April 25, 2013

Student Fashion Spotlight: Alie Bauer ’13

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NOMAD.SOLDIER is Alie Bauer ’13’s second collection with the Cornell Fashion Collective, but she has been doodling clothing since middle school (she could never find anything she wanted to wear). While her friends gravitated to Hollister and Abercrombie, Bauer looked to her imagination to create what she would actually want to wear (if it existed). As a result, her clothing choices in high school were a little out of the ordinary.  Back then, she used to be into ska punk, now, she is more inspired by goth chic designers like Rick Owens. Her design aesthetic has  certainly come a long way over the years, especially during her time at Cornell. Bauer reflected on one of her old designs in the CFC show a year or so ago that included a full body orange jumpsuit —  “I don’t know what I was thinking,”  she laughed. Her current collection makes reference to Owens, Damir Doma, Wayne Design and Blood of Heroes, a post-apocalyptic film where people play a brutal gladiator game to advance in society, though you probably wouldn’t recognize the references unless you knew about them in advance (thank goodness you read the Sun). All of the costuming in the film contains “lots of layers, lots of toughness, but its also very earthy and sort of primitive looking.” Her friends make fun of one piece she made, saying it looks “sort of like a jedi robe.”“I love that description,” remarked Bauer. “Thats exactly what I was going for, you know, Star Trek.  Even my boots kind of look like what star troopers wear in star trek, sort of pseudo sci-fi. I’m really into that kind of thing.”It’s taken a long time and quite a few questionable choices for Bauer to discover her aesthetic. But Bauer’s love for fashion is like her love for Star Trek: sure to be long-lasting and filled with futuristic earthy tones.  In the style of Blood of Heroes, her pieces contain some leather and quilting, but her biggest signature has to be the crescent shaped pads — sometimes stitched onto shoulders for a claw-like look and sometimes sewn in underneath pieces to create a drape effect. Accented with black-chain necklaces that she made herself, her collection reflects a vision for the future that she self-describes as goth-chic. One could imagine that Bauer’s collection may look like a selection of battle wear. After seeing some of her pieces, I can attest to how far that is from the truth. Her collection is very wearable — earthy jackets, black denim slouchy jeans, cropped tanks and silvery green drape. This is one of the benefits of having an eight-to-twelve piece collection, Bauer notes: Instead of creating outfits, designers have more room to create pieces that could really be mixed and matched within the collection, and that could work as daily wear off the runway. After years with CFC, she has learned the importance of trial and error. In the past she would have drawn one design and began the production process, but with time, and some advice from a professor, she has embraced the necessity of the draft. She imagined her professor chiding her: “No, you have to draw like 300 of those.” All in all, designing for CFC has been like nothing else she has done, and quite possible like nothing else at Cornell. “I gotta say, I know everyone at Cornell works hard and I totally understand, but this is just a different kind of work,” said Bauer. “It’s very very personal because in a sense all of it is you. like everything, every single decision you make, every single color you choose, every single texture, everything you do and then you show it to like 2500 people on this huge runway. … Just the sewing  itself takes hours and hours and hours so you spend a lot of time staring at it and thinking about it and and by the time you’re almost done with it, it takes a lot to be like I’m still good with this, you know you think a lot about other things. So I guess I’ve learned a lot about believing in what you decide and making the decisions and sticking by them and learning how to problem solve and make it work. … You have to get over those little roadblocks to achieve your whole vision, and getting that whole package together is a hugely rewarding experience. So, thats something I’ve learned. It’s worth fighting for your vision”

Original Author: Arielle Cruz