2019 Designer Profiles: Louis Levin
Every year, the MODA Fashion Show wraps up winter quarter with the perfect homage to student talent, hard work and creativity. In anticipation of the show, we have been interviewing some of the designers involved in this year’s show. Meet Louis Levin, a second-year majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities with a focus on fashion and the incoming EIC of MODA Magazine.
What are some sources of inspiration for your collection?
In creating my designs, I wanted to explore the intersection of masculinity and femininity. I was interested in creating super feminine, women's evening wear and imbuing it with a masculine-inspired twist.
The pieces also look at how fashion is an armor for many of us, so I played with materials and metals to investigate that.
Have you ever done fashion design work before? What are some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the process?
Last quarter I took a TAPS class in which I made a pillow and a button-down shirt, but before that, nothing. It’s definitely been a dive in the deep-end for me, and I’m really grateful for that. I learn best on the fly, and I’ve enjoyed seeing my progress. The most challenging part for me has been fit. My pieces are tight, and establishing that whilst still allowing my models to walk (and breathe!) has proven difficult. The most rewarding aspect is definitely that second fitting: putting the dress on my models after the hiccups of the first time and feeling (hopefully) really happy with what I’ve been able to produce is such a precious feeling.
What are you looking forward to most about the show?
I can’t wait to see my pieces move and interact with the world. I’m used to working on them in an intimate and static setting, which in many ways feels unnatural. I want to see how they really look.
Who do you have in mind when you’re designing?
I imagine women much like my models: boldly beautiful. In appearance, they’re tall, athletic, and they pack a presence. They’re fierce, and they use clothing as a tool and a weapon. Their dresses don’t give them power–they’re full of it already–but instead accentuate and express it.
If you could give yourself any advice on the design process, what would you say to your younger self?
Breathe! When I love something, I dive head first. I would remind myself to pause and take it all in, to truly relish in it. And to have allowed some moments for reflection before snipping those sheers. Once you cut, you can’t go back; something I’ve learned the hard way!
What’s your favorite aspect of the design process?
I have really enjoyed draping. I’m not a big fan of sketching, and for me draping is a much more effective way of getting my ideas across. Hanging my fabrics on the mannequins and having the ability to play with them directly is really suited to my creative process. I love that moment where I’ve done enough stitches and snips to put something on the form and see the semblance of a dress emerging.
All images courtesy of Louis Levin