Many experiences and opportunities have helped shape Briar Connors into the creative designer she is today. When interning at Badgley Mischka, she assisted the design team with mood boards, embellishments and trim details, altering patterns, and completed: tech packs, spec sheets, and cost sheets. During her four years at Marist she tells us that all of her collections have been based on artwork from artists in the fine arts, performing arts, and even architecture. However, Briar used her own artwork and artistic techniques as the inspiration for her senior collection. Some of the techniques used in the process of creating her collection included acrylic pouring and spray-painting on different fabrics and geometric draping. Briar notes that many of her looks are inspired by geometric shapes of her canvas and says that many of her patterns are large squares or rectangles that are gathered into voluminous silhouettes, creating the creative and abstract pieces in her collection.
“Marist Fashion has taught me through trial comes success. Don’t be discouraged if on your first try something doesn’t look the way you envisioned or something doesn’t work right. Instead, keep going and use what you’ve learned to create something you’re proud of,” Briar explains.
Using geometric draping, embroidery, full fashion knitting and leather work, Allison Windhausen’s collection is inspired by Birds of Paradise mating dances, during which the birds transform shape and color.
Allison claims that the most important thing she has taken away from the fashion program at Marist College was how to take criticism. “The professors are great at training us how to take on the different roles of merchandising or production, identifying the difference between fashion as art and fashion as product.” Allison also tells us that capping really allowed her to throw herself into the process and explore different areas to get creative.
Allison has also gained experience at reputable brands including Badgley Mischka and The Phluid Project. These experiences have helped Allison in fashion design and led her to the creation of this collection today.
Isabel Holden has experienced a tremendous amount during her time at Marist. She has definitely taken advantage of the opportunities Marist has to offer, from participating in Marist’s Pre-college Program as a high school student, to taking part in the Freshman Florence Experience, to interning for MILLY as a Wovens & Knit Design Intern during her time with Marist in Manhattan, she has lived a design student’s dream. She has also had the chance to intern for Abercrombie & Fitch as a Women’s Denim & Twill Intern last summer, which really ignited her passion for designing with denim.
Her senior collection is inspired by what she imagines will be a launch of her own brand, IHOLDEN. It is a slow fashion, wardrobe essentials brand, centered around reimagining traditional garments and making them feel new. It includes staple denim pieces grounded in sustainable dye methods, combined with whimsical shirting, pattern mixing and trompe l’oeil methods of painting. For her denim pieces, she has collaborated with the Marist Chemistry Department, where she discovered a new way to extract indigo dye from old denim to use to redye new denim. This discovery led her to receive the CFDA Liz Claiborne Scholarship for her sustainable innovation. “The world is so unpredictable, but so is fashion. It changes every minute, but the most innovative designers are those who are ready to change with it, or even better, change ahead of it.”
Ashlin Berger’s Senior Collection is inspired by a textile artist named Vanessa Barragao, whose work mainly includes making large tapestries with different types of textures in each piece which gives them a spectacular chaos that enticed her. Ashlin created a similar type of feeling in her collection with an emphasis on voluminosity, chaos and texture. She uses techniques such as knitting, crocheting, weaving, embroidering and even some leather work to achieve the textural aesthetic she is aiming for. For her final touches, she designed prints using both paints and yarns that she later developed into fabrics for use across her collection, one print specifically becoming a signature piece of her collection.
Ashlin has interned at Parker NY and at DEPLOY London when she studied abroad her junior year. While interning at Parker NY, she created prints, made embroidery layouts, participated in fabric meetings, and many other activities that helped fine tune her Photoshop skills and knowledge of print development. DEPLOY London is a sustainable fashion company whose garments are multifunctional and produced with zero fabric waste. This experience helped Ashlin see the fashion industry in a global perspective and learn about sustainability practices.
“I think the best thing I have learned from Marist Fashion is to not focus on what other people around you are doing. It takes time to find out who you are as a designer and it is easy to get caught up in what others are doing around you. Everyone has their own design identity, and this is what makes them unique!”
With a love for corsetry and tailoring, designer Leandra Perelli draws from icon Madonna’s 1980’s style. As Madonna used to layer her looks, Leandra is layering her looks with a balance between traditional menswear pieces and delicate, lingerie pieces such as her corsets. The heavier fabrics such as silk wools, wool tweeds, and more traditional houndstooth and pinstriped wool suitings are contrasted with lightweight laces, chiffons, and organzas. Her inspiration source of glitz and glamour lead to her incorporating hand beading in several of the collection’s garments. Also seen throughout her collection are 3D closures and covers containing her “LP” logo.
Leandra has no shortage of internship experience, partaking in 6 total while attending Marist. Grateful for her various positions at Collegefashionista, with designer Cara Benevenia, designer Josaphine DeMarco, Zac Posen, Viscera’s Bridal Week, and Hellessy, Leandra has learned and grown into the designer she is today. While studying with Marist Fashion, she has learned that “patience is key, being in a fast paced industry, it is difficult to not know everything from the moment you’ve begun… but good things take time and your identity as a designer will develop in that time”. Leandra reflects on her time working in Steel Plant Studios by saying, “it has been a dream I never thought I’d have become my reality”.
Majoring in Fashion Design and minoring in Fashion Merchandising, Kristina Ultimo has developed a wide base of knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the fashion industry. With this, she feels confident in continuing her studies at the Master’s level in Contemporary Fashion Buying at the Istituto Marangoni in London. Throughout her years in undergrad, Kristina has succeeded in internships at Plus Samples/That Perfect Dress, Nico DiDonna, and NiNA TiARi.
One significant piece learned from Marist Fashion, she says, is to “front load the process”. A successful collection is developed from deep and thorough research, which she conducted when beginning her collection, Illuminate. Bioluminescence is the spark that created the fire behind her intricate garments. The silhouette direction and various textures, opacities, and luminosity in her fabric selection, all come from her investigating deeper into bioluminescent creatures. Kristina has decided to take her inspiration to another level, adding various types of electronics such as the use of fiber optic cables, electro luminescent wire, and sew on LEDs which she has based on the chemical reaction that creates the illuminating light in the deep sea marine life. Kristina is excited by the opportunities of the integration of technology and science in fashion garments; she says the collaboration has the ability “to give consumers a balance between functionality, individuality, and innovation.
Designer Katrina Henry has utilized Marist Fashion’s hands-on courses to broaden her horizons and express her creativity. When reflecting upon her time at Marist, one thing she has learned is to “keep pushing yourself to be the best version and designer of yourself, because all the hard work will pay off”. Design internships with Josie Natori and another with Maurices, where she will be returning with full-time employment following her graduation at Marist, have provided her with irreplaceable experiences and opportunity.
Through all of her hard work, Katrina has developed a collection in which her inspiration stems from the female pioneers of aviation. Her senior collection, Take Flight, incorporates the delicate and fluid movement of a parachute, blended with elements of functional utility fashion. The functional and fashionable wardrobes developed by female pioneers such as Elinor Smith, Amelia Earhart, and Harriet Quimby are at the root of Katrina’s collection. With block printing her patterns, extensive topstitch detailing, and unique closures and utility aspects, her inspiration radiates from her garments.
Isabella Biagioli, was able to follow her two passions at Marist, fashion design, and her swimming career as a Division 1 athlete. When reflecting upon the past four years of fashion design, Isabella says “the most valuable thing I have learned from Marist Fashion is how to collaborate with and utilize criticism from my teachers and peers… I have also learned that it’s important to stand up for my designs and love what I create”.
As a menswear design intern at Aeropostale, Isabella learned a lot from her experience, one lesson being how to work with the merchandising team to help create a positive company atmosphere. It was during her time as a wovens and leathers intern at John Varvatos, however, that she uncovered her love for designing beautifully tailored garments.
While incorporating both structural draping and traditional tailoring, Isabella created her senior collection based on the goddess of the sun and the universe, Amaterasu Omikami, from Japanese mythology. With the goddess’s name roughly translating to “shining in heaven”, the textiles and prints featured throughout the collection stem from the mythological stories. She includes the Japanese art of origami to create sculptural woven garments for men. Isabella’s hopes are “to create unique sculptural designs that will elevate men’s ready-to-wear through the use of complex pattern making, implementation of unconventional textiles, and traditional tailoring techniques”.
Kamryn Hill’s collection was inspired by her travels, specifically to Tokyo, this past summer. Much of her collection drew inspiration from her recent trip, where she observed their street style and the beautiful details of the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, which she also visited this past summer. Kamryn’s collection gives off the overall feeling of happiness, while showing her self expression through the use of hand painted prints, sequins applique, detailed drawings, unique embroidery and an array of vibrant colors.
The Marist Fashion program was a perfect fit for Kamryn because she was able to fulfill her college experience and excel within the Fashion Design Program. During her time at Marist, Kamryn interned for Meryl Diamond, specifically for Dennis Basso and Susan Graver where she learned a lot. She is also thankful for her senior year capping class, where she had the opportunity to just be herself as a designer. With a lot of hard work and inspiration, Kamryn is excited for her next journey, an internship with Walt Disney World’s costuming department.
Janelle Arnold's senior collection inspiration started from a single photograph. Entitled, “Controlled Explosion,” her collection began with the photograph she took from the Cooper Hewitt Museum, of an electron micrograph of coral. Elements of the photo reminded Janelle of fireworks, she was inspired by a combination of the coral’s texture and colors. Janelle drew inspiration from the way fireworks explode in the night sky, creating numerous shapes and vivid colors. To resemble this throughout her collection, she utilizes the technique of laser cutting and also digitally designed two printed fabrics for her collection. Janelle’s senior collection promotes diversity, her collection is size inclusive, meaning women of all shapes and sizes can wear her garments.
Janelle learned to push herself creatively, as she realized there is always something more you can do to improve your designs. Janelle participated in the Florence study abroad program and completed a technical design internship at Nesis Brand Group. Janelle has never stopped learning throughout her time at Marist and has used all her experiences and techniques in her senior collection.
Julia Luff’s Collection, Lost At Sea, was inspired by the images taken by Frank Sutcliffe, a 19th century photographer who documented the culture of fishing villages in the North of England. Each fishing village developed their own unique stitch patterns that not only represented the people but each individual family. If a fisherman was lost at sea, the body could be identified by the pattern of the seaman’s gansey, which were knitted with local Yorkshire wool. A further inspiration came from the mythical folklore of women of the sea, particularly the German legend Lorelei. Julia was greatly influenced growing up in the small and vibrant seacoast town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she learned the value of community and the importance of keeping commerce local. During her junior year, she took a hand-knitting course, which launched her passion for knitwear.
During her time at Marist, Professor DooRi Chung told Julia, “You need to find your own creative voice and identity.” Julia soon realized her passion comes from working with her hands; collage, knitting, and painting. Her creative process is expressed in textile design, she describes her design style as poetic, feminine, authentic, whimsical, romantic and textural. Julia studied abroad in Paris the fall of her junior year, which allowed her to fulfill her minors in both Product Development and Merchandising. Through Julia’s many experiences and inspiration, her identity as a designer shines through her collection.
Sara Kaseta’s passion for Knitwear first started her junior year during her Knitwear Design course, one of her favorite courses at Marist. This technique has allowed Sara a chance to use her hands to create a garment truly from scratch. The inspiration for Sara’s collection comes from ballet, more specifically, ballet warmup wear and the dark side of ballet. Sara’s complete collection focuses on unconventional layering. Throughout her collection, Sara focuses on creating pieces that are adjustable and convertible for dancers. One unique aspect of this collection is that Sara creates her own textiles, whether printed or hand-knit.
Sara first chose the Marist Fashion Design program because she loved that the program is small and selective. The Marist Fashion program has allowed Sara to create many close bonds with classmates, professors, and the students she met through student teaching. While attending Marist, Sara has experienced many amazing internships. Her two favorite internships were with Burt's Bees Baby and ANN inc. These experiences gave Sara the opportunity to work with concept design, textile design, and sweater technical design. The most important thing she learned during her time at Marist is that the first attempt at something is never perfect; development is what makes the strongest, most beautiful collections.
Inspired by space suits, Elizabeth Ellms’ senior capping collection, The New Age was created for someone that likes the stability of tradition but wants to be progressive with the 21st century and beyond. It is a collection that represents a casual relaxed look with just a touch of elegance. Her overall concept is adjustability, and with The New Age Collection her customer can adjust the style of each look. The functional components that she used to achieve this, include belts and zippers. Her inspiration of space suits also includes a very clear color story. Each color in her story represents space suits of both the past and the future. With all the changes that are going on in the world today, Elizabeth feels as though all ages and genders are moving into a more casual and relaxed style, but never forgetting that touch of elegance.
Elizabeth chose to study fashion design at Marist because she felt that as fashion designer, it was essential to be knowledgeable in all of the humanities. This would allow her to be able to communicate with all types of customers. Richard Kramer’s Creative Process class was the most influential class she took at Marist; she learned to think on a much deeper level when designing. While at Marist Elizabeth had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, the birthplace of fashion. Elizabeth interned with a Martha’s Vineyard based company called Captain’s Club, where she helped design their logo that was included on apparel and accessories. One of the biggest things that Elizabeth has learned while studying at the Marist Fashion Program is that great things never come from staying in your comfort zone.
Lobsang Tenzin comes from a beautiful country in the Himalayas, called Tibet. He uses fashion as a platform to speak about his culture, and believes that fashion has the power to let his story be heard throughout the world. “What is unique about fashion is that you don’t have to speak, the clothes will speak for themselves.”
For his senior thesis, Lobsang wanted to create something that goes back to his origin, Tibet. The ways Tibetan people and monks wear their traditional clothing, deeply inspired the development of his senior collection’s silhouette. Lobsang used this inspiration and combined it with a modern element of tailoring, which he calls “Street Tailoring”. He decided to work Tibetan textiles and prints because it adds a unique characteristic to the collection. Lobsang described his collection as urban tailored menswear, combined with the aesthetic of tailor sportswear with more casual pieces.
Using embroidery, sequinning, beading, and applique in a felt-backed- varsity style, Madeline Ditino created her collection for people of all gender, size, color, age and shape. Madeline describes her collection as a “celebration of radical empowerment and revolutionary inclusivity.” She used digitally printed motifs enhanced with beadings, laceup details as well as athletic style motifs to blend the femme-proper with relaxed and sporty aestetic. Madeline used queer focused copy to talk about identity, pride, and to encourage others to have fun with their clothing.
Madeline discovered so much about herself from the Marist Fashion program: she learned the challenges that come with designing differently, being a trailblazer, and having your work be on the fringe. Professor, DooRi Chung, gave her the strength to believe in her vision, and in the movement she is a part of.
“I want this collection to be a true joy. To be a triumph. To really have an impact on the world, and to make people want to celebrate themselves. I want it to be a launchpad for my work in the world.”
Inspired by Park Guell, in Barcelona, Spain, Margaret Kelly’s collection concept revolves mainly around the use of prints modeling mosaic tiles. Margaret studied abroad in Florence, Italy, which she describes as the best experience of her life. It was during one of her weekend trips that she visited Barcelona and fell in love with the beautiful architecture and mosaics. She incorporated pleat details, gathering, and volume in her senior collection.
Margaret believes the Marist design program has taught her to learn to be confident in her designs and enjoy the design process. She chose to go to Marist because she not only wanted to be at a school with a great fashion design program, but also wanted a liberal arts college where she could meet people that have different interests than her. Margaret is so grateful to have spent the past four years with 20 other design students that became her family, and professors that have helped her grow as a designer.
Marissa Keegan’s collection focuses on the exploration of men’s activewear and graphics, inspired by the sport of boxing. Her interest in design started when she participated in Marist’s Pre-College Program as a high school student and was furthered by her internship at Abercrombie & Fitch Co, where she will be returning full-time as an assistant apparel designer following her graduation at Marist.
After receiving the Curtis L. Carlson & Geffrey Kelly Gage Foundation Study Abroad Scholarship, Marissa had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, where she took classes in Product Development, History of Italian Fashion and Knitwear. Although she designed womenswear up until senior year, it was her internship position on the Hollister Guys Denim & Twill team that drove her to design menswear for her senior collection. Her work at Marist led her to being awarded the 2020 School of Communication and the Arts Award for Fashion Design.
Marissa’s collection utilized details such as the curved lines and trims used in boxing gloves and speedbags, which led her to include curved seams and cording details in her garments. The silhouettes of different types of punching bags inspired the shapes she used for backpacks, graphics, and other accessories she designed. It was important to Marissa to create a brand behind her senior collection that stood for inspiring an active lifestyle. Throughout her collection, you can see the logo and name of her brand, SPIRE, on garments and trims. She created her own 3D buckles, embroidered the SPIRE logo on hats, sublimation printed SPIRE on trims, and UV printed graphics onto garments.
Finleigh Riendeau's inspiration for her collection originates with the phrase, “small in vast''. Her dedication to this idea led her to find the painting of artist Maja Rohwetter. The artist’s paintings are her representation of her definition of reality. From Rohwetter’s physical paintings, Finleigh drew on the juxtaposition of organic flowing shaping with harsh straight-lined shapes that are used as boundaries. In her collection, she is using a textile technique of marbling on her fabrics. She is also pleating organza pieces and mounting them on her designs in a three-dimensional way. Finleigh interned for a small sportswear company called Redvanly, which she now works with to help produce their digital CADS and factory and buyer line sheets. She prefers being part of a smaller company or team so she can take part in the entire process, and see what it’s like to be an entrepreneur.
Finleigh believes that the hours you put in, make you feel a sense of pride for your hard work and dedication. Her collection strongly revolved around hand work, whether it was pressing each pleat by hand or marbling her fabrics. Finleigh hopes the industry can find a way to highlight and preserve all artisan techniques, and keep their specialties in slow fashion.
Inspired by the Fifties time period and the Peanuts cartoons, Sarah Rexford created her senior collection. She aimed to capture elements of the characters and use them as construction details in her garments. She is using Zig Zag seaming details on top of gathering, and Mexican Pleating to give the collection shape and dimension. Sarah completed a tech design internship at Bagatelle International, where she learned to always give 110% effort on everything she is working on. Sarah learned, no matter what, she will be able to create something amazing.
One specific Marist fashion course that resonated with Sarah from a design perspective was her Professor Glenn’s drawing classes. She learned how to proportion correctly, and how to show her own personal style of drawing through her designs. Sarah chose Marist College and the design program because it has more of a more traditional college experience, versus other fashion schools in the city. The strong sense of community was one of the main things she was looking for. Sarah says the Fashion program at Marist was one of the best experiences of her life, and thanks the faculty for showing her what she is capable of.
Growing up with a Eucalyptus grove in her backyard, Shana Salentine drew her inspiration for her senior collection from the Eucalyptus tree. Their unique bark and leaves was the inspiration for all of her prints, colors, and fabrications in her collection. Shana is using Organic Eucalyptus twill fabric that involves less emissions, energy, and water usage to produce, than other more conventional fabrics. She created her own textile prints by monoprinting and silk painting. She is also dying some of her fabrics with eco, low impact dyes. Known as Fiber Reactive Dyes, these dyes are 95% more environmentally friendly than standard dying techniques (free from heavy metals and AZO’s).
Her most recent design internship at Li & Fung, taught her a lot about the global apparel industry. She assisted the production and merchandising teams as well as the design team, and learned about the importance of communication and attention to detail. Shana chose Marist not only for its outstanding Fashion program, but it’s equally respected Business program. She wanted to have a rounded education where she could learn the skills to market herself in this competitive industry. Through the Marist Fashion program she has learned about the importance of passion, dedication, and hardwork. The program has taught her to believe in her abilities and surround herself with supportive influencers who allow her to flourish.
Designer Sierra Robinson has always had an interest in taking her inspiration from films that allow her to escape to another world. Growing up, she knew she had an interest in menswear, and wanted to bring her own flamboyant and colorful flair into her design aesthetic. Through her internship experience at Abercrombie & Fitch, she learned the ways of making graphics and digital prints, which is the basis of her collection. Upon going back to her older collections, she wants to learn from her mistakes and play to her strengths. Sierra’s collection is mainly inspired by nascar motor suits and utility jumpsuits. While using bright neons and striking graphics, she combined these elements to create her textiles.
Sierra believes in creating menswear that is playful and daring, as well as teetering the line between what is masculine and feminine. Heavily inspired by the works of Walter Van Beirendonck, she aims to create menswear that doesn’t take itself too seriously.