FADS ‘Biotic Wonders’ Fashion Show Showcases Sustainable Clothing Models

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Jace Williams plans to recycle earth-toned clothing into his designs for the next Fashion and Design Society show. He is excited to incorporate his new skill of working with textiles into the design of parts for the show.

“As a fashion design student, I just walked into a textiles class where we basically discuss natural fibers and the natural elements of fashion and resources,” Williams said. “So basically having this all earthy, organic fashion show really helps me show off what I’ve learned.”

FADS ‘first in-person show since 2019, “Biotic Wonders,” is all about using natural elements and organic patterns in fashion design. Fashion designers who make the clothes are encouraged to use recycled or sustainably sourced materials in their clothing designs.

The theme of the show in early December centers around climate change and humanity. Jessie Zhai, co-chair of FADS and creative director of “Biotic Wonders,” said the committees working on the show decided on the theme unanimously. When the committees presented their ideas, they were all somewhat the same as Zhai had in mind.


“What I was thinking was something that relates to climate change, something that relates to the earth, and just generally the human experience because I feel like it’s a wonderful thing to do. … And my teams reacted in essentially the same way, ”Zhai said.

The inspiration for the creative director comes from Neri Oxman, American-Israeli designer and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. Zhai watched Oxman in the second season of Netflix’s “Abstract: The Art of Design”. His work combines biology, technology and design. The way Oxman works resonated with Zhai after watching the show.

The specifics and details of “Biotic Wonders” evolve as all the different teams work to bring all of the components together into a cohesive end product. Right now, set designers are figuring out how to create an ensemble that works with the theme and complements the clothing without distracting from the designs, said Lainey Marra, fifth-year architecture major.

Marra embarks on her first show with FADS as director of scenography for “Biotic Wonders”. She hopes her team can build a setting in the most environmentally friendly way possible, using recycled materials or materials that can be returned to anyone. Marra said the team’s goal is to create a setting without creating waste, to complement the theme of the show.

Since it was her first time with FADS, Marra studied other fashion shows and chatted with the rest of her set team about what works and what doesn’t.

“The only thing that looks like a step into the unknown is (that) I’ve designed a set for a video production before, but I’ve never been to a fashion show. So there is just a lot of learning, ”said Marra. “I think in a way that might be the most exciting part because it’s an opportunity to learn all of that.”

Director of the scenography of the show Biotic Wonders of FADS, fifth year student of architecture Lainey Marra

Lainey Marra, fifth year architecture student (photo), is the director of scenography for “Biotic Wonders”, her first show with FADS.
Meghan Hendricks | Ass. Photo editor

The planning process for the show is still in its early stages. Williams is in the process of determining what materials he wants to use to make his designs. Last year it took him about 100 hours to make two pieces. This year, he estimates that he will spend 300 to 400 hours on his four creations.

The location of the fashion show is yet to be determined, but the fashion designers have sent in their final submissions for decisions to be made. Once the location has been chosen, Marra and her scenography team can get to work to design and build the set. She and her team are responsible for aspects of the show large and small, including sourcing and use of materials, lighting and seating arrangements, Marra said.

Having an in-person fashion show is a change for Williams, and he finds it both exciting and scary. He’s used to doing shows virtually, because as a sophomore in SU that’s all he knows. Last year, FADS had more freedom because everything was recorded, which made it possible to re-shoot and eliminate slippage.

FADS Co-President and Creative Director Jessie Zhai

Meghan Hendricks | Ass. Maya Goosmann Photo Editor | Director of digital design

But in general, everyone in FADS is happy to return to the shows in person, Zhai said. “Biotic Wonders” and the Spring Show will be Zhai’s last shows with FADS before she graduates in May.

“I wanted it to work well. I wanted to make it memorable, leave memories for people who can come after, and they can tell new members about the show after we graduate, ”Zhai said.

Contact Gavi: [email protected] | @gavi_azoff

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