July 19th, 2013 / posted by paularath

One  of my favorite things about summer is that some of the students I have mentored come home from college and I get to see them and catch up.

Most recently, I met Megan Rodrigues, who is going into her junior year in fashion design at Cornell University. I am most familiar with Cornell as a training ground for some of the best hoteliers in the country but I knew little about Cornell’s fashion program until I met Megan. I must say, the more I learn, the more impressed I become.

This summer Megan is an intern with Pacific Basin Communications, working with Lei Chic and Honolulu Shops. She is learning a great deal from the akamai women who write those publications and she loves running around and collecting clothes and accessories for photo shoots, as well as writing an occasional blog or story.

This is Megan, on my list of “one to watch.”

Megan had a breakthrough sophomore year, having discovered the delights of draping. (Draping is far and away my favorite form of pattern making as well.) Her class was half lecture and half lab and gave Megan a great foundation in the art  – and architecture – of draping.

Their first lab assignment was to choose a runway look and mimic it, employing draping techniques. Megan said she was amazed at how, once she learned some basic draping skills, she could apply them to the garment and achieve exactly the effect she was going for.

Her second assignment was to find inspiration in something other than fashion. Megan chose concepts from her International Labor Relations class, resulting in a sleek black dress with a high-low hemline.

Next, she was to interpret a quote from Alexander McQueen in which he describes the importance of “designing from the side,” Megan explained. “I knew I needed a strong side detail and I made a poncho” with punch.

Her final assignment was to choose and interpret one of the seven deadly sins. She chose anger, and the resulting dress is pictured above.

Megan hand dyed the ombre silk and I can tell you from experience that dying a fabric with an ombre (graduated from light to dark) effect is extremely challenging. I have tried dying both lengths of fabric and ready made garments and have never achieved what I considered an ombre success. It took Megan 20 attempts to get this beautiful ombre effect.

Next up for Megan: a semester in London! She’ll be studying at the London College of Fashion, taking courses in:

  • Product development
  • Styling
  • Buying
  • Speed sketching
  • Visual merchandising

Megan said she will send me photos from the fashion forward streets of London and I’m hoping we’ll get to see photos of her London style – and that of her fellow fashion students!

– Paula Rath

 

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