In conjunction with the summer 2015 photoshoot, Stonewash Magazine spoke with each of the graduating Lasell College designers. They shared a few thoughts on inspiration, process, style, and what important lessons they will carry with them as they venture out into the world of fashion. -Editor, David Sano

 

“My inspiration was abandoned buildings and decaying architecture, so I drew inspiration from superficial decay, like chipped paint and crumbling walls. I tried to mimic and incorporate the textures I found in abandoned buildings into my clothes.”

So says designer Lindsay Griffin, describing Oblivion, her fittingly-named Lasell College senior collection. With its striking, purposeful negation of the bright, shiny and new aesthetics usually associated with high fashion, Griffin’s collection makes for a head-turning statement.

One of Griffin’s primary inspirations was a book about abandoned buildings in Massachusetts, including a number of former insane asylums. She says the book contained many “creepy, but beautiful pictures.”

Griffin finds inspiration everywhere. “Just everyday things, and what I see around me,” she says. “[I make] rough sketches in my notebook and I’ll just take down notes of what I see and different things that I could incorporate into the collection so I just don’t forget.”

For Griffin, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary begins with raw materials. “I’m really big into textiles and finding the textiles first,” she says. “Especially around here, there aren’t a lot of fabric stores, so you kind of have to work with what you have. I’ll try to find a textile that I can incorporate and even manipulate… For one of the [Oblivion garments] I dyed the fabric and shredded it and then made my own textile out of it. So that’s a huge thing for me, the textiles.”

Griffin believes uniqueness is paramount to the success of a young designer. She believes one should have “Their own sense of style, and something that makes them unique. You can’t just go out and make something that you can just buy in the store. You have to be different.”

Striving for uniqueness can be difficult however, given everything that is already out there. Griffin’s ambitious designs for Oblivion pushed into uncharted territory, and also pushed her skills to the limit. Many of Oblivion’s avant-garde and non-traditional looks led to difficulties in fabrication – which she took as learning opportunities. “At first I didn’t think I was going to have that hard of a time, but as I got into it I realized that some of the things were difficult and some of the things I was trying to do weren’t working out,” she recalls. “Like the coat with the lapels that were painted – well I originally wanted to bleach the fabric and I tried so many times and it didn’t work, so it was kind of about trial and error.”

 

 

 

“I think it all worked out in the end,” she concludes, “because I did a lot of testing of different ways to distress the fabric.”

There were also outside voices, some helpful. “We did a lot of critiquing through the process of making these collections with our class and our professor,” Griffin remembers, “So if you hear the same thing a lot, then obviously you might want to step back a little bit and review what you’re doing. If it’s like one person says one thing and another person says another – everybody always has their own opinions, so at that point you just have to do what you want to do.”

And that is Griffin’s plan, even if it means standing and striving apart from the mainstream. “I just want to do what I want to do,” she says. “I think there’s always a market for something even if it’s small.”

After all, style is subjective, and Griffin knows that even those with untraditional tastes need vehicles for self-expression. “Style is definitely how you portray yourself to the world,” she says. “[Style is] about being confident in what you’re wearing too. One person might think an outfit looks horrible, but if the person that’s wearing it is confident… that’s their style.”

Moving forward, Griffin would like to fully explore the ideas she set in motion with Oblivion. “I haven’t done any other collections before, and I think I found my true style working on my senior line,” she says. “So I definitely want to play with texture and pattern and color more.”

Griffin hopes to inspire the confidence latent within the wearers of her clothing. However, she knows that her unorthodox designs require a certain preexisting sense of panache. “I definitely want them to feel like they’re wearing something unique and original, and not something that they could go out to any other store and buy,” she says. “And I want them to feel – it’s definitely for a confident woman who doesn’t mind being the center of attention, because some of my clothes are so bold that it’s going to draw attention to them.”

-Editor, David Sano

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion Designer Lindsay Griffin

 

 

 

 

 

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