2019 Designer Profiles: Kathryn Hicks
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. This edition features Kathryn Hicks, a fourth year Chemistry & Philosophy double major.
Kathryn is a fourth year Chemistry and Philosophy double major from New Jersey. She’s also involved with MODA Blog and has a love for pale pink, mid-century chair design and birds.
What are some sources of inspiration for your collection?
In general, I'm a huge fan of mid-century design and drew a lot of inspiration from old-school sketches of mid-length full-skirted dresses and the angularity of furniture design (ask me about my affinity for chairs in design museums if you have an hour to kill). As cliche as "mid-century modern" has become, I did want to modernize the silhouettes with metallic fabrics and constructing geometrically structured elements built off of the shoulders and waists. I also definitely wanted to build upon my designs from last year and challenge myself with more intensive sewing in this collection.
Have you ever done fashion design work before?
My first time designing for the show was last year, and I am still so happy that I kicked my butt into gear and crossed this off my college bucket list. Other than that, I've never done any official fashion design work - although, I have made some simpler garments for myself in the past and frequently mend/alter old or thrifted pieces.
What are some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the process?
My attitude towards sewing and designing in general is honestly a chaotic medley of creativity (read: you're literally transforming a flat rectangle of fabric into some crazy cool wearable art form) and frustration (read: you frequently fall into the trap of mis-measuring and ruining one of those flat rectangles of fabric you found while at home and can't get more of #TooSpecificToNotHaveHappenedToMe). It sounds like a deadly mix as I read this back now, but it's what I find so enjoyable about the process.
I've recently realized that, since coming to college, I have developed a horrible tendency to take too much on and rush through things to get them done, completely conflicting with my perfectionist habits. Sewing has truly been such a formative hobby for me, as it is one of the few activities I force myself to be patient with (again, so many yards of fabric have been left in my wake from hasty cutting).
I have come to adopt a little mantra of "always press your seams" and think that sums up things nicely. It's true on the surface level–yes, please, always press seams at each step in sewing projects–it makes everything run smoother and look nicer. But it's also true in the general life sense. Just taking the time to do things fully and creating something you're completely proud of is an amazing feeling and something I'm trying to bring back to my non-fabric-oriented life.
What are you looking forward to most about the show?
I'm so excited to see everyone's designs! I've been making the little featured image collage things for these designer profiles, and I have been so inspired by seeing all the sketches while doing so. I'm seriously so hyped to see how everything materializes!
What’s your favorite aspect of the design process?
My favorite aspect is just being able to do whatever your heart desires and express yourself. Although it can sometimes be complicated and frustrating to translate the image you conjure up into reality (@SlipperyMetallicFabricThatHasBeenTheDeathOfMe), it's still such a cool and proud feeling to look at the final product when you finally get things pieced together. You didn't ask, but my least favorite aspect is seam-ripping–the literal perfect punishment to wish upon your enemies.
All images courtesy of Kathryn Hicks.