Finding e.motion

Out of 35,000 undergraduates at the U of M, here are the 12 graduating in apparel design this year

Photos courtesy Alexis Frey and Emily Dufault.
Alexis Frey and Emily Dufault are two of the 12 presenting apparel design seniors at the University of Minneota Colelge of Design’s annual fashion show.

Photos courtesy Alexis Frey and Emily Dufault

Out of the 35,000-plus undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota, there are 12 apparel design seniors graduating this year. Although they have all shared 22 major classes together, they each have their own perspective, and you’ll see that in their senior fashion show, e.motion, on Feb. 2 at Rapson Hall at the University of Minnesota.

You’ll see lingerie and bridal wear, attire inspired by the in-betweenness of immigration and feminine archetypes, and more. Before you go, here’s a snapshot of two of the designers.


Photos courtesy Alexis Frey.
Photos by Alexis Frey

Alexis Frey

Alexis Frey came to the University of Minnesota only knowing where the sewing machine’s “on” switch was, but since then, she has grown to fall in love with sportswear and technical design which, at its simplest, includes converting designs to reality by creating specification and working with the producer. Her collection “Rogue” has activewear for women of all ages that can be worn in and outside the gym, and she eschewed her go-to neutral palette in favor of pushing herself to play with iridescent and vibrant colors.

What draws you to technical design in the sportswear industry?

I have a personal interest in women’s weight training and really like functional design. I find it more rewarding to create a functional product that gets the job done without sacrificing style. Technical design focuses on these details more than design, and the job fits well with my type-A personality! As I’m looking for jobs, I also relate with sportswear brand values of health and wellness. I feel that it would fit well to bring my personal life and work life values together.
 

Why do you normally like neutrals? And, given that, what made you want to go for something different with this collection?

In my personal wardrobe I prefer neutrals because they don’t go out of style and are easy to pair together. I also find that they are easy to design into as well, so in learning new techniques I always reached for them because they were a “safety net” I suppose you could say! In Rogue I designed more for my ideal self. They aren’t pieces that I normally would walk into a store and buy, but it is the street style that I always admire on Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, etc.
 

What is the meaning behind the title, Rogue?

The word “rogue” refers to behaving in a way that is unexpected or not normal. I chose this word for the title of my collection for a couple reasons. There are many ideas and opinions in the fitness industry about what is the “right” way to do things, but my guest is confident in herself and does whatever she feels. Personally, I have grown and learned a lot in the past few years. I am continually learning about myself and strive to do what I believe is best for my life, even if it goes against advice I am given. “Rogue” reminds me that it is okay to go against the grain sometimes.
 

Photos by Emily Dufault.
Photos by Emily Dufault

Emily Dufault

Emily Dufault grew up drawing and painting in rural Minnesota, and when she began working at a small boutique at age 15, her love for art collided with a passion for styling and fashion. Her collection “Pyro” speaks to the raw and wild power within every woman, and while every piece of wearable art is different from the next, that’s the point: Every woman is different, but each one has their own voice.

Why “wearable art” as opposed to, say, streetwear?

I love wearable art because there is so much variation in the response that you will get from the people viewing your designs. If you design a sweatshirt people either like it or they don’t. But with wearable art people may not know how to react and that’s the fun part! People can have such a wide range of reactions to this type of design which goes along with the endless possibilities of inspiration that these designs can stem from.
 

Could you give an example of one of the material manipulations you did for this collection?

One example of material manipulation that I am in love with is my line is Look Two. This look represents ashes and, at a glance, looks like a massive net that the model is wearing. The thing is, this look is made out of a metallic fur. The fur was cut into strips and constructed into a net. I absolutely love how over a month of work turned out in this fun piece. I wanted to create a visually heavy look that was still soft to the touch, much like ashes.
 

Can you tell me more about the inspiration to your collection?

I have been graced to have a number of incredible women in my life who I know and aspire to become one day. These women—whether they are my mom, aunt, grandmother or friend—have impacted me in some way shape or form by being the bold, powerful, beautiful women that they are. Not every woman has as strong of a voice, and I wanted to design for women to feel confident in what they are putting on their bodies. …  Women come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and our beauty varies just as much. No matter what you look like, you can always look bold and beautiful in your own skin and clothing

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