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Fashion Scholarship Winners Share Sources of Inspiration

Two of the three scholarships awarded to Bay Area fashion design students by the San Francisco Chapter of Fashion Group International went to Academy of Art University School of Fashion students. Gina DiGirolamo and Elizabeth Prost were each awarded $1400 scholarships.

Gina DiGirolamo is part of the fashion and jewelry collaboration of Fashion Design and Fine Art Sculpture students, and Elizabeth Prost is working on her senior collection. Both collections will be considered for the San Francisco Graduation Fashion Show and Awards Ceremony.

Tell us about your collections. What are the inspirations?

GD: There are three jewelers and six designers working on the collection. Right now we are all looking at different ways to incorporate the hard and the soft, fluidity versus hard edged. I am creating beautiful forms right now, sort of rigid but still ultra feminine, using stiff, sheer organza. My dresses will be the hard element you wouldn’t expect from the clothes, to complement the organic shapes of the jewelry.

EP: I’m exploring the technique of bonding, whether it’s bonding seams for construction, or bonding unusual combinations of fabrics to create the silhouette. Answering the question “what happens when you bond something stiff or structured to something fluid?” is solved through experimentation with sew samples and toiles. As my technique is unusual, I wanted to stick to more traditional fabrics such as silk organza, silk charmeuse, wool felt and cotton lace.  

Choose a song that best reflects the mood of your work.

GD: Delicate by Damien Rice.

EP: David Lang’s piece Child: V. Little Eye.

Who’s your favorite underrated fashion designer?

GD: I don’t know how underrated she is, but I love Sari Gueron. She makes clothes that you just want to wear. I love her mix of feminine and masculine.

EP: There are so many! I especially have a loyalty for Belgian designer Dries Van Noten. I’m not sure if I would call him underrated, but he definitely manages to fly under the radar. Because of that, he doesn’t have a very wide following, but the people he attracts are incredibly loyal and come back season after season for his quirky mix of prints and classic silhouettes. I’m always amazed at how he reinvents himself every season and is still able to stick to his design philosophies.

Which two fashion designers would make the ultimate collection if they worked together?

GD: Consuelo Castiglioni of Marni for her color, print and texture combinations and her simplicity inside chaos and Alberta Ferretti for her lightness and femininity. They are two of my favorite designers if they got together it would be magic.

EP: I think a collaboration between Hussein Chalayan and Rei Kawakubo would result in a collection so forward thinking and profound it would leave us all in awe. The combination of their technical skills with their ability to reinvent the way we see clothing, there’s no limit to what they could create.


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