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Spotlight on Pratt ’23 | Aimee Schmale, Zoe Crane & Justin Cavone

The third in a series highlighting recent fashion graduates.

aimee schmale

Origin: US | Reading, PA

Circular design is becoming a new buzzword, but the most important factor of circularity to me is that the garment’s entire life cycle is planned out.

Name of Collection: That Was In Tents

What is the inspiration or concept behind it?
That Was In Tents is about my time at Girl Scout camp and how the ethos and aesthetic of spending so much time in a place that centers community and environmental conservation continues to influence my design work today. Camp was one place that always felt like home to me and I want my clothing to convey this sense of comfort and belonging for the wearer. My collection pulls on a lot of the sensory memories that I have of camp, such as long nights in sleeping bags on top of mountains and learning knot-tying by the lake, through using upcycled sleeping bags and various handcrafting techniques like macrame, beadwork, and knitting.

How is circularity part of your ethos? OR How has your idea of “making” changed in this era of climate change?
Circularity is something that I think about often and have to remind myself not to get cynical about it. I think as people learn more about sustainability, circular design is becoming a new buzzword, but the most important factor of circularity to me is that the garment’s entire life cycle is planned out. This starts from a place of valuing beautiful construction and the attention to detail that it takes to make garments that last through many years of use. It also means that the garments are “useful” to begin with because anyone can make something from recycled whatever, but for it actually to be sustainable, it needs to be something that gets worn and fills a real niche in a person’s wardrobe. I want my designs to solve problems and make sense within the changing world that we are living in.

Where do you hope to be in 3 years?
I want to be doing meaningful work that is in line with my values and has some relationship to fashion or making things. Whether this is in fashion, costume, or something adjacent to that remains to be seen.

Three things keeping you sane right now
My cat, Turkey, (He lives in Pennsylvania with my mom and my brother, but they send me pictures whenever I want and he is the best cat in the world), the impending summer weather and longer days that will come with it, and playing roller derby.

If you could design for anyone in the world who would it be and why?
I would love to design for Cassandra Peterson/ Elvira. She is the most iconic woman of horror alive today and has always been someone who I have identified with. I love her on an aesthetic level and I especially admire her for all the work that she has done using her celebrity for animal rights.

Where can we find you online?
You can find me on instagram @a.g.schmale.designs


zoe crane

Origin: US | Burlington, VT

I am giving old textiles new life and reducing what ends up in the landfill by creating new textiles and one-of-one garments

Name of collection: The Woods

What is the inspiration or concept behind it?
It’s inspired by the wonder and magic of nature and the ways humans interact with our environment.

How is circularity part of your ethos?
Circularity informs how I source my materials, chose textiles, and recycled unwanted materials. In this way I am interacting with my urban environment by designing my pieces around the materials that I have collected from various thrift stores and dead-stock suppliers. My goal was to not buy any new fabric because of the massive amounts of fabric that already exist. I am giving old textiles new life and reducing what ends up in the landfill by creating new textiles and one-of-one garments.

Where do you hope to be in 3 years?
I hope to be working with creative designers who do their part to give back to the earth and community, while making clothing for my own label as well. I hope to continue to have a life full of creating art, collaborating with other artists, and seeing more of the world.

Three things keeping you sane right now
The parks in NYC, taekwondo, and journaling.

If you could design for anyone in the world who would it be and why?
If I could design for anyone it would be Eryka Badu, because she is completely unapologetically herself and that is evident in her personal style, music career, and a wildly open mind.

Where can we find you?
You can find me on Instagram @zgkcdesigns


Justin Cavone

Origin: US | Monroe, CT

‘The War at Home’, looks to my grandfather’s journal from WWII as a key source of its inspiration

Name of Collection: The War at Home

What is the inspiration or concept behind it?
My final collection at Pratt Institute, ‘The War at Home’, looks to my grandfather’s journal from WWII as a key source of its inspiration. At 22, my grandfather was shot down over Germany and taken prisoner by the German Army, and while in the camps he kept a journal full of cartoons, illustrations, poetry, and writings to help lift the spirits of him and those around him. The ‘War at Home’ aims to have the same impact, to act as a light in a world that is getting darker and darker. By utilizing his drawings and turning them into subtle yet graphic prints, upcycling army blankets and sweaters, and looking to 1940s era fashion/materials/making and mending, I created my 8 look senior thesis collection, The War at Home.

How is circularity part of your ethos? OR How has your idea of “making” changed in this era of climate change? I think my idea of making has definitely shifted throughout the last few years as I’ve seen more discourse on the topic of fast fashion, and the industry’s effects on the environment. Through my own practices, I choose to implement already existing garments, like this past collection. I used old cardigans from thrift stores, old military blankets, and tons of beads, buttons, and broaches that I scoured the city for. I really appreciate how slow and intentional the art of fashion can be, so with that being said, I found ways to promote my message while still upcycling and thinking sustainably.

Where do you hope to be in 3 years?
Ideally, I’d love to have started gaining some knowledge and traction on how to market myself and make my own brand. I want to create a brand that feels like my own little pocket in the world. I’ve always had a love of all areas of art/design, so I’d love to not only sell fashion, but produce fashion films, put on runway shows, and translate my ideas into reality.

Three things keeping you sane right now
Pinterest Boards, My Dad, and Ben and Jerry’s

If you could design for anyone in the world who would it be and why?
John Galliano for Maison Margiela. I ADORE the way his work is so tongue-in-cheek. You can clearly see the references he’s making but there’s a lot of subtlety in his craft. I also love how all of his runway shows and fashion films are theatrical. I got my start in theater and I think blending theatricality and fashion is the perfect way to bring your clothes and story to life.

Where can we find you?
My Linktree has all of my contact info


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