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Claire Gonsalvez

The making of this collection really taught me time management. I had to move home temporarily because I was so stressed. Once I came home I went from staying up late working and sleeping in until 11:00, to waking up at 8:30 every day and getting straight to pattern making and sewing. I had to sacrifice a lot for this collection. I did not go out at all and I quit my job to commit to its completion.

The technique for my Experimental piece was zero-waste. I made a skirt from deadstock canvas that Professor Sofia Dangerfield donated from Levi’s and scrap fabric from a friend to make the Patchwork Skirt. The Asymetrical Crop Top was hand-knitted from yarn given to me by my former sewing teacher who has served as a mentor to me over the years. The small leopard print straps on the top were cut from my brother’s old blazer, and the zipper was from the bin of old zippers in the lab.

Designer Interview

Describe your point of view as a designer

The biggest aspect of fashion to me is self-expression. I have not always been as expressive of a person as I am now, and my clothes have been conversation-starters that have helped me open up and take up space.

What is your design aesthetic?

My design aestetic is eclectic. I usually gravitate toward very colorful, detailed, and overall funky pieces. My mom constantly tells me to buy more neutrals.

Who are your design influences? 

My design influences are Solange, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Rihanna. They all do not have a particular aesthetic and try everything. Solange’s use of dress in her music videos really stands out to me and tells a story with intention. I also love the brand Gypsy Sport by Rio Uribe because I learned about upcycling from them.

How is your work unique? How does your unique point of view combine with your design aesthetic and influences to make your work unique?

My love for vibrant, second-hand clothes is definitely reflected in my collection. My work is unique because it is loud and the majority of it is upcycled. I bedazzled thrifted boots and sandals and I used denim from old pairs of jeans for a lot of my looks.