2019 Designers Profiles: Caroline Mejia
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 Caroline X Mejia, a fourth-year Philosophy Major!
What are some sources of inspiration for your collection?
My collection's main theme is transformation. The color schemes for my designs are drawn from popular icons from my youth. This is the first year that my designs each have their own unique color palette rather than having a color palette unite the collection. I wanted to challenge myself by both creating pieces that transform on the runway and using different color schemes for each of the pieces so that they aren't as explicitly united.
Have you ever done fashion design work before? What are some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the process?
I have been designing for the MODA fashion show since my first year. However, I've been designing and creating clothes since I was about nine after my grandmother taught me how to sew.
I've created pieces mainly for myself to wear and have recently become interested in cosplay which is like a whole new world of design. I tend not to use patterns so the hardest part for me is visualizing and making small diagrams for how I'm going to cut things out and sew them together. It's really cool to see it all come together but it's a little challenging if I want to make more than one version of something. Another challenge for me is stopping something once I've started. A day will fly by and I'll hardly notice because I'll be so focused on things.
One of the most rewarding parts [of the process] is being able to translate my designs from two dimensional media to three dimensional media and seeing the final product. By creating my deigns, I am able to take them to another level and put more detail in than I can on paper.
What are you looking forward to most about the show?
My favorite part of the show is seeing the audiences’ reactions. It makes all the long nights of work worth it. All of the insecurities about my designs melt away.
Who do you have in mind when you’re designing?
Primarily myself. When I create a design, I think, "Would I wear this?" If the answer is no, that usually means I have some work to do in terms of editing the designs. When people see my pieces I not only want them to love how they look, I want them to think, "I want that in my closet." Because of this, I try to think about everyday wear when I design my pieces. Personally, I'll be more hesitant to buy something if it doesn't have pockets or is dry clean only, so I try to work in things like that.
If you could give yourself any advice on the design process, what would you say to your younger self?
Get a sewing machine! I went so long without having my own machine. The time it takes me to create my designs more than halved after buying my own machine.
What’s your favorite aspect of the design process?
I love the moment when I feel inspiration to create something. It's an energy that I just have to get out; first by sketching the designs then by actually creating them.
All photos via Caroline X Mejia