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Fashion Leaders Challenge the Next Generation

Mentor Projects Underway in Fashion Design

Each year students in Otis College's BFA Fashion Design program work directly with professional designers to create one of a kind collections. Acting as client and mentor, each designer gives an assignment, known as a direction, for students to research and present sketch solutions. 

After a sketch is selected, the student puts their work into production, using face-to-face time with the mentor during fittings to refine their concepts. Several projects are already underway, with both mentors and students taking advantage of their new facilities in the Academic Building at the Goldsmith campus.   

Chris Chang, the founder and designer of Poesia, will collaborate with the senior class to create a wearable, exquisite collection of separates. Students will use "farmer fabrics" from NanTong China, known for its textile and garment industries, and elevate them using embroidery, bold color, and pattern. Chang describes her aesthetic as maximalism and views clothes as wearable art. "Design is about interpretation- it's not about inventing," said Chang. "That's why I never worry about running out of inspiration; there's always something happening in the world to interpret." 

Claire Pettibone, celebrated bridal designer and former Otis College fashion student, returns as a mentor this year. For her direction, Pettibone asked students to create an heirloom lingerie collection inspired by precious treasures from the past. Fashion juniors will work with recycled lace to add dimension and mimic antique artifacts. Pettibone recently described her process in translating her fashion designs into a jewelry line and the benefits of the mentorship program in an article for Otis College. 

The seniors will also take on a project from red carpet favorite David Meister, creating modern cocktail dresses in soft pastels, with subtle accents of feathers, fringe, and felting. Each of these projects touches on transformation and the unexpected, giving students the freedom to personalize their solutions. Other mentors this year include Albert Wolsky, Zaid Affas, Red Carter, Jessica Simpson, Michi, and Illia. The final looks will show at the Annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show in May 2017.