In their second year of Fashion Design studies, Parsons Paris junior students learn the research and technical methods of experienced practitioners to acquire a broader range of skills and practices. In Spring 2018, designer Alithia Spuri-Zampetti, Design Director at Alexander McQueen, shared her knowledge and vision through a challenging project that shed light on new ways of conceptualizing the relation between technique, volume, clothing and the body. Based on the construction principles developed by a selection of major fashion designers who rethought the 20th century dressed body and its material envelopes, the studio project focused on the observation and analysis of structural elements or details, reproduced in different scales, with renewed proportions and functions, to generate unexpected shapes and uses.
Entitled Construction Stories, the project aimed to understand fashion heritage from a different perspective and thereby demonstrate how questioning the timeless architecture of Haute Couture masterpieces can lead to meaningful artistic interpretations. Students expressed their personal design philosophy and aesthetics after being exposed to the complex equations elaborated, in various contexts, by maestros such as Madeleine Vionnet, Cristobal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, Pierre Cardin, Rei Kawakubo, Azzedine Alaïa, Roberto Capucci, Gianfranco Ferrè or Alber Elbaz. This advanced experimental method led to the development of a fashion collection with final prototypes made of white tarlatane, a stiff cotton traditionally used for pattern making or hidden inside the garment, to enhance the pure lines of the architectural pieces produced by the students.
The panel of professional experts was composed of designers Yeori Bae (Loewe), Alex Foxton (Dior Homme), Robert Normand and Tal Lancman, as well as photographer Emanuele Fontanesi.