An attempt to break the box

We are neurologically hardwired to seek out people like ourselves and to find a sense of belonging. We start forming cliques as soon as we’re old enough to know what acceptance feels like. We bond together based on anything that we can – race, gender, or even hair color. We seek out environments that reinforce our personal choices, or else, we change our usual behavior to make ourselves fit into the new environment –we put each other, and ourselves, into different boxes.

It is a very automatic behavior, and I want to translate this behavior into tangible objects.

Sometimes, just the question "what do you do?" can feel like somebody is opening a tiny little box and asking you to squeeze yourself inside of it.

The categories are too limiting. The boxes are too narrow.

Design Process

For this collection, I took a very experimental approach toward garment design and construction. I first chose packaging box patterns that are used for everyday items, such as Chinese food takeout boxes, then laser cut them on various fabrics, such as neoprene, cashmere wool, and satin faced organza, all of which are end of stock fabrics donated by fashion houses. Then I gently threw the laser cut fabrics on the dress form, allowing them to drape and crease in the way they want to. At the end, I stabilized the positions of the fabrics either with tailor tacks, or used the existing closures in the box pattern to connect the pieces together.

The inner layers of the garments are more organic and fluid, which balances the geometric shapes of the box. They represent the true self that is hidden inside. Each inner garment is made of 1.5 yards of fabrics, full color screen printed with water-based inks, and then draped on the dress form. The only fabric scraps are produced by cutting the armholes and hems. 


Photo: Hong Yu
Model: Lauren Leonhardt
Hair&Makeup: Yoon Jeong
Assistant: Sara Chi