MODA Blog

MODA Designer Profiles: Chiang Yan Li

MODA Designer Profiles: Chiang Yan Li

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 will be interviewing some of the MODA Designers. Meet Chiang Yan Li, a 2nd year Economics and Fundamentals Double Major.

"Lace museum in Burano, Italy, where I first came across using lace as a possible fabric material, and the interesting history of weaving."

"Lace museum in Burano, Italy, where I first came across using lace as a possible fabric material, and the interesting history of weaving."

What are some sources of inspiration for your collection this year?

Honestly, before my friend circle, many of whom take an interest in fashion trends, curation, exhibitions and news, I am nothing like that- I hurry to and from school usually in an eclectic mix of color and (mis)coordination. But I would say going to Europe over winter break shaped my sensitivity to use of fabrics in high fashion and Victorian historical clothes - everything curated there was careful, delicate and beautiful. I think of my piece as a thematic continuation of black, white and red, set against a stage of musicals and plays that have left deep impressions on me. Think Madama Butterfly, Phantom of the Opera and Mamma Mia. 

"Fashions resource center downtown at SAIC was helpful in informing me about sketches, and the possible range of designer collections that test human imagination."

"Fashions resource center downtown at SAIC was helpful in informing me about sketches, and the possible range of designer collections that test human imagination."

Have you ever done fashion design work before? What are some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the process?

Never and by never I mean sewing by hand for math class is about all I have ever done. Oh, and maybe staring at my grandmother who used the type of old-school sewing machine where the leg pedal works manually, pumping away in the nights when I was very young. It's difficult to ensure precision and quality - things I take for granted in clothes I wear like zippers, buttons, pockets and drawstrings, now seem like notions on top of a struggle to align material, sewing instructions and artistic freedom in a bag. But it's very cathartic too, to sit in a school costume shop on a rainy or windy day, forgetting schoolwork to work on something that's better than art classes in the Core (for one, it isn't graded so no pressure but personal expectation and ethic!).

"Playing with and testing the drape of material in the costume shop"

"Playing with and testing the drape of material in the costume shop"

What are you looking forward to most about the MODA Fashion Show?

Meeting my models, making good friends, and being challenged in a completely different way in my college career.

All images courtesy of Chiang Yan Li.

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