Logo of Continuum Fashion's design-your-own Constrvct line
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Jenna Fizel and Mary Huang of Continuum Fashion. The duo's Constrvct line launched right before Thanksgiving and is quickly gaining momentum. Last week Mary presented her take on the Future of Fashion at 3DEA's Holiday Pop up in Chelsea. Here's a quick Q&A with the innovative pair...
Mary and Jenna (image: courtesy of the artists)
Q: How did you come up with the idea of fusing technology and fashion?
Jenna: Mary's been combining fashion and technology for a long, long time! She got her start making a bunch of great LED dresses. I've always been interested in making things, and in school I decided to pursue a degree in architecture. I fell in love with using the computer to create beautiful, impossible-looking things. You can't hold a building in your hand--I wanted my work to be personal,but not take 10 years to produce. I've also sewn since I was a child and love clothing, so this was a natural fit.
Mary: It's who we are. I started doing fashion tech work back in college. I did Design/Media Arts at UCLA, which is a program that has a good foundation in technology as a medium, not just as a tool.
Q: Describe your own Personal Style.
Jenna: Well, I secretly aspire to look like a space princess at all times, but that's not exactly reasonable! I like interesting tailoring and muted colors in my clothing and precise lines in my jewelry.
Mary: I usually end up wearing a lot of Allsaints or Orange. I wear a lot of dresses, since it's an easy way to look put together with little effort. Likewise, I like having jackets and shoes that sand out a bit--keep things interesting when you just pull on a sweater and jeans in the morning.
Q: Aside from your own Creations (do you wear your own creations?!), what brands do you gravitate towards (wear, are inspired by, etc.)?
Jenna: I really like Margiela and Comme des Garcons. I also own a lot of Allsaints, since they make a lot of space-princess-y things. Our work, though, is more inspired by trying to, in the case of our 3D printed work, express the materials and tools we are using rather than following a particular style. With CONSTRVCT, we're trying to let people create the widest range of styles we can. It's all about enabling personal expression.
Mary: I've worn everything I've ever made--including the LED dresses. I always make my own size as the "sample size!" I think it's important to wear what you make because it keeps things in perspective. We're enjoying designing ready-to-wear after doing more crazy stuff because you don't live daily life in ball gowns. I'm inspired a lot by Issey Miyake, for his focus on process and McQueen, for breathtaking impact.
Q: If you could have any super power for a day, which would it be?
Jenna: Justa day?!? I suppose I'd like to be able to teleport. It would be great to walk between cities and see the wonders of nature. Maybe I could get my hands on a space suit and travel a bit farther too!
Mary: I'd choose Storm's power. Maybe set up a Twitter for it beforehand, so I can play weather goddess--give the kids in California a snow day and the Norwegians some sunshine!
Mary Huang after an evening workshop at 3DEA's Holiday shop