• Tempe Nakiska

Six graduates from Parsons' 2016 Fashion Design & Society MFA on what drives them. Portfolio edit and production for HEROINE MAGAZINE.


“Artists like Damien Hirst, Mark Ryden, Gary Baseman and Anish Kapoor influence me heavily, their works all have a play between opposite elements. For this collection, I was thinking a lot about monsters and little girls, themes relating to Beauty & The Beast or Monsters Inc, telling the story in a romantic way. I used lots of mixed materials, mostly raffia, sequins and shiny silk, tweed and some weird textures.”


“I referred to a lot of fashion illustrators throughout the 20th century like René Bouché, studying their drawing media and techniques and translating them into textiles. I then used these textiles to draw around a body, wanting to avoid the common translation from page to 3D design process. I think our generation is suffering from an information overload. We face the challenge of figuring out what is necessary, learning how to cut down the excess – and then share.”


“I believe that fashion is a powerful platform that can create change. Expressing how you feel can be loud and in your face but it can also be quiet and still meaningful. New York’s fashion landscape is exciting because you have young emerging designers working in ways that really challenge the fashion system, whether it be by production, sustainability, defying the calendar or speaking their mind on social media. It’s also daunting, because I feel a lot of what goes on in New York relies on connections and that can really be disheartening for young designers – I know a lot of work that deserves way more recognition yet goes unnoticed.”


“For this collection, I was inspired by a story about the origins of the Japanese traditional mending technique, kintsugi. The story tells of a warlord who found beauty in porcelain, fixed with staples, an idea which I felt resonated with my personal aesthetic and sensibility. I felt compelled to interpret it into my own vision. I used the Japanese sakiori technique to create recycled fabric by collecting cut o jean legs and then shredding them into strings and weaving together again to make new jeans.”


“Inspiration comes from my own life – what I see, what I think, what I eat, the art installations I make. My work focuses on combining tailoring and draping of garments, and the actions involved in creating gradually become the inspiration behind my designs. I twist – conceptually and literally – my Eastern roots with the Western culture I am constantly surrounded by.”


“This collection was based around machines and engineering, the clothes were constructed by cutting and joining individual pieces to produce repurposed looks. I have always been curious about how machines function, my father and I used to disassemble mechanical structures then put them back together, sometimes replacing a component to change its function. I like to think this method can produce similarly interesting outcomes if applied to fashion design.”

Designer edit, portfolio production and interviews TEMPE NAKISKA
Photography BEN LAMBERTY
Published in HEROINE MAGAZINE, 2016

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