tingting feng

Tingting Feng, a fourth-year fashion design major from Hangzhou, China. Photo by Crosby Ignasher.

What can you say about your process from inception to completion?

I was thinking about dancing as a big topic, so I picked the moment that they are in the dancing pose and focused on that to create the silhouette. I then focused on the spinning around in a circle. At first, I decided to do the evening wear… I was looking for different colors to explain the different styles for the dances. [Later on] I wanted to focus on just one dance [and] show the continuation through every piece in my collection. Because I like the classical inspiration, I chose a nude champagne-pink color.

What’s the experience like for you?

I didn’t have an internship, so I just [have] the experience from my freshman [year] to being a senior.

What inspires you?

I like the classical things…classical music and classical dancing, and just vintage. My inspiration is from ballet dancing movements. It is the classical things from the European to the Eastern country, and it’s from the old to modern.

[Dancers] have different poses and different leg positions. At first, I researched a lot of ballet paintings and the different ballets and dancing. Then the professor said, “It’s limited. Although it’s inspired by this, you need to research more.”

How would you describe the aesthetic of your designs?

I like classical style, and also the Rococo parent. I really like it. I really like Japanese fashion, and couture dress.

How are you feeling about the show? Are you nervous?

I’m not nervous, but I’m nervous for the model. I’m just [going to be] sitting on the [side], not on the stage. If the model isn’t in a good mood, or if they are nervous, then I’m nervous, too!

How has this prepared you for the future?

I [hope I] will find a job I like. … I [would] like to do the evening wear, maybe brand… To find some personal store [where you] make just one garment for one person [and] do some hand sewing couture. A career is not the most important thing. My focus point is on my family. I just want to do something I like.

What professional skills have you developed?

Focusing on detail. I started to do my senior collection [thinking] just because the time is limited, I needed to work fast. Then I found my detail is not perfect. If you want to be successful, you should get something perfect, get it down and then move on. And so you don’t have to come back and waste your time coming back, doing it again. Focus on your detail. You cannot be thinking, “This thing is inside, no one will see it.” Even if it’s inside, it should be perfect.

When did you decide to pursue a career in fashion?

I started drawing [in] high school. Because I wanted to design something, in my childhood, I would just do something — like do small things, like doll’s clothing. … I like shopping. It’s more important. And a lot of jewelry. Jewelry [did] more [to] make me do fashion.

What are some of the issues facing today’s fashion designers, models and accessory designers?

No [new] ideas. Fashion is based on culture and it can be brought through years in a circle. Maybe this year punk is popular, but it might have been popular years before. … Maybe creating more different ways to dress. I think the technology is perfect, so we should find some new things. For example, use one piece to make garments with no seam.

Do you have any advice for future designers?

Work hard! And [be] interested in everything, like music, movies and everything — not just fashion. Working hard is more important. Then you can get everything you want.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

… Outfit design is very hard. If you choose this field, you must have a strong heart. And if the professor is mad at me, it’s not a bad thing because they will push me to improve.