When it comes to fashion, it may be wrong to reduce diversity only to skin color, gender or age. This is a phenomenon that should be considered from the very first point of the design process. To understand the urgency, let’s look at ‘diversity’ in the fashion industry more generally.
People tend to think in binary terms, whereas an inclusive perspective sees no boundaries but a fluid transition that connects and unites opposites. For instance, beauty can exist without compromising the usability and functionality of the garment.
How do designers reflect this nowadays? Diversity doesn’t need to be called out, it simply exists as the new status quo and IED students are really aware of this.
2022 IED graduate fashion collections explore identity through garments transforming patterns; open discussions about sexuality or gender; rethink traditional craftsmanship thanks to new technologies; create sustainable solutions, from an upcycling perspective to developing biotextiles; and provoke an impact to our society with their creations.
Last November in Milan, 10 graduates from IED Fashion Design Undergraduate courses in Italy
presented their fashion collection to the world at the event “Future Starts Slow” on occasion of the Fashion Graduate Italia 2022. At the center of every student’s project we always find the person: the garment is added to, accompanies the individual, but the focus always remains the interior, the soul and values of each human being. The fashion show was an invitation to slow down and draw attention to the natural scanning of time that sustainable production would require.
IED’s point of view of inclusivity was shown to more than 400 attendees, showcasing a wide range of new fashion design proposals in a show composed of 50 looks.
Graduated in IED Roma, Maria Eleonora Pignata presented “Akhet”, a collection where she explores the concepts of destruction and rebirth in fashion. In particular, she takes inspiration from Sekhmet, an Egyptian goddess that embodies this duality: while preserving her destructive natures, she heals and regenerates. A perfect allegory transmitted to the garments, which she investigates with deconstruction of pieces and sartorial references.
Gaia Ceglie, from IED Milano presented “Deformiter”, a no-gender collection questioning identity through a layering of fabrics, superabundant volumes and the progressive annulment of the silhouette.
Luca Di Prà, still from IED Milano, did a deep research on modelling and pattermaking with the purpose to transform sartorial silhouettes in a genderless perspective. His collection “Dividit ” took inspiration from Italo Calvino book “Il visconte dimezzato” with the aim to create new garments that can stay in anyone’s wardrobe over the years becoming an emotional piece to them.
Riccardo Cotta and Matteo Mojana, from Accademia Aldo Galli, presented “Helter Kobayashi”, a fashion collection thought to break any prejudice, stereotypes, personal masks and dualisms. A critic of our current society that reinterprets the contemporary codes with the garments for an adventurous and fearless fictitious character named Helter Kobayashi.
They are four examples of how today’s generation identity is shaped by design students and the power that this discipline has to transform our society.
Being part of this change for IED students is embracing all identities, perspectives and voices and finding solutions that can be meaningful to society, where everyone can feel accepted, seen, supported and included.