My senior collection explored the concept of the fall from grace, pulling from historical, literary, and biblical examples for inspiration. What resulted was some of my most ambitious and technical designs to date. Upon review by the UNT Fashion Design Department and a board of industry professionals, I was awarded with Most Experimental Designer in my class. For each look, I fashioned a full mask from silk chiffon to conceal the wearer's face, so you may focus more on the clothes rather than who is wearing them. This added to the themes of social ostracization already present in my collection as well as a growing anger towards the wealthy celebrity in the economic aftermath of the pandemic which saw the global working class lose nearly $3.7 trillion in total wealth while transnational corporations saw record breaking profits and the Federal Reserve printed money from thin air.
Collection image board and research
This look was most inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter in which the main character, Hester, struggles to escape social ostracization in Puritanical Colonial Massachusetts after birthing a child out of wedlock. The themes of a life falling apart and sexuality being chastised are present on the left breast (where the heart is located) and torn sleeve, as well as the uneven hem which is being pulled up by spaghetti straps. Throughout the dress, there are A's hidden amongst the strapping which tangles across the body symbolizing social bondage, all in scarlet silk georgette and organza. This of course can also be interpreted as bondage in a more explicitly sexual context, which today is sold as female liberation by the porn industry and 3rd wave feminism, but is in reality just a perverse inversion of Puritan sexual morality rather than a true supplantation by a genuinely equalizing new social attitude towards sex and female sexuality. 
In the process of creating this dress, Texas experienced its worst snowstorm in decades, which knocked out the power and water for millions across the state. For this reason, a significant portion of this dress was sewn by hand, which was sort of funny considering the literary reference took place in a time before electricity. For nearly two weeks I had to live as if I were in the 1640s, boiling snow for clean water to drink and using candles to light my room as I sewed with needle and thread waiting for the snow to subside and normal life to resume.
This look is comprised of two seperate pieces, an A-line dress and a shirt which only contains the seams.
The dress is split into quarters, a reference to the practice of quartering, wherein a person would literally be cut into quarters and subsequently put on stakes around the town. I wanted the dress to portray the more delicate and sentimental aspects of femininity, using silk wedding satin and organza to create a modest silhouette which highlights the hips and dimples of Venus, named after the Roman goddess of beauty herself.
The dress shirt references the execution of Marie Antoinette with repeated use of red guillotines on the cuffs and collar. The death of Marie Antoinette and the victory of the French bourgeoisie over the monarchy during the revolution set into motion the diversification of labor and necessity for women to leave the home and enter the workforce both in war and peacetime. The dress shirt of course is a man's office attire, something a woman of older generations would usually only ever wash and press for her husband, but never wear herself. I decided to craft a shirt comprised only of the seams to symbolize the difference between men and women in the workplace, and the interplay between their social roles and their attire. The woman for a long time was seen as the outsider in the office, unable to hide her femininity even beneath a man's clothing and a man's job. She was always seen as a sexual object rather than a peer. Beyond the sexual harassment context, this also explores the ways in which the stereotypical kindhearted and nurturing female disposition was at odds with the stereotypical stoic and domineering male disposition in the office, where a dog eat dog culture and numbers prevail over questions of ethics and equality prior to the proliferation of HR departments in the late 20th century.
This dress was the result of several different but highly related concepts. Langley, Virginia is home to the headquarters of the CIA. At the time I had been researching the CIA's involvement in funding and arming paramilitary death squads in Nicaragua to terrorize the Sandinista aligned masses by trafficking crack cocaine into poor LA neighborhoods. I also was researching the USSR's usage of honey-trap spies during the Cold War, wherein female spies would seduce and gather intel from NATO aligned agents, often during pillow talk. The synthesis of these different inspirations is a gown representing both intriguing and seductive femininity and the looming presence of assassination and political violence. The black "bodybag" sheer layer references the CIA and Reagan's deception of the US public during the war on drugs, as well as the very literal covering-up of the truth behind the Iran-Contra affair. Behind the curtain, as it were, is a beaded 16-point star, found on the CIA's seal. This ensemble as a whole is a play on the femme fatale. The gathering of the fabric on the floor lends a ghostly connotation to the composition, as if this is death herself approaching you.
Project image board
3-piece ensemble consisting of wool trousers, linen apron,
and a linen wrap dress. 10 pockets in total. For this project, I
focused on making pieces that would prove highly functional
for artists of all mediums, Dre (model shown) for example being an
incredibly gifted painter. Each piece was designed to be
comfortable, using loose-fitting silhouettes that could be
worn every day in and out of the studio. Still, I've kept an air
of femininity with large slits on the apron and dress, while
choosing to make wide-legged trousers in reference to the
newfound liberation from gender-coded clothing by the
women of the Bauhaus in the 1920s. Jewelry by me as well,
in reference to Anni Alber's DIY hardware store jewelry. The
Bauhaus was threatened with extinction by Nazi forces in
the advent of WW2, and I thought about that a lot while
fantasizing what women would wear if the Bauhaus were to
have been founded now. 100 years after the Bauhaus was
founded, ironically, we again find ourselves in the midst of a
pandemic and rising Nazism. It seems like some things
are never learned and some things never change, which is
why I chose not to take a neofuturistic route in my design,
choosing instead to modernize these silhouettes in a more
realistic and contemporary manner that felt appropriate for today.
Project image board
Layered editorial photo composites
This dress was inspired by the Blood Falls of Antarctica. The Blood Falls are a collection of small fissures on the tongue of the Taylor Glacier. The water that flows from these cuts is red due to high iron content, it symbolizes our Earth literally bleeding as the Antarctic slowly begins to melt away due to climate change. This was my first time ever working with knit.

Preliminary sketches

© United States Antarctic Program Photo Library

I created these trousers for my Sewing II class. About 3 weeks prior to beginning this project, I was betrayed by someone who I thought loved me. I decided that it was time for me to love myself, and if I couldn't exhibit much strength on my own in my time of weakness, I wanted to create something to help someone else exhibit their own strength. For this project, I was assigned my Burmese zodiac, which is a serpent dragon. On the left leg, you see black tulle. This tulle is meant to symbolize the shedding of skin, as a snake does. Beyond the simple connection to my zodiac, this also symbolized me shedding the old pieces of myself I could no longer hold on to if I ever wanted to heal – my old perceptions of love and relationships, my childish desire to be a martyr, and worst of all, the love of my life herself. Just as the shedding of skin indicates growth and a pseudo-rebirth, I was describing my own growth and the surrendering of my pain which I clung onto for fear of losing my identity and meaning in this world. In the end, nothing was lost, and everything was gained.

Sample fit check

Last fit check with final fabric before adding tulle detail

This dress was originally a 3-layer laser cut silk cocktail dress, inspired by the Italian Op-Artist, Antonio Calderara. After a dissatisfying critique and an even more disappointing grade, I decided to use the remaining scraps of silk that I had and begin to distress and tack them onto the dress. Over the course of several hours, I wetted, ironed, tore, and stepped on the dress. Perhaps I was releasing my anger, but I think this version is better than the first. After I reclaimed my dress, I wanted to finish the look I was going for, so I decided to reinterpret the Visard mask of the 16th and 17th centuries. Using the remaining grey silk organza, I fashioned a full head piece, then hand sewed black velvet onto the face, creating the visual effect of a black hole. Finally, I created a ruffled collar with the remaining white wedding silk, then distressed it in the same manner as the dress. To me, the final product looks very haunting. I can imagine seeing this dress float out of a foggy swamp on a dark night, approaching me slowly as I'm consumed by the black mask.

Preliminary sketches

Visard reference image alongside my reinterpretation, added ruff collar

This dress was designed by draping the fabric directly on the dressform, no sketching. For this assignment, our instructor gave all students the same amount of striped cotton and tasked us to create a dress, taking into account the direction of the stripes. My instinct was to pintuck the stripes to make them skinnier. I used the pintucking around the waist just underneath the bust, creating a slimming effect. All of the pleating around the waist allowed for extreme fullness around the skirt and the upper body/sleeves, which only further accentuates the slimming effect of the waist.

First draped on a half-scale dressform

Before deciding to use the wrong side of the fabric, the pintucks at the center created a white band.

more work