Many are familiar with the term gender fluidity in fashion. But, what about age fluidity?
In an industry that worships youth, Vera Blinova, Jihoon Kim, Ying Feng, and Zehua Wu who are students of the Parsons MFA Program decided to go on the opposite end of the spectrum and looked into aging.
An offshoot of the Design Studio 1: “Embodying Universal Bodies” design project that took place during the Fall Semester of the Parsons MFA Fashion Design & Society program, the concept of Age Fluidity was born.
This 12-week design project focused on creating designs that focus on Disability, Plus-Size, Transgender and Aging. Students were divided into 4 design teams with each team charged to find a muse/ collaborator within the respected category to ensure primary research and a meaningful outcome.
MFA Fashion Design & Society students Vera Blinova, Jihoon Kim, Ying Feng, and Zehua Wu collectively aimed their efforts on the aspect of Aging. Through social media, they found Lyn Slater aka Icon Accidental and embarked on a 12-week collaboration, in which by the end, they had to present an 8-look collection, addressing the aspect of Aging.
With the concept of Age Fluidity, the collection was created through a selection of Lyn Slater’s existing wardrobe, spanning various decades as a template of memory and nostalgia.
These particular looks were then re-imagined through the notion of fabrics and threads going through wear and tear just as the aging body does.
This resulted in the production of garments incorporating intricately crafted couture fabrics – reestablishing nostalgia and aging not as a retrospective lens but one of contemporary significance.
The not so accidental collaboration between Icon Accidental and design students proved to be a valuable design experience. The collection emphasizes the importance of Lyn Slater’s lived experience through various decades and the value of garments as memories and identifiers of our ageless, ever-developing identity.
Living in a world of mass-production, this collection sequentially aims to address society’s unhealthy consumerist behavior towards the notion of ‘newness’ and ‘time’ and the value we collectively place into that.
On February 20, 2020, the collection was presented in an event hosted by DREEMS, a launchpad for rising designers. Founded in 2017 by Alise Trautmane-Uzuner and Sai Kong, DREEMS is located in the heart of New York’s SoHo neighborhood where they curate and develop the most innovative brands and minds in the industry.
DREEMS is the preeminent fashion launchpad for emerging designers that offers business development solutions including a luxury concept store in prime Soho, NYC, PR showroom, wholesale, branding, integrated communications, and production services.
Photos courtesy of Dreems