Now that finals and exams are over, I have a bit more time to catch up with my friends/peers and to see some of their work from this past semester! I recently chatted with a friend of mine and current rising senior in the fashion design program, Danielle Cloutier, about the inspiration behind her most recent collection and also viewed some of the images from her look book as well!
Quickfire Favorites List:
Artist or Designer: That’s hard to choose! My current favorite is Alessandro Brighetti. He does these amazing sculptures that move on their own using a magnetically charged liquid. Amazing.
Design Blog: http://fivestoryny.tumblr.com
Place on-campus: The classrooms in the 232 40th st fashion building. As soon as classes end the rooms are totally empty.
Place off-campus: Variety Cafe, this cute little coffee shop near my apartment in Brooklyn. It’s my favorite place to sit for a few hours busting out flats and sipping coffee all day.
Hidden NYC gem: Dun-Well Doughnuts. I’ll be honest…I have a doughnut obsession.
Lauren Davis: Hey Danielle! I saw some images from your latest collection and they looked fantastic. What was the inspiration behind it?
Danielle Cloutier: The concept developed from a video experiment I did a year ago in an elective I took with Kyle Farmer called Design Communication. I started researching the science behind Optical Feedback. Which is the video loop created when a camera is pointed towards its video monitor. I used this idea to develop the silhouettes and prints for the collection. Some of the photographs from the look book are actually shot using the setup from optical feedback that we set up in the photo studio as a live, interactive set.
LD: So for your custom prints where did these images come from?
DC: The prints actually came from some old family photographs I found in my mom’s basement. I wanted to document my family’s home to show the documentation of time that is created using Optical Feedback. I scanned the photographs and altered them by shifting sections of the images.
LD: Senior year for the both of us is approaching! What ideas do you have for a possible thesis?
DC: My thesis is going to be a more in depth version of my SS14 preview collection. I want to go a new direction with print development and more in depth with my research of visual distortions. This time I want to really push the limits of the concept. I plan do do a lot of 3D experiments with video and use a new technique of drafting patterns.
LD: What do you see yourself doing post graduation?
DC: After graduation I hope to launch my own line, but I will probably start applying to designer or freelance jobs to raise money for a bit. I’m hoping to get my work out there and sell to some small boutiques.
LD: Are there any other recent projects you’ve done in school or outside of Parsons you’d like to share?
DC: I’ve actually been working part time at a coffee shop in midtown as a barista and have learned to do some pretty impressive latte art. I’m working at a start-up this summer as a barista at this great new place called Pennylane coffee. The owner is actually a Parsons Fashion grad!
LD: Any advice for current and prospective fashion students wanting to create their own collection?
DC: Find what you love and stick to it, never let go of a concept. I found a lot of my most interesting designs are the ones that are constantly developing and changing. This past semester I never changed my concept, just constantly built it up with more and more inspiration. Samples are also important, it’s the best way to figure out things that you can’t quite figure out when drawing.
Huge thanks to Danielle for chatting with me, can’t wait to see what she does next!