september 2022—march 2023, 7 months
fashion design, visual design
TOOLS: Photoshop, InDesign
TEAM: Joanna Ni, Mason Wang, Audrey Zhao
Lunar Gala is the largest annual student-run fashion event in Pittsburgh, a culmination of artistry in design, modeling, and production, and dance performance to audiences of over 1000. The 2023 show, MORII, expresses the desire to capture a fleeting experience.
Our eleven-look line, XIAO SHI (消失), explores the chronological deterioration of one's culture in a society that misappropriates and misrepresents it. It follows the opposing desires of the immigrant experience— one to preserve the self and another to assimilate in an unforgiving environment, ultimately capturing the fleeting nature of one's cultural identity. Narratives are told through the lens of Chinese mythology, the eight virtues, and satirical takes on western media influence; all ways in which lanquage forms and shapes outward perceptions of culture. As the collection evolves, innocence and nostalgia eventually unravel into a caricature of what is left of one's authentic self, taking tangible experiences to construct a subversive patchwork between the traditional and the contemporary.
Click to skip to:
03. Final Show
About a month and a half before the show, we had a line shoot to gather promotional material for the Lunar Gala website and social media.
I mainly designed 4 pieces total: looks 1, 3, 10, and 11.
The line places an emphasis on a progression of colors and silhouettes, so I utilized dying and spray painting to transition from light to dark.
look 1: skirt draping
look 3: base garment in the process of applying flowers
look 3: back view
look 10: top after dying red and applying fabric, later spray painted black ombre
look 11: constructing top using sheer fabric and chains
For the final look, I designed watersleeves that would be bunched up at the arms until the model reached the end of the runway; then she would release the sleeves, creating a dramatic reveal. I encountered a lot of issues with the weight and movement of the fabric, as well as the release mechanism.
Across all our pieces, we added flower decorations, strong shoulder silhouettes, loose fabrics, and eyewear to maintain consistency.
Not having much experience in fashion design meant much of the process was trial and error; pieces had to be scrapped or remade due to aesthetic or fitting issues.
Despite the grueling process and many late nights over the course of seven months, seeing the show come together was beyond rewarding. I had the opportunity to work with amazing models, sound designers, set designers, photographers, creative team, and stage crew, as well as make memories with my team. Designing for LG has been a priceless learning experience :)