Threads designers exhibit uniqueness, authenticity
While the themes of “Threads Fashion ID” celebrate rawness and inclusivity, designers Natalie Weith and Ruestasha Walker achieved inspiration through the wild need for liberation.
The 21st annual Threads Fashion Show was designed to commemorate inclusivity in all of its forms. Threads Faculty Adviser Ian Mull said the show will illuminate the beauty of variations in race, gender and “body habits.”
During their brainstorming, Weith, a junior from Illinois, and Walker, a senior from Harrison, imagined a leopard escaping the lifeless metals of its cage and embracing a new, urban realm of freedom.
“We fit into this theme with the thought that we hope everyone can see themselves in one of the pieces and make it their own: Their ID,” Walker said. “We want to elicit excitement from the orange in our collection as well as the smaller details that make them unique.”
Walker said the goal of the collection was ultimately to showcase an unapologetic existence of spontaneity, exhilaration and authenticity that can be accessible to anyone.
She said she longed for audiences of the show on April 6 to possibly imagine themselves glowing vivaciously and fearlessly in the orangeness of faux velvet fabric, changing shades under movement.
“We believe that the best part of the collection is how our inspiration reflects in our details,” Walker said. “There is a little freedom in the pants with the peekaboo cut out. The jacket with zipper details goes from restraining to very free. The mesh fabric can be representative of the cage but under it bares a lot of skin which shows a certain freedom to it.”
The two hoped to combine exotic and uncontainable wilderness with the high speed of “big city living.”
In the Inspiration Statement the pair submitted to the show, they said they “were also inspired by the culture of Los Angeles street style in the life of busy young people looking to jump-start their career in art, photography or fashion.”
Monroe senior Elizabeth Skryzmoski was influenced by a setting much more calm: The flowing rhythms of Michigan’s Great Lakes and the flexibility of water.
“My key inspiration is Lake Erie in the summer," Skryzmoski said. "(I) designed a women's plus size summer collection with lots of hand dying (and) I tried to keep everything as loose and flowy as I could. I want my audience to feel beach-ready after seeing my collection (and) focus on being comfortable.”
Skyrzmoski said she devoted an entire year to creating her collection WaterWays. She joyously embraced her love for natural and easy-to-dye fibers like cotton and silk. Skyrzmoski said she designed the entire collection with the intention of being accessible to her own size and sphere of comfort. She is excited to wear each outfit throughout this summer.
“My favorite piece in the collection is a pale blue romper with a blue green train,” Skyrzmoski said, explaining the elements of authenticity exhibited in her collection are centered on the powers of self love and treating oneself to the things they enjoy most.
Fowler graduate student Holly Klaus also found inspiration through the brightness of positivity and finding empowerment through her own identity.
“I was inspired by the connection between fashion design and fine art processes when creating my collection,” Klaus said. “I am influenced primarily by color and by positive feelings. I am a very enthusiastic and bright person, and my designs showcase that mood.”
She said she wants people who see her collection to be showered in glimmering and blissful energy and to be genuinely uplifted.
“I have been working constantly on my collection since last August,” Klaus said. “I chose bright colors that give the collection a vibrant, celebratory mood.”
She said her collection is a physical embodiment of her love for traditional art mediums like ceramic, fiber arts and paint and detailed and intricate beading. Klaus said the final conclusion is basically a window to her true self and garden of passions.
“Authenticity means being yourself without second-guessing your instincts," Klaus said. "It means celebrating your individuality and going for your goals. My collection is a very authentic reflection of my passions for fashion design as well as art.”
While Clarkston junior Alona Lysa was creating her collection “Forest Spirit,” she embraced nostalgia and the fairy tales ornamenting the sweetness of childhood.
“My inspiration was the Michigan woodlands I grew up with, as well as the magic of fairy tale forest creatures I learned about reading children’s books. This relates to the show’s theme because the Michigan woodlands are part of my identity,” Lysa said.
Lysa used green flannel and “fuzzy textures” that reminded her of moss and the greenness of raw wilderness.
She said celebrating identity falls intimately next to the importance of reminiscing in youthfulness and welcoming the freedom of one’s inner forest.