While she may come from a small town south of Houston, Christina Aguilar ’13 is a metropolitan girl with an edgy fashion sense. She thinks that the statue of Ezra Cornell on the Arts Quad would look more regal in a top hat. This April, at the 29th Annual CFC fashion show, she will debut her “contemporary, stark and fluid” senior collection,“Turbulence.”
The Sun: So let’s talk a little about why you chose to be a Fiber Science and Apparel Design major.
Christina Aguilar: Initially, I didn’t know why I wanted to go to college and what I wanted to do, and I applied to a lot of different majors. I visited here before I came and I really liked the program. I kind of liked the dynamic between the students. I know that at a lot of other schools it seems like a really harsh and competitive environment among design students, but here it just kind of seemed like a big family, and I like that.
Sun: What other programs did you apply to if you weren’t sure about fashion design at first?
Aguilar: I did really various things like business major, engineering … an assortment [laughs]
Sun: Wow, a lot of diverse talents there. So tell me: Who’s your favorite designer and did they inspire your senior collection in any way?
C.A.: I have a lot of different designers who I admire … right now, one of my favorite designers is Ann Demeulemeester. I really like the silhouettes of her clothes. I feel like I can always relate to her aesthetic and her lines; her stuff’s really beautiful.
Sun: How would you describe your own sense of fashion?
C.A.: I’m really into super modern, contemporary fashion — clothes that are a little experimental. I think that the clothes I design are pretty much date-wear, but with a twist, a little bit edgier. I’m interested in producing basics [with] silhouettes a little exaggerated. [They are] clothes that you wouldn’t find anywhere.
Sun: To those who don’t know, can you explain what the senior collection is?
C.A.: With Cornell Fashion Collective, if you’re a fourth level, which means you’ve been doing this for four years, you’re allowed to show 11 looks and 11 models … most people have a bit fewer than that. Basically, you conceptualize this collection for the whole year and you work on it the whole year. It does take a long time because you have to have fittings … some people do a lot of experimentation with their own fabrics.
Sun: So what’s the typical day like during this busy time?
C.A.: [Laughs] I’m pretty much nocturnal right now, it’s pretty crazy. I know a lot of people do stay [in studio] many nights. I’m personally really good friends with the janitors here because I see them all the time.
Sun: So let’s talk about your collection. What’s it called?
C.A.: My collection is called “Turbulence.” I was interested in doing a line of basics — pieces that I would wear and [that] I thought would be sort of the building blocks of a wardrobe. But I wanted to play with movement, lines and silhouettes. [For] some of my pieces, when the model’s walking in them, they might move or shift. I like the idea that when you’re walking, the forms can be sort of distorted.
Sun: What’s the hardest part of your design process from idea to creation?
C.A.: I guess the hardest part for me is getting what [I] want in 3D forms. I feel like I draw a lot. I’ll draw all these shapes and then when you’re actually having to pattern that in muslin, it just gets really complicated. I think the hardest part is getting the designs you have in your head to manifest in real life.
Sun: Are there times when you had a design that became something totally different when you actually started creating it?
C.A.: [Laughs] Yeah, I think that happens all the time.
Sun: Do you have one standout item from your collection that you’re going to save for last?
C.A.: You should come to the show and see!
Sun: The media portrays the fashion industry as really harsh and cut-throat, a la The Devil Wears Prada. Is there some truth to that?
C.A.: I think there are definitely some pretty intimidating characters, but it’s not always like that. As long as you go in and you’re motivated and you work hard, you’ll be fine. There might be some people who are just mean, but I haven’t encountered anyone like that.
Sun: So what would you say to people who don’t normally follow fashion to entice them to come to the fashion show?
C.A.: You don’t have to know a lot about fashion to enjoy it. We’ve been working really hard, there are a lot of talented designers who are showing, there’s going to be a lot of great models walking in it … It’s going to be great fun, it’s always a great show.
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Original Author: Katherine Carreno