Fashion as the Contemporary Response
Textile and Fashion Design is now being offered as a major at MECA. The program is focused on imparting a deep understanding of the designing and making of textiles, extensive study of the field of apparel, and, ultimately, an exploration of fashion as the contemporary response.
Textile and Fashion Design students at MECA are engaged in the process of designing collections, building portfolios, and preparing for the future through internships, sponsored studios, and guided entrepreneurship. Students receive specialized instruction from top industry professionals while developing a robust studio and design practice supported by historical and cultural references as well as thorough research and experimentation.
This new major is made possible thanks to the generous support of Maine-based philanthropist, Roxanne Quimby.
"This documentary explores the process of design and fabrication within MECA's Textile and Fashion Design Major. Knitting machines featuring Rose Allard and Kate Harnden, sewing machine with Emily Koerner, silk screen and puff paint with Allison Bonin, and weaving with artist in residence, Lane Taplin."
Directed, Filmed and Edited, and used here with permission, by Hugh McCormick
Anne Emlein is an artist, designer, and educator with a passion for creative expression via textiles, apparel, and fashion. Earning her MFA in Textiles from RISD and her BFA in Textiles from California College of Arts and Crafts, Anne's core expertise includes teaching knitting, textiles for apparel, and fine arts textile courses. She has exhibited her knitwear, apparel, and fine arts work throughout the country. Anne maintains an in-home studio practice, adhering to traditional hand processes and employing timeless design along with a commitment to sustainable, local materials. Her knitwear enterprise is an extension of her fine arts work. Anne's professional experience includes a strong emphasis on pursuing collaborative opportunities for the sake of lifelong learning and inspiration. In addition to chairing the Textiles, Apparel, and Fashion Department at MECA, she also teaches in the Textiles Department at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Anne earned her MFA in Textiles from RISD and her BFA in Textiles from California College of Arts and Crafts.
Growing up with an insatiable love for sewing, fibers, art and clothing, the Textile and Fashion Design Department, which began my Junior year at MECA, could not have come at a better time for me. This program fused the knowledge of textiles with design and construction of garments, all while encouraging a personally charged studio practice, and emphasizing the importance of color theory and drawing.
I learned to explore color, and was encouraged to think and work big. It was incredible to have 24 hour access to such diverse equipment. From large scale silk screen units for printing yardage of fabric, to dyes, looms, and sewing and knitting machines. I so loved learning the science of each fiber, from wool to bamboo and everything in between, and how to best utilize their characteristics. I take this information with me always, and see the world with new eyes. Not only did we learn about the fibers, we worked with them as well. Creating an entire textile from scratch is a momentous achievement. To then use it for a garment, and be able to have a conversation about it in relation to the body felt like a gift, a dream come true.
I am inspired everyday by pattern, color and what’s in the air. This program fosters an open mind, and wide eyes to the possibility around you. Textiles are not just clothing and fabrics, they are what we live in, relate to and interact with constantly. I was challenged to explore that, to have fun with it. Now as an alum I am able to connect to the world in so many ways. Through fiber, fabric production, garment construction, and through knowledge of process and equipment. It is because of all this I am able to do what I love most, work in the community teaching classes and working with others, sharing a love for textile and the experience of making.
Pictured: Rose Allard teaching introduction to textiles at Voluntown Elementary School, Voluntown, CT