Students and alumni of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study explored the intersection of technology and fashion at the annual Gallatin Fashion Show. This year’s theme was Techstyles, held on Thursday, March 3 in the Jerry H. Labowitz Theater for the Performing Arts.
Before the show began, Gallatin alumna Colby Jordan gave opening remarks tracing the history of fashion and its relationship with technology — from Alexander Wang’s integration of heat technology in the fall/winter 2014 collection to the aestheticizing of the Apple Watch.
Jordan then sat down with Gallatin professor Peder Anker, who specializes in the sciences and is a published author of “Global Design,” to discuss the intersection of science, technology and fashion. The discussion segued seamlessly into the presentation of 16 very unique fashion collections all under the umbrella of science and technology.
From futuristic designs to sustainable creations and repurposed ensembles, every collection had its own distinct theme. The designers — who were both current students and alumni — had the opportunity to introduce their work and credit their inspirations before presenting to the audience.
Gallatin sophomore Mackenzie Leighton has been involved with the show for two years now. She said the show helps spark her creativity.
“I wanted my collection this year, ‘The Natural World,’ to be a playful and refreshing representation of the space we inhabit when we strip away the modern definitions of science and technology,” Leighton said.
The clothes used various fabrics such as burlap and canvas all in earth tones and clearly pulled textures from the ground such as fields of grass and heaps of wool. Every ensemble was paired with a unique mask that were reminiscent of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Emily Bell, a Gallatin senior, had always been interested in the show since her freshman year. This year was the first opportunity where she had time to dedicate to creating a collection and she used her concentration as the central focus.
“As soon as I saw that the theme was science and technology I began brainstorming ways to take it in an unexpected direction,” Bell said. “Since I’ve spent a large amount of time in my Gallatin concentration studying mutually assured destruction and the Cold War, I began to think about how technology simultaneously destroys and protects us.”
Other nnotable collections include:
“Seen: The Visibility Project,” a social commentary on our society’s effects on the female image, each look marked with an X on a part of the female figure society is often fixated on.
“Deus Ex Machina,” a collection of utilitarian and structured shirts was an effort, as stated by the student designer Matthew Clay Russo in the show lookbook, to expose how “the manufacturing process is shrouded from the public consciousness.”
Whether students were pushing their creativity to new heights or integrating their concentrations in unexpected ways, this year’s Gallatin Fashion Show: Techstyles was surely not lacking in self-expression.
A version of this article appeared in the March 7 print edition. Email Gabriella Bower at [email protected]