June 1, 2020

Seven Forms Student Design Showcase: Emma Hughes

To the Light by Emma Hughes

Emma Hughes

Emma Hughes is a sophomore studying apparel design at the University of Minnesota. She began designing at a very young age working with her grandma, who always supported her aspirations to become a designer. Her inspiration comes from everyday life and different patterns found in nature or ideas that come from her coursework. Her design style ranges from casual clothing to evening gowns. In the future, Emma hopes to create environmentally-friendly designs for the fashion-forward men and women of the world.

Concept Statement

Final illustration of To the Light by Emma Hughes

I was inspired by the memorial category of protection. When I remember my loved ones, I light candles for them which symbolizes the transformation from life to death and the changing of elements. I believe that they are looking over me from above and protecting me by visiting in the form of blue jays and cardinals to check up on me and my family.

The top portion of this asymmetrical sculptural dress is made from a light plaster with wax melted over it to create design detail and the effect of melting candles. The bottom of the dress and the sleeves are made from a light flowy polypropylene woven produce bags. Attached are spray-painted pieces of cut plastic to resemble floating feathers.

The materials reflect the inspiration through their aesthetics and symbolization of actual aspects of my memorials. The design is proportioned into two parts: the top and the bottom. The contrast between hard and soft help show the two aspects of life and death and that losing loved ones can be hard. There is movement throughout the design by the use of color and shifts in hue to create an interesting gradation element to follow.

Emma Hughes

Read the other Seven Forms Student Design Showcase profiles >>
Learn more about Harriet Bart: Abracadabra and Other Forms of Protection >>

About the Design Showcase: During the spring 2020 semester, 10 emerging student designers were tasked with creating a one-of-a-kind garment using non-traditional materials and technology inspired by the exhibition Harriet Bart: Abracadabra and Other Forms of Protection.

After eight weeks of material testing, sketching in the galleries, writing, and work-shopping their designs with local artisans Marina Shimelfarb, Charlie Wagner, and the artist herself, Harriet Bart, the final designs are nothing short of radical, innovative, and deeply personal.

The Seven Forms Student Design Showcase is presented in partnership with the UMN College of Design, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance and Juut Salon Spa.

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