It has been a tradition since 2010 for Ms. Charm to share the story of recent MICA, Maryland Institute College of Art, graduate. Some alumni featured on Ms. Charm’s Chic include: Erin Sudeck, Jordan Matthews, and Skylar Wilson to name a few.
This year, I picked Christy Chong.
“I came into school with the intentions of pursuing fine art, drawing and painting in particular, but I was also really interested in exploring fibers, textiles, and garment design,” Chong said. I decided to major in General Fine Arts. It gave me the freedom to explore all of these areas of interest. During these past four years, I have been trying to find a way to combine all of my interests together.”
At MICA’s UNMARKED: 21st Annual Benefit Fashion Show, Chong showcased her a collection that mixed fiber, painting, drawing materials and techniques to create garments with a fine art touch. However, her fondest memory of show was familiar yet entertaining.
“I remember all of my friends and I eating all sorts of burritos, sandwiches, and chips while doing our hair and make up right before the show,” Chong said. They were supposed to model but were stuffing their faces right before we got on stage. It was really funny. The food was really good, and we were all bloated afterwards.”
What are your top three favorite wearable art designs you have made so far? Why?
- This piece below is one of my favorites from my collection during my junior year. The garment was inspired by the patterns of traditional Korean architecture that I had seen while I went abroad during Fall semester of 2012. I worked on this piece all throughout my spring break when I returned to the US and was so sad that I couldn’t do anything else, but the time spent was worth it because I loved the way that it turned out! I really like the colors and silhouette and remember all the time and energy that I spent on it because I colored everything in with markers, so I guess that is why I’m so attached to it!
- I also like this piece below from my most recent collection. It was the ending piece to my “More than Mundane” line because it depicts what I want my future everyday to look like. Although putting the image around the womb area was not intentional at first, it now kind of symbolizes a birth of a new dream for for me.
- I wish I made this piece a bit more fitted, but I really like it because of the colors and fun shapes I incorporated into the design. I had a lot of fun working on this one. It depicts the inside of my apartment, which I am also super attached to because I lived with some of my best friends! We made it so homey and went all out with decorating. I feel like the image at the bottom of the garment captures my home so well, and it held a lot of memories for me so there is a lot of sentiment behind this piece too.
What do you remember the most about participating in Fashion Awards MD 2014?
I remember the other designers’ work the most because I really enjoyed watching the way they choreographed their models, listening to the music they picked, and trying to understand the inspiration and themes for their collections. I also remember the circus performances because they were a lot of fun!
The designs that I showed were inspired by the mundane, everyday moments of my life. I collaged and sewed different fabrics to create images of these moments that can so easily be overlooked then transferred these images onto sculpted paper and canvas garments. I wanted to capture these moments because I feel like the everyday things are what make people into the way they are today. When I combined these images with the idea of fashion, it gave them more of a relevancy and made them more than just mundane.
When you aren’t designing a lovely garment, what do you like to do?
I like to just chill and do things that I am sure everybody else likes to do. I love to cook and eat lol. I love hanging out with my friends, going on adventures, watching movies, doing random spontaneous things that help make memories. It’s usually these kinds of memories and moments that end up inspiring my work anyway. I’ve also recently realized that I really like working with youth too. They are so innocent and carefree! Using art to help kids or teens or just doing anything to serve and give helps me to remember that there is so much more to life than what I usually experience in my own little bubble.
What are your future goals for your fashion design career?
I’m about to start a new job as a production manager trainee with a local designer and am really excited to learn all the ins and outs about this business. I hope it will teach and prepare me to one day work for a design team in NY or own my own label depending on how much responsibility I would want. Life changes all the time, and I am willing to learn and just enjoy the great things happening in the present moment so I am not really sure what I will end up doing later on. As of now, what I think I want is to move to New York one day in the near future, but I am down for whatever else may come up!