Representing the creative future

Quarantine Dispatch #8: Redefining my craftsmanship

Larissa Sehringer, Parsons fashion student, sees every problem as a design flaw

How are you feeling? What are you thinking? What’s happening? Bored, stressed, inspired, uninspired, calm, restless, frustrated, anxious? There’s no “right” way to cope with a pandemic. Reading through these submissions, despite the practical differences of each situation, we felt a reassuring sense of familiarity and gratitude. Maybe you can too. 

Larissa Sehringer, Final year BA fashion design student, Parsons School of Design

As a fashion designer, I’m a creator by nature – this means that I see every problem as a design flaw. Through this lens, COVID-19 has forced me to redefine craftsmanship, pushing me to find alternative material solutions and focus on sustainability. Instead of using a knitting machine, I’ve repurposed knits from donated soccer socks, which resonates with my collection concept entitled “It’s Just a Game.” I have been experimenting with household cooking ingredients to make starches and bioplastics as stiffeners in lieu of interfacing and boning. It has taken this virus to see that others have a love for my process, and I feel empowered by the community’s support of artists, which matters so much right now. When I made a callout for sock donations, so many of my neighbours jumped at the chance to help me, leaving them in their mailboxes for me to pick up safely. This also gave me the opportunity to share my project with them and have them feel like collaborators.

Larissa Sehringer

I miss working in the studio, but I’ve created a community by facetiming friends while we work next to each other. It’s not the same, but I consider myself so lucky to have them and my whole network of classmates because for once, we truly are all in this together. Maybe our generation really will challenge the status quo and lend a hand to each other; I feel like the fashion industry usually encourages us to look out for ourselves, but I hope this bond leads to a new sharing of resources and collaboration.

Larissa Sehringer

I’ve used this time to reflect—now is time for innovation, but it’s also time to pause. To understand what burnout is. To understand the excruciating physical and mental effects of it. To understand what a broken industry is and to see the large inequalities that exist and have become more exposed now, even at the university level. But also, to understand the power we have within ourselves to pick ourselves up, realizing that our future is in our own hands right now.

Larissa Sehringer