Inspired by the periodic table, the Fashion Production Association will launch its 2022 lookbook “Elemental” April 21.
The association typically hosts an annual fashion show of designs created by Ohio State students, Anna Johnson, a fourth-year in marketing and president of the organization, said. However, due to the pandemic, the direction of the program has shifted from fashion shows to online lookbooks, and Johnson said she has enjoyed this shift more than she initially thought she would.
“We still had some uncertainties due to COVID this year, so our lookbook will be released on our website again,” she said. “It’s cool to see how this benefits us — lookbooks provide us with professional photos and videos to keep for years to come.”
Ella Kalis, a second-year in biology and workshop chair for the association, said she recently finished up her designs in preparation for photo and video shoots.
“The process of designing, creating and producing garments started at the beginning of the academic year,” she said. “The lookbook will be a mix of photo and video content; it’s a collection of slow-motion videos, swatches, sketches and other photos of the designs.”
Each year, the organization selects a different theme for the designs. Spencer Wainfor, a fifth-year in fashion and retail studies and marketing and current co-design director for the association, said he came up with the theme for this year’s lookbook.
“I was the one who pitched the idea of a theme centered around the elements on the periodic table,” he said. “I liked the idea of finding symbolism within how elements take shape and act among each other.”
The lookbook will be made up of around 50 designs from 30 designers, with 14 periodic elements represented, Johnson said.
“Design inspiration definitely varies from designer to designer,” Johnson said. “I have seen designers find inspiration in social movements, color, current trends and even other designers in the industry.”
Kay Kuhon, a third-year in fashion and retail studies and international business and co-design director for the organization, said she pulled much of her inspiration from other fashion shows.
“The element that my group selected was phosphorus, but our main inspiration was psychedelics,” she said. “We were heavily inspired by the crochet and patchwork in the Spring 2020 Louis Vuitton show.”
Although some designers found inspiration in external factors, other designers such as Johnson said she found inspiration within the history of her chosen element.
“I decided to choose francium, which was the only element that was founded solely by a woman,” Johnson said. “I drew a lot of inspiration from feminine silhouettes, female forms and exaggerating femininity.”
As the school year comes to an end, Kuhon and Wainfor said they encourage students to join the organization in the fall, regardless of fashion and design backgrounds.
“We walk you through every step that it takes to create and produce designs,” Wainfor said.
Johnson said the website will include an interactive periodic table that will allow viewers to click on each element to see its corresponding designs when “Elemental” goes on view April 21 on the organization’s website.