By Adeshola Adigun
Name: Emily Dawn Long
Major: Fashion Design and Fibers
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
District: When did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in fashion?
Emily Dawn Long: My whole family is very thin so I had to teach myself to tailor my clothing to fit myself. Then my brother starting asking [me to tailor his clothes] so I basically set up a little sweat shop in [our] house and starting making bags, quilts and cutting up random things to make clothes.
District: What was your inspiration behind your collection?
Long: I had the great opportunity to participate in the off campus program in Lacoste this summer, and I went to visit my brother in Amsterdam before I spent the summer in France. It was the beginning of June so the weather was constantly changing. One minute we would be biking around town; the next it would rain; then we would be in a cold museum; then it’d be sunny. So my collection is primarily transformable outerwear that you can wear backwards forwards and inside out while also unzipping different aspects of it to get a completely different look. The inspiration for the weavings comes from the geometric architecture in Amsterdam, which I then translated into my weavings.
District: What was the most challenging aspect of the senior collection process?
Long: I had originally planned to weave my whole collection, coming from a double major background in fashion and fibers, but due to time constraints I just didn’t have the time. So through some problem solving, the idea of digitally printing my wovens came up and I just ran with it. I think it was a happy and successful setback.
District: What are your future plans after graduating?
Long: I’d like to design my own textiles for one of my favorite designers: Kenzo, Missoni, Dries Van Noten, and Chris Benz. Call me!
District: Do you have any advice for future seniors when starting their senior collection?
Long: Don’t over think. Just keep moving forward. Stop redesigning once you have all six looks. And the no sleep thing sucks for a while, but the pay off is fantastic!
District: Who has been the most influential person when developing your collecting?
Long: I think my support system has helped a lot. My friends and family and professors have had my back the whole time and kept me grounded.
District: How do you categorize your design aesthetic?
Long: I would say it is women’s ready-to-wear, with somewhat of a masculine, tailored sense to it. I like the clean classic look of J. Crew mixed with the eccentrics of Watanabe and Issey Miyake.
District: Who would be your dream designer to work alongside?
Long: [My] dream job designing apparel would be for Celine or Chris Benz. [And my] dream job designing textiles would be for Dries Van Noten.
District: From your peers, whose collection is your favorite or what kind of designs are you most excited about?
Long: I adore everyone’s collection because I know first hand how hard everyone has worked. Our blood, sweat and tears are literally in our clothes. I would wear them all!
District: Where do you see fashion going in the next five years?
Long: I think it is going in a more ready-to-wear, laidback direction. Even more so with the economy right now and job lay offs. I think people are starting to dress more comfortable and casual with sweatshirts, jeans and cute sneakers, rather than heels and cheetah prints.Contact Adeshola Adigun.