Abstract Title

"Jessamine": Creative and Respectful Application of Cultural Influence in Fashion Design

Abstract

“Jessamine”, my thesis collection, is the project I am submitting for the symposium. The collection addresses the conceptual problem of utilizing cultural inspiration in a way that is respectful and creative, as opposed to appropriative and unimaginative. This issue is important from social and business perspectives. First, it is a recurring issue in any of the arts that creators copy culturally significant objects and claim them as their own; diminishing cultural significance and reducing things to meaningless articles. A business can also harm itself financially when it upsets communities—especially in the age where social media is so powerful.

My research began with reading about designers who use cultural inspiration. Then I researched the two cultures I was inspired by (South Korean and South Carolinian) and thought of how I could draw from these sources and not disrespect or copy anything. I chose these places because they are relevant to my heritage and upbringing. I decided to take specific, individual construction elements and colors from traditional Korean garb and “dancheong,” or decorative wood painting. I used the state flower of South Carolina as my prominent motif, and I took conceptual inspiration from Southern menswear.

I found that I had created a collection which was inspired by my chosen cultures, but was not disrespectful or simply copying. This is the middle ground that I believe is appropriate for brands to design in; it allows for cultural inspiration to be utilized without leading to unimaginative, copycat collections.

Modified Abstract

“Jessamine”, my thesis collection, addresses the problem of utilizing cultural inspiration in a way that is respectful and creative, as opposed to appropriative and unimaginative. I researched the two cultures I was inspired by (South Korean and South Carolinian) and thought of how I could draw from these sources and not disrespect or copy anything. I decided to take specific, individual construction elements and colors from traditional Korean garb and “dancheong,” or decorative wood painting. I used the state flower of South Carolina as my prominent motif, and I took conceptual inspiration from Southern menswear. I found my collection was clearly inspired by my cultural influences, but was not blatantly copying; this is the appropriate middle ground to design in.

Research Category

Art/Fashion

Author Information

Brandon YarchukFollow

Primary Author's Major

Fashion Design

Mentor #1 Information

Ms. Chanjuan Chen

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

5-4-2018 1:00 PM

Research Area

Fashion Design

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Apr 5th, 1:00 PM

"Jessamine": Creative and Respectful Application of Cultural Influence in Fashion Design

“Jessamine”, my thesis collection, is the project I am submitting for the symposium. The collection addresses the conceptual problem of utilizing cultural inspiration in a way that is respectful and creative, as opposed to appropriative and unimaginative. This issue is important from social and business perspectives. First, it is a recurring issue in any of the arts that creators copy culturally significant objects and claim them as their own; diminishing cultural significance and reducing things to meaningless articles. A business can also harm itself financially when it upsets communities—especially in the age where social media is so powerful.

My research began with reading about designers who use cultural inspiration. Then I researched the two cultures I was inspired by (South Korean and South Carolinian) and thought of how I could draw from these sources and not disrespect or copy anything. I chose these places because they are relevant to my heritage and upbringing. I decided to take specific, individual construction elements and colors from traditional Korean garb and “dancheong,” or decorative wood painting. I used the state flower of South Carolina as my prominent motif, and I took conceptual inspiration from Southern menswear.

I found that I had created a collection which was inspired by my chosen cultures, but was not disrespectful or simply copying. This is the middle ground that I believe is appropriate for brands to design in; it allows for cultural inspiration to be utilized without leading to unimaginative, copycat collections.