Spectacular quilted cape ensemble created by student-designer team: Tania Ji, Rachel Xu, and Christopher Sun.
Left: Vinyl bubble printed corset dress designed and produced by Natalie Aivizian. Right: Gold tulle dress with recylced fringe cape designed and produced by Viri Ramirez & Emmette De Zubiria.
Vinyl hazmat jumpsuit and tailored pantsuit with integrated air-pump designed and produced by Caleb Stern & Isabella Lopez.
Padded dress and cover up designed and created by Elemmar Valle and Esmeralda Quiroz.
Green irridescent jacquard dress and coat inspired by insects, designed by Soline Gauthier.
Siamese twin hand knitted jumpsuits designed and produced by Anna Paradiso and Genesis Aguayo.
B. Akerlund awarded Rei Rego with Best Design for their hand-painted coat and embellished leotard, inspired by the pandemic-induced focus on sterlized hands.
Known for its innovative denim designs and iconic accessories, GUESS has been a pioneer in the American denim industry, and as a brand retailer. Amy Enuke, Young Contemporary Design Director at GUESS presented the Junior class with a design direction remotely during the COVID-19 campus closure. Students were tasked with creating their own story on Guess's iconic looks "twenty years an beyond into the future" of GUESS, using digital brights as their color palette.
Amy Enuke selects the best designs for each student while on campus. Students observe the process remotely via Zoom.
The mentor, Amy Enuke offers insightful feedback on student-designer, Mandy Tong's hand printed outfit.
Outfits designed by (from left to right) Chloe Taylor and Jeanette Zhang.
Amy Enuke critiques student-designer Hannah Cho's tracksuit ensembled while students observe the fitting via Zoom.
The finalized collection for the GUESS mentor project is showcased during the virtual Fashion Scholarship Show.
Two womenswear ensembles designed by Oberon Alexander Myers.
Student designs by (from left to right) Tico Conde-Porto (model standing), Hannah Cho, Oberon Alexander Myers (model standing), Chloe Taylor, Gayoung Kim, Oberon Alexander Myers (model standing), Jeanette Zhang, and Tico Conde-Porto (model standing).
Lime green jumpsuit and laced-up skirt ensembled designed by Tico Conde-Porto.
Amy Enuke awarded Mandy Tong with best design for the GUESS mentor project.
Mentor: Prairie Underground
Prairie Underground is a Seattle, Washington, based women's apparel line best known for their innovative use of sustainable materials using primarily hemp and organic cotton. Davora Lindner, founder and designer of Prairie Underground, presetned the Junior class with the creative direction to develop architectural, non gendered uniform seperates, rooted in innovative patterning to achieve distinctive sillhuettes inspired by the John Muir Elementary School's Artist Series.
Due to the COVID-19 campus closure the direction was presented on Zoom by Julie Trout, Seattle Public School Visual Arts Specialist, at John Muir Elementary
Student designer, Farhan Fallahifiroozi's two non-gender ensembles are fitted on models for the first time.
Outfits by Alice Cocchi and Linjia Yao are fitted on models for any necessary adjustments.
Linen outfit created by Ning Huang.
Left: organic fleece dress designed by Farhan Fallahifiroozi. Right: Graphic linen dress designed by Haruka Yamamoto.
Student designs by (from left to right) Ryujung Seol, Farhan Fallahifiroozi, Alice Cocchi, and Karson McLeod.
Left: Ashley Alarcon's linen top and roushed fleece pants. Right: linen jacket and pants designed by Stacia Muse.
Student designer, Ryujung Seol's gender neutral ensemble.
Linen three piece ensemble designed by Linjia Yao.
The finalized Prairie Underground collection.
Davora Linder awarded Karson McLeod's linen and fleece ensemble for best design of the collection.
VINCE is a leading global luxory apparel and accessories brand rooted in the California lifestyle using elevated yet understated pieces with an effortless style. The Senior class received direction in a Zoom meeting by Deborah Sabet (Class of '05), Senior Designer Men's, and Arthor Thammavong (Class of '14), Senior Designer Women's. VINCE made a genorous fabric contribution to the Fashion Dept. to support students' design process during pandemic indused lockdown that limited students' access to fabric stores.
DIVERSITY and INCLUSION are at the heart of our new, ever-evolving world. VINCE was deeply inspired by the work of California artist, Noah Davis for his serene sense of hopefullness, narrative suggestion, his painterly openness and the way his color pallette hypnotizes your eyes. The Senior class were asked to create original prints and structed tailoring inspired by the work of Noah Davis.
Arthur Thammavong and Debroah Sabet review of finalized design sketches to make their selections.
Jill Zeleznik, Chair of Fashion Design Dept., Debroah Sabet and Arthur Thammavong address the Senior class on a Zoom screen to provide feedback during their first remote fitting.
Students developed original prints in their Digital Design class and printed them on drapey silks and luxury poly-silks.
Deborah Sabet reviews the work of student-designer, Julia Choi.
Student-designer, Emmette De Zubiria, and Deborah Sabet discuss fitting adjustments over a Zoom call.
Design produced by Esmeralda Quiroz is fitted on a live model during a second remote fitting.
Finished designs showcased during the first Virtual Fashion Show, (left: Viri Ramirez, right: Esmeralda Quiroz).
Model wearing student-designer, Lea Na's pantsuit ensemble, poses in front of Noah Davis' painting.
Laser-cut top and linen coat designed and produced by Julia Choi.
Model wearing Caleb Stern's menswear ensemble poses in front of the Noah Davis painting that inspired the design.
VINCE awarded student-designer Johnny Wang with best design for his printed jumpsuit and pantsuit.
Mentor: Jonathan Simkhai
Jonathan Simkhai is a luxury ready-to-wear brand established in 2010, fusing feminine strengths and sentuality as its core asthetic. Jonathan Simkhai was awarded with the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2015. Due to physical distancing restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jonathan Simkhai's first fitting was conducted remotely over a Zoom conferance call with the Senior class. Mr. Simkhai made a generous lace fabric contribution to support students who were limited with access to fabric stores during lockdowns.
Jonathan Simkhai provides feedback on student-designer, Sokhom Chea's lace dress design.
Students were tasked with a challenge to integrate sumptuous lace fabrics into their designs inspired by water landscapes.
Isabella Lopez created fabric prototypes inspired by water landscapes.
Jonathan Simkhai makes adjustments on a design worn by a plus size mannequin.
Soline Gauthier's lace/silk charmeuse dress is fitted on a live model.
Kuan Chen's seafoam sundress is fitted on a model during a remote fitting.
Finished designs are showcased during a Virtual Fashion Show. From left to right are designs created by Isabella Lopez and Soline Gauthier.
Lace dresses created by (from left to right): Sokhom Chea and Rachel Xu.
Brown draped silk faille ensemble designed by Anna Paradiso.
Jonathan Simkhai awarded Junxin Pang with Best Design for her asymmetrical lace dress.