An Interview with Francesca Inocentes '17

By Natalie Camrud ‘17 & Diva Gattani ‘17
Fashion Columnists

Francesca Inocentes

HOMETOWN: Parkland, FL
YEAR: Junior

THE SCRIPPS VOICE: How did you become interested in design/fashion?  

FRANCESCA INOCENTES: I have always been interested in fashion and design my entire life, but I never saw it as more than a pastime before last year! Even though both of my parents are physicians, my mother is also very artistic and also a fashionista. She loves painting! Her style is simple and timeless, and she always stays up-to-date with the latest trends in fashion—and so do I! When I was a child, I always used to draw, doodle and play dress up around the house while watching the Disney princesses. As a dancer, I have always been surrounded by hair, makeup and costumes. It is always mind-blowing looking back and seeing how far my passion for art, design, and fashion has come!

TSV: We heard you studied abroad at the London College of Fashion. How was your experience?  

FI: My study abroad experience was beyond my wildest dreams and I still can’t believe it’s over! When I applied to study abroad at the London College of Fashion last year, I had just changed my major from Biology to Art. Working with models, stylists, hair and make-up artists in Fashion & Beauty Photography, using mixed media to make garments come alive on paper in Fashion Drawing and producing both an editorial test shoot and a lookbook that my daunting styling professor actually loved took a lot of hard work, but it was work that I genuinely enjoyed. Looking back on where I was before London, I never thought I would be here nor believed that I could do any or all of these things. For someone who has never formally studied fashion before, I am extremely proud and still shocked of what I have accomplished. Not only did I fall in love with my studies, but my flatmates were some of the best friends I have ever made. We even traveled to Spain, Italy and France together! Our London flat was quite diverse, since we were all from the US, Japan and The Netherlands. The language barriers, cultural differences, and diverse life perspectives in our living space made our experience richer and more meaningful.

TSV: What made you design these pieces? What class were they for?

FI: This design was actually for my Feminist Art Theory midterm this semester. The prompt was “Feminism in My Life: How I became a Feminist Despite Having Never Witnessed the 70s”. My garment reveals how I reinvented myself as a feminist during my study abroad experience at the London College of Fashion. Like many fashion designers, I am constantly inspired by other designers, artists, their theories, pop-culture, and musicand I constantly reflect on how they shape my identity and artwork through fashion. Renee Cox, Kristina Wong and Yoko Ono were the main artists whose theories supported my ideals and experiences of empowerment as an Asian feminist in a Western culture. I chose the transparent fabrics, gold and champagne tones, flower appliques and the unfinished hems to emphasize the importance of appreciating my own beauty and abilities in their natural state regardless if I felt vulnerable, strong, weak or confident in my studies and with my body in sex or relationships. I came back from London feeling that I started to explode the Asian status quo with their perceptions of medicine and fashion as careers and am slowly beginning to free myself from my parents’ gaze. I have gained a better understanding of how to take responsibility to empower myself.

TSV: Currently, who are some of your favorite designers?

FI: My favorite labels and designers include Givenchy, Alexander Wang, Mary Katrantzou, Gucci, Paolo Sebastian, and Zuhair Muhad and Adriana Degreas.

TSV: What is something you haven’t made yet, but want to?

FI: I want to make a gown that is more ready-to-wear than non-wearable art fashion. I am currently in the process of designing it.

1 in 950: Maxine Tu '17

By Kandace Fung (CMC) '19
Staff Writer

TSV: What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

MT: Most people don’t know that I have struggled with very intense anxiety for several years, and it was so bad that this past summer that I was basically bedridden for two to three months.

TSV: What makes journaling appealing to you?

MT: I journal as a way to be thoughtful throughout the day. I don’t like spending the entire day mindlessly and going to sleep feeling like I haven’t accomplished anything and wasted a day going through the motions. It’s a way for me to remember the things that I have learned and remember the interactions that I’ve had. Yeah, sometimes there are things that happen that are very meaningful to you, but you forget after a few years because there’s no reminder.

TSV: Has there ever been an obstacle you’ve had to face that altered your perspective in life?

MT: My grandfather got a stroke a few years ago. It really showed me the fragility of life and how even knowledge and intellect are transient in the sense that they are not things you can hold onto, even though some people say that no one can take away what you know. My grandfather he was a very bubbly character, always the center of attention at the dinners, always made all of us laugh. He was a very intellectual historian. He knew all the history facts. He know what was happening around the world. Then bam... He got a stroke and wasn’t able to talk anymore or communicate anything. And a lot of times, it seems like he cannot remember. It wasn’t just a communication problem but rather he couldn’t remember things anymore. It really shocked me because even knowledge is transient.

TSV: What is something you’ve done recently that you’re proud of?

MT: Recently, there have been interpersonal conflicts, and I have been able to make peace and seek wisdom in confronting issues in a way that is not passive aggressive, in a way that’s sincere. An example is when people do things that hurt you, and they might even know, I have been able to first and foremost be aware and see the ways that I have contributed to the problem and sincerely apologize for it without expecting the other person to see the ways they have contributed to the problem. So basically dealing with my side of the problem and being sincere about it, being okay with the other person not apologizing. I think that has really brought peace to what would have been a volcano explosion.

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