Today we’re introducing Collen Allen, a very talented 19 years old menswear designer from Chicago, that will be in her second year student at Parsons the New School for Design. 

“More than the final product, I love the intense laboring process of constructing a garment. This became obvious to me as I immersed myself in fashion construction and became infatuated with minimalism and tailoring. Through my exploration of constructing clothing from a geometric perspective, I became interested in unisex design. So much of the general public has set perspectives on what men and women should wear. By presenting the same clothing for both men and women it poses a question of identity and creativity. As I focused more on the struggle of the creative process, combining my work with performance as a means of presentation seemed a natural progression. By doing so, I am able to create a relationship between the person who creates the clothes and the wearer. Because I don’t often have the opportunity to do live installations, filming my process has become an important way for me to preserve the act itself and share it with a wider audience.

Fashion design has become a means to explore and challenge my relationship with society and history. As I progress, my designs have become a personal journal. This journal becomes a fresh perspective through which I can view and evaluate new questions and personal challenges, helping me understand the process, which has led me to my current state. The further society dictates certain ideals, the more they become part of my subconscious, and the more I need to design and bring these ideals to the surface to be challenged. This is why the process of creating is so important to me.”

Photos by Cameron Durham
Styling by Cassadee Hirsch
Models: Doone Anderson and Marc Armitano