#SNR17 Aesthetic: An Interview with the Creative Team
We sat down with Grace Rugen, the creative director for this years Silver Needle Runway, as well as Gabby Tamburro and Barbara Kirwan, the creative assistants, for an exclusive interview on the #SNR17 aesthetic and theme. Find out what inspires them, what goes into the creative process, and how they develop and bring these awesome ideas to life by reading below!
K&E: What is the most difficult aspect when creating a theme for the show?
Grace: The hardest part about creating a theme is making it unique, interesting, and dramatic, while also keeping it neutral. The designers have created diverse collections, so the theme has to be able to fit with all aspects of the show. Another difficult aspect of staying with the theme is getting an entire 30 person team to always remain on brand because it’s easy to deviate from the original idea.
Gabby: I totally agree with Grace! I find that the hardest aspect is that the theme needs to be cohesive so that all parts of the show flow with ease as one.
K&E: When combining the themes of senior designer collections and the theme of the show, how are you able to make them cohesive?
Gabby: Part of our role on the creative team is to create a theme that is neutral enough so regardless of what the seniors actually design, their collections will still match up with the overall aesthetic.
Grace: This year we’re trying to do something different where we’ll have a video projected while each senior collection is going down the runway, using the inspirational outlets of each individual designer. It’s going to be difficult to make all of them look similar, like a cohesive idea, so we're going to work with a lot of black and white to make them all similar and visually appealing.
K&E: What is the most enjoyable and fulfilling part of your creative process?
Grace: The most rewarding aspect of being on the creative team is seeing your abstract, crazy ideas, starting from nothing and then seeing the end product. Being able to watch the entire process, from where we started to the final show, is really fulfilling and gratifying.
Barbara: The most fulfilling part of the creative process would definitely have to be seeing the final product and watching all of the conceptual ideas finally come together. It’s amazing to take something that we’ve worked so hard to express and actually show everyone what we’ve been working towards.
K&E: Where do you find inspiration?
Barbara: I would just say getting out there and really experiencing what’s around you, not just being in your own head and limiting yourself to what you find on the internet. Personally, I feel like a lot of inspiration comes from when you are in a moment and suddenly you think of something, or brainstorming between classes, hanging out with friends, or even going into the city. Basically, just taking in what’s around me really influences me and gets me excited to put something together.
Grace: I think it’s also important when you’re coming up with an idea for a specific event to not only look at fashion influences but also different cultures, science, and the art world. The art world is huge because art and fashion are so interconnected. Basically having a broader lens of what you can look into helps when finding inspiration.
K&E: When did you first begin thinking about the theme and inspiration for #SNR17?
Grace: Honestly, it was the first thing I thought about when I was told that I was given the position of the creative director. I got really excited. I find inspiration in nature, a lot, because I’m from a really small town and spent a lot of my childhood in the woods, and you’ll see in the show that there are a lot of textures, movements and ideas that are pulled from natural elements.
K&E: How are you trying to differentiate this year's show from those in the past?
Barbara: For this year’s show, in comparison to previous shows, we are definitely trying to make it more of a visual experience, with everything from the set to the layout. The overall mood of the show is going to have a lot of changes.
Grace: I think that we’re trying to make this year’s show different than past years shows in the way that it is going to be more of an experience and more of an immersive event with all of our visuals, our lighting, and a completely different floor plan.
K&E: When creating the aesthetic and mood board for #SNR17, where did you look for images and inspiration?
Grace: We mostly use Pinterest, believe it or not, because it's so much better than Google. You can search specific keywords and the site will take a picture you’ve previously liked and generate similar images. I think it’s a really great tool when trying to find inspiration from all different areas, like art, fashion, science, anything.
K&E: Is there anything specifically that has given you a lot of inspiration for this year’s show?
Gabby: The biggest inspiration for the this year’s show is ink, and using that visual to create a very moody and modern concept.
Grace: I had a project last semester for my multimedia authoring class where I created a video that recorded food coloring in water. After editing it there was an illusion of ink within the water. I think that was where the first idea I had that involved this theme came from and I just loved the movement of it, the color of it, and the contrast of it. It was the first time that this idea all came to my head.
K&E: If you could describe the aesthetic of this years show in three words, what would they be?
Barbara: I would say delusion, innovation, and mystery.
Grace: Experimental, abstract, and artistic.
Gabby: Innovative, dramatic, and illusive.
K&E: After viewing the show and seeing your inspiration come to life, what do you want people to take away from SNR17? Do you want them to feel a specific way?
Grace: I want people to think that it's an innovative and experimental way to present fashion. I also want it to be dramatic and impactful so that people remember how it made them feel rather than saying ‘oh that’s a pretty backdrop’. I want the show to actually make them feel differently than they did when they walked in.