Senior Spotlight: Kyra Hawrysh
This week we got to know senior designer Kyra Hawrysh. Keep reading to learn more about her life as a design major.
K&E: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you’re from, if you have a minor, anything you’d like people to know about you?
Kyra: My name is Kyra Hawrysh and I am from Westport, Connecticut but was originally born in Holland and lived there for 5 years before moving to CT. I have dual citizenship in Holland and Canada and live on a green card in the United States. I am majoring in fashion design with a minor in product development.
K&E: What has your 4-year journey in the Marist fashion program been like?
Kyra: My 4 year journey at Marist has been very eventful with very stressful but very rewarding moments throughout the years. The fashion program has been a huge part of my life, and I think of it as my other home. The people I’ve met and the knowledge I’ve gained throughout these years have been so great.
K&E: What is a typical day for you like while capping as a senior designer?
Kyra: My typical day as a senior designer is always busy. Often times we wake up really early every day in order to get into the lab and start working right away. We usually will eat in the Donnelley cafe so we don’t have to go home and waste time. It’s pretty much non-stop fashion. I find I like to mix up what I’m doing each day so that there’s some variety in my work and I don’t start to go crazy. I’ll work on multiple garments in one day, sometimes knitting, pattern making, or just sewing the final garments together. The days can be tough but we’re sure to take breaks and it really helps to be surrounded by people that you get along with, and people that want to help you and see you succeed.
K&E: How has your work changed in the time that you have been a design major at Marist?
Kyra: My work has evolved a lot from where I was freshman year, and I think it has to do with the way I have changed. I always find that I want to design things that I would want to wear and think others would. I’m not someone who wants to create over the top, avant-garde pieces that are difficult to wear around without getting weird looks. So when I first came to Marist I was very preppy, always trying to look polished, and I think my designs reflected that. My sophomore collection, for example, was a lot more tailored and formal. Now my style has completely changed and I’ve been getting into this tailored, comfortable, “chill” style. My collection definitely reflects that, and I think my personal attitude and style reflects that as well. My designs still have this tailored principle, but with a way more laid back and fun approach to them.
K&E: What are the hardest parts of being a design major?
Kyra: The hardest part of being a design major is how much you have to figure out and focus on throughout the design process. You may think you’re just designing some outfits, but then you have to figure out how those garments will be merchandised if your customer would wear them, will they go with the next looks you’re making, and so on. It’s a lot about stepping back from what you did and reassessing what needs to be changed. That’s always the hardest part for me.
K&E: Could you tell us a little bit about your creative process/design process?
Kyra: My creative process is all about trial and error. I’m someone who won’t be able to tell if a sketch will work or make sense until I actually make the garment and try it on a model. I like to whip something up and then change it and improve it. I also really like to drape garments. Over the summer we purchased vintage garments and used those to drape new garments and ideas that would reflect our inspiration. This really helped me come up with new shapes and ideas that I hadn’t thought of. Sometimes it’s difficult when you’re sketching to not just think back to old ideas you’ve had or what you’ve seen. With draping, you’re able to come up with a completely new idea.
K&E: What inspires you as a designer, where do you find inspiration?
Kyra: I find inspiration in lots of different ways, sometimes a certain culture that I don’t know a lot about draws me in, or a specific place. I am also someone who always gets inspired by different geometric shapes that I can sketch from. For the collection that I am working on right now, I used different shapes of skate parks and graffiti as silhouette inspiration.
K&E: How would you describe the aesthetic of your collection?
Kyra: The aesthetic of my collection came from the phrase “Emphasis the Flaws”. From that, I drew inspiration from the 90s grunge/ skater era. My collection is all about the feeling and mood that was evoked from that era. I have a mixture of baggy pants, loose tees, jeans, and statement pieces. I wanted to emanate this idea of the chill skater look. You’ll also see a lot of bright primary reds and blues toned down by charcoals and concrete grays.
K&E: Describe the women/man who would wear your collection
Kyra: The person who would wear my collection is a cool girl. She values fashion but doesn’t want to give up comfort for that. She loves muted, neutral colors with the occasional statement piece and print. She usually shops at stores like Theory and Vince and values well-made garments.
K&E: Do you have any hobbies outside of fashion design?
Kyra: Unfortunately I do not have a lot of time outside of fashion design for other things, however, I am in Tri Sigma sorority and try to go to the events as much as possible. It’s nice to have an outside thing to do that gets my mind off of fashion, and it’s also nice to see my other friends.
K&E: What advice would you give to younger designers or prospective Marist Fashion students?
Kyra: My advice for the younger designers or prospective Marist Fashion students is to first understand and wrap your head around the fact that this is more than just a major. It’s your life. It will be difficult but will also mean more than anything to you. It’s such a rewarding feeling to get to have so much creative freedom and pretty much get to design anything you want and showcase your hard work. Also, time management is the only way to survive this major. You have to prioritize what you want to and how you’re going to do it.