MODA Designer Profiles: Monica Ren
Every year, the MODA Fashion Show wraps up winter quarter with the perfect homage to student talent, hard work and creativity. In anticipation of this year's show, we have interviewed some of the designers involved. Meet Monica Ren, a second-year Art History and Visual Arts double major from Beijing!
What inspired your collection? How have these inspirations manifested themselves in your work?
My collection was inspired by the layering and materiality. I want to experiment with the various movements and fluidity of different materials, to layer them together and to mix and match. I’m also interested in the structure and silhouette of traditional East Asian costumes, especially the long sleeves and loose edges. I think it would be interesting to place them together with some unconventional, playful garment elements, like reversed collar and corset.
Have you ever worked with fashion before? What have you found the most rewarding about the design process?
I designed for the show last year with MODA’s Designer Boot Camp. The experience was exceptional and I learned a lot about both the practical and theoretical aspects of fashion design. Garment construction is such a versatile and creative process without any limitation. There are always multiple ways to achieve a similar effect and each one of them is a departure point for imagination. The process of creating something fresh and inventing my own of doing things are the most rewarding for me.
What are you most excited for when it comes to the big day? Do you have plans to continue working with fashion, in any way, in the future?
I’m really looking forward to and afraid of the day to come at the same time. I have been making changes constantly along the way, so I don’t know if the final products could convey what I envisioned when I started sketching. But it is also something I’m excited to see. Experimenting with draping and messing around with fabric, I found that the garments have grown into life, even able to decide for themselves. But I think no matter how they turn out, I’d love to watch them manifested on a real human body and walk down the runway. I’ve always been interested in fashion and arts. I think I will continue designing for MODA if given the chance. As an arts major, I also want to engage with some fabric/clothing in my projects and learn more about the history and development of fashion.
All images courtesy of Monica Ren, designer portrait courtesy of Vivian Lu.