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Oakland high school student Zachary Fernandez made it to the finals on the first season of Project Runway Junior, then headed straight back to Oakland School of the Arts to continue his education as a designer. His newest collection, Kathmandu, was inspired by recovery efforts in Nepal after the devastating 2015 earthquake. Art School followed Fernandez's process as he sketched, sourced fabric, and designed his new project, revealed at a culminating fashion show in spring 2016.
Hi, my name is Zachary Fernandez and I'm currently a fashion student. So I am starting my Kathmandu 2016 collection. My collection's gonna be debuting at my school fashion show, and so I have little under seven weeks to get this all put together. So our school assignment was to pick a city that we wanted to be inspired by for this collection. I ended with Kathmandu, Nepal, all of the trouble that they went through last year was really inspiring and I was able to take those ideas of imbalance and the destruction of culture and apply that to this new collection. These are the pieces that I ended up designing. They're ever-changing and they kind of just are always in flux. My sketching process involves a lot of images, a lot of mixed medias, I like to do collages, watercolors, acrylic paste, it's a real reflection of what my mind looks like. Here you have the final sketches that I've done. The sketching process for me is really a major step between just ideas and kind of this fantasy world that I've created in my mind to really functional wearable pieces. Fabric sourcing is one of my favorite things to do. It's really like a group activity, like meet a couple of friends, we'll just go, we'll explore the city, we'll get inspiration. So I'm looking for like a very pale blue that's almost like very silverish, and then I'm gonna be looking for a very deep, rust orange color. Okay, so I need to find this, but more grayish blue. The fabric store is one of those places that you go in with one idea and one concept and one thought, and you come out with like 500 more. This is it.
- This is it!
- This is it.
- [Girl] Dude!
- Hey! Yes! So I spend the majority of my time draping and it's definitely a part that will make or break a piece. I take a piece of muslin, which is just a really basic blend fabric, and I started sculpting it to the dress form. And then those mock-ups that I make of the dress form are then fitted to the model, and sometimes I try them on a model, I'm like, this is hideous, I don't know why, it just overpowers her or something happens and that leads to even better ideas and even more just, creativeness. When you design while you create, I just think it takes so much longer and you like pressure yourself so much more. So, my design mind is turned off. And it's just about sewing, and sewing, and sewing, and sewing, and sewing. So after I finish draping, I take a part of that mockup and I totally seam rip it and I re-pattern it, and then I cut out of my real fabric. It's always really nerve-wracking 'cause a lot of times the fabric's all that you have, either the budget doesn't allow for you to get more fabric, or there's simply not anymore left. It has this like box-like structure in it. The box is actually lined with horse-hair so that it can kind of take the shape and that's why I'm kind of trying to like manipulate it right now 'cause it just takes on whatever shape you really need it to. The show, oh the show. Six days, and I'm still cutting up fabric like, I don't think that's normal. There's always going to be that last minute hurry up and finish like state of being. I have a picture in my mind about how this is supposed to go, but who knows if it actually go that way. I think that there can be a lot of different ways to read the look. Obviously you look for like the main things like color, silhouette, is this an evening piece, is this a day piece and you just kind of put the garment and choose certain categories and that really helps people read fashion out, by the time the piece is on the runway I'm already thinking about a whole new collection and I'm really thinking something totally different, but it doesn't really hit me that these people, for them it's the first time that they've seen this. I've spent months and months planning and sketching and putting it together. If I see all these different things in these pieces, but no one else does, then it's kind of sad, but then it's also part of what makes fashion art, is because people see it in so many different ways. We are in my home, studio, bedroom combination in Berkeley, California. I have this look from Project Runway Junior, which was the first episode, and this look for my most recent collection. They really mean a lot to me 'cause they show how much progress I've made within the last four, five months.
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I think fashion design would be so fun to try. I want to try and make a line of modest formal wear. It's getting more difficult to find clothes that I like because now there are so many things I see in stores for girls my age that are too tight for my liking, ripped, sleeveless, see through, cropped, etc. So designing clothes to fit my style would be very nice
To all those crying out saying you can't draw. It's absolutely okay. Trust me. If you're clear about your desings and construction of the dress, you can do it. And if you're in a professional platform where it is necessary to represent the art you can hire a fashion illustrator
Don´t forget that you really have to know what women find attractive to men, en men to women. I know it´s maybe superficial, but human spiecies are still part of the animal world and busy with evolution, perhaps unconsciously. It´s very, very important to know what people like about other people. I think Hugo Boss with his wife and Coco Chanel are great examples of people who did it right. Also, cultural influences are ofcourse really important. If you are interested in African clothing for instance you will learn a lot. In Africa people are very in touch with nature, and combine elements of nature in what they wear. On a very high level. Good luck!
I liked ur video.....but pls...u or someone else pls give me some tips on mixing shades and drawing flares and actually adding colors to design.....coz i can draw figures well with pencil ...but when it comes to colour it...i actually destroy my design. ...so...help...pls💜👗
Hi, can you please suggest when do you purchase fabrics... before illustration or after you are done with illustration ....what if you dont get fabric as per your silhouette in illustration(post illustration scenario, after mood board)
Being from Nepal and watching this makes my heart beam with happiness. I am so glad you choose Nepal. It's a beautiful country with multicultural diversity ❤️❤️ and because of you i am inspired to be a FD. HUGE LOVE FROM NEPAL
I'm 14 and I really love clothes and designing things. I make little designs of my own when I have time of feel like it. And I really want to be a fashion designer 😂 But I don't really think I can, with how my school is and how low the economy? is where I live. I know it's a little chance of becoming one for me yet I really want to do this. 😂😂
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