Introducing KIKA’s Senior Collection

After months of sewing late at night, peeling the skin off my fingers and holding in the tears of doubt and anxiety, I have completed by look book for my senior collection.

I am incredibly proud of the end result and I anticipate to have these shots printed and presented for my portfolio.

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I shot the look book with my good friend and model, Crystal Garcia.

Let’s have a look at the process work:

I wanted to create the PERFECT HUMAN based on different materials including vinyl and neoprene. I wanted to work with puzzle pieces and how muscles work are aligned with the body.

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LOOK 1: Asymmetrical Neoprene Jacket with Knit Sleeves & Collar

Wide Dome Paneled Pant with structured leg.

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LOOK 2: Open Shoulder Mesh  Dress with Flounce Skirt with Vinyl Trim

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LOOK 3: Jersey Stretch Cotton Open Shoulder Dress

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Update on my Senior Thesis at FIT

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As the weeks pass by, I see how much I have accomplished so far.

A couple of months ago, I was insecure about my work and my ability to design. Now I can just pull out some muslin, drape any silhouette to my liking and it somehow comes out the way I envision it to look in my head.

So far, I am working on 3 looks for my Senior Thesis and I am a little overwhelmed.

I was not chosen to be featured in the Great Hall at my school, but I can not let that stop me from pushing myself in order to finish my thesis. I am looking forward to work on my photoshoot and have it featured here and on other social profiles.

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Fitting for my asymmetrical jacket with knit sleeve and collar.

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Side of Look 5 with DOME Pant.

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Vinyl details on my Mesh Dress.

 

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Knit Wear Collection 2015 Inspired by The Somber Days & Winter

For one of my projects, I designed a knitwear collection inspired by a painting I saw at the MoMA a few weeks ago. The painting titled Intimacy Autonomy, by Joan Semmel really struck a chord with me because I noticed how emotional and sad I felt after leaving the museum. I can be the type of person who can be very dramatic and passionate for other works of art because somehow I was captivated by the essence and root emotion of the painting; Maybe not the intentional emotion the artist wanted, but at least I felt some strong emotions churn inside me as I observed the piece. For one of the obvious things that I noticed, was the odd palette of blues, grey, green and soft yellow. It resembled these odd hints of decaying hues like a dead corpse. The nudity didn’t bother me since as well as the unflattering angles, it was more of a question if the couple lying down was dead or alive. Joan, the painter, explained that she documented a lot of her work with her lover from Spain where they pose in sex positions or lay with one another sharing beautiful conversations. I saw her interpretation as something very romantic and personal, but I developed another concept for myself.

The grotesque colors and vulnerable angle in the painting brought me back to a dark place in my life. I, like many people, felt depressed in their lives. Not too long ago, I dealt with something that made me feel worthless and alone. I would lay in bed naked, alone during the winter time contemplating whether my existence in life after being rejected from college and unemployed made me feel worthy. I spent an entire year wasting my time sleeping, sketching and preparing a portfolio for my admission at FIT after I was rejected the first time. All of my friends started college without me and I felt left behind. I couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed and find a job, because I was dead inside. I couldn’t pick up fabric and start sewing or design a collection either. I had all this free time and I wasted every day waking up at 3pm, take a shower, eat and play video games until my pupils would burn. Not to mention, I was involved in a made-up romance with someone who saw nothing good in life, but to act reckless and selfish. I was at my worst. And as of today, every morning that I wake up I feel inspired to get something done because I have a job, I am a full time student and I am in the best relationship I could ever be in. This isn’t a story about depression or resilience. Every person I have met has experienced deep sadness that has lasted for very long periods of time. It’s important to acknowledge the tribulations in ones life to find the motivation to go far in life.

My collection manifests from my experience of depression as well as the brilliant painting into knit wear pieces for the cold season. The season of winter is misleading in a sense that we focus on the holidays and how great the change in weather can be. But days are shorter, we don’t see the sun as often and there is not much to do outside. We stay inside our homes to keep warm from the biting cold and we feel lonely because we are trapped leaving our homes. The cold is a reminder to us that change is an often thing and sometimes it can be unpleasant and unbearable at times like winter.

It’s okay to feel sadness, just remind yourself that at the end of the day the sun can come out and make the days feel warmer.

My Muse of the Month: Designer, Gihyang Kang aka “G”

It’s rare that I meet people who have awaken my sense of compassion for the fashion world. Because it’s more than to look outside your boundaries as a Designer than to just focus on your own brand. Its about inspiring one another rather than competition. We are all on this earth for a reason and we should all value each other for our strengths.

Allow me to introduce you guys, my newest muse…

I call her G, but she’s better known as Gihyang Kang. This confident, outspoken chick is ahead of her years as a designer and is wiser than your average 23 year old. A recent graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology, G lives by the determination to learn all the essential skills to develop her own brand. And looking at her portfolio, she is well on  her way to do something amazing with her talents.

1. Whats your outlook on fashion? Do you see it as a lifestyle, do you think its superficial?

My outlook on fashion… It’s cliche answer but It’s self expression. Wordless way to express myself but strong enough to be talked by others. I think life style in 21st century is about being superficial. We all talk about getting higher self-esteem and embrace who we are, however we all know deep down inside that’s not what we think. That’s why people are shopping constantly for newest fashion items to make themselves look attractive to others even we say it doesn’t matter.
2. What kind of person do you design for? Do you have your own clientele?
As much as I can describe my ‘ideal’ customers, the reality is “everyone” who can afford to pay me. I love glamorous, feminine style. Hence, it turn out gown to theatrical clothes.  I’ve been asked to sell my clothes many times yet I’ve been only renting them.
3. When did you decided on your own style? Did you ever fall under pressure to be someone else as a designer?
I can not exactly say when I decided to be who I am as a designer. I think it developed over the time by experiencing design problem in my daily life. School is big part of my schedule at the moment. So my daily routine, I can see my student designer friends’ work.When I see some of their work, I critique in my head such as ‘It looks too Alexander Wang, Philip Lim, and etc..’ then I look at my work whether it falls under one of those category. I try to be my own person instead of be somebody else.
4. What is your favorite garment that you have made so far?
I made this burgundy dress in 2nd year in NYC for my AAS graduation piece. I honestly thought this was the key piece in my life, because this gave me lots of thought about what I am capable of and what kind of design aesthetic I have. It’s not perfect, yet it’s something effected a lot as a designer.

5. Which designers inspire you? What in general inspires you?

Among designers who’s already well established, I find Vera Wang as very inspiring woman, she’s been creating ‘dresses’ every season in different way. Something people can just think it as simple white dress, she broaden the horizon. But above some well-known designers’ talent, I am truly inspired by people’s life. When I ride a subway train, I see people’s face. Maybe 20-30 people in the car I’m riding. Means they have 20-30 life story, untold. Imagining their life story from what they are wearing, how they stand, what kind of face they are having… These things inspires me.

6. So what do are plans in the future? Do you want to have your own brand?

My future plan is to be in the place where I feel appreciated to work and stay happy. And as a designer having a brand on my own is dream for everyone. I’m hoping to be a designer sold globally though!

Check out G’s Pages at:

http://www.behance.net/gihyangkang

Confessions of a designer: Starting from nothing to hopefully the real deal

My sister photographed me during one of my sewing sessions where I was basting some bodice piece for a dress and even though its simple, I look so calm and at peace in my environment. I don’t have a show room, I have my bedroom which can only fit a few projects at a time. Although I work well in my space, I always envision what my show room/construction room is going to look like. I see myself supervising and conversing with my team, looking over patterns and dress forms draped with the spunkiest fabrics. And I would see all the hand made garments displayed on mannequins resembling museum pieces at the MET. Some place very whimsical and inspiring. Every day that passes by, I hope to better my skills sewing fabric, making patterns and sketching illustrations and keep my inspiration flowing as a designer. I don’t expect  myself to be at a point where I have a large following, but I have my clientele and I am happy with that.