The 7 best fashion thesis projects of ISTITUTO SECOLI Graduation Days

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Two exciting days in
which the young students of Fashion Design, Dressmaking and Patternmaking courses faced the
biggest challenge of their studies, the presentation of their capsule
collections and thesis projects during the Graduation Days at ISTITUTO SECOLI.

Do you ever wonder how a fashion design
Graduation Day works? 
This week I had the great opportunity to take a
closer look to the thesis projects at ISTITUTO SECOLI, from which I received
the invitation to assist at the last phase of the long educational path of its Fashion
Design students, the most exciting and thrilling moment of their young life.
Students of ISTITUTO SECOLI during their Graduation Day
The Graduation Day is the first big challenge they
have to face before entering in the working world. 20-30 minutes during which
they are called to stake their skills and knowledge in front of a jury formed
by the school’s management and external members among the best professionals of
fashion industry. A short time in which they try to explain all the hard work made
during the years of study, expressing through a fashion collection, a single thesis
project, all their creativity and technical ability. 
Fashion sketches of the collection thesis portfolio by presented during the ISTITUTO SECOLI Graduation Day
At Istituto Secoli the work of preparation of
the final thesis starts more or less 6 months before the target day, both for the Fashion Design, Patternmaking and Dressmaking 3-years and Master courses. During this period the
students design a capsule collection that can well represent their creativity,
finding the right inspiration and trying to translate the collection’s concept
into physical objects through an attentive work on patternmaking and tailoring.

The presentation of the fashion design thesis project by Beatrice Casalini during the Graduation Day of ISTITUTO SECOLI
From the graduate collections, originally made
of 25 outfits for the standard model size and 15 for the made-to-measure, are selected
3 outfits that can best represent the inspirational concept and that are
studied in every detail. 

Detail of the prints created by Sara Mattelloni for her thesis project
The students follow each phase of the design
process from the beginning to the end, from the first mood boards and fashion
sketches to the realization of the prototype, with a particular focus on
eliminating every defects, as long as the outfits is perfect. In fact when the
students go out from Istituto Secoli have always a high-standard technical preparation
and are able to project and realize every kind of collection. This is the real strength
point of the school.
The works of the ISTITUTO SECOLI’s students are perfect outside and inside, like the creation by Enrica De Santis presented during the Graduation Day
During the Graduation Day every student presents
his thesis project composed by the 3 selected outfits worn by a model, a complete
portfolio with mood boards, sketches and a photo shoot, but also a technical
book with all the flat sketches of the clothes and the technical sheets for the
industrialization of the garments. This is very important, because great part
of the final examination is made evaluating not only the student’s creativity,
but especially his tailoring skills, through the explanation of each design phases,
the technique used to realize the outfit and also the technical problems occurred
during the work-in-progress.
Fashion Design portfolio by Siyu Wang
The moment of truth arrives after the jury
members shall consult each other to decide how to evaluate the students, taking
an average of the project presentations and of the work made during the
courses. Outside the lecture hall, girls and boys surrounded by fierce parents
and friends wait the final result, with a bit of thrilling mixed to a sense of
new freedom after a long period of hard work, some sleepless night and a fair
amount of exciting stress.
In the two days of Graduation at Istituto Secoli, 22 students presented their thesis, all worthy of mention (look the photo
gallery just below), among whom I selected the 7 most interesting projects of
womenswear and menswear.
The creations of the 22 students of Istituto Secoli who presented their capsule collection at the Graduation Day
“Perturbatio Delirae Mentis” was one of the
seven collections selected by Istituto Secoli in a competition called “Designer
to Watch”
for the fashion show at Fashion Graduate Italia last October. The Enrica
De Santis
’s thesis project is inspired by schizophrenia, a mental illness that
gradually shatters the mind and the perception of reality. 

“Perturbatio Delirae Mentis” graduate collection by Enrica De Santis
Starting from the photos by Francesca Goodman,
an American photographer who aged only 22 committed suicide probably for
depression, Enrica develops a collection divided into three parts in which from
the initial psychic disturbance and desire of isolation, through hallucinations
and personal carelessness we arrive to a moment of self-consciousness. 
“Perturbatio Delirae Mentis” graduate collection by Enrica De Santis
The topic is really complicated and the
designer was able to translate this difficulties into chaotic volumes overlapped,
intersected and wrapped around the body, creating a messy but poetic ensemble
of different textures and effects. A collection that encloses the concept of possibility,
because every piece can be transformed or moved or worn separately. Trait d’union
are the glows, surreal symbol of the relationships between the woman and the
external world.
“Perturbatio Delirae Mentis” graduate collection by Enrica De Santis presented at Fashion Graduate Italia 2018
The menswear collection designed by Beatrice
it’s a dive into the pop-colored world of the Eights. She found her
inspiration in the design collective movement “Memphis” founded by Ettore
Sottsass, who wanted to create something that breaks the roles of the so-called
good design devoted to functionalism in favor of an artistic approach
aesthetically more creative.

“Memphis” graduate collection by Beatrice Casalini
Beatrice chooses to unify the original design
movement with more modern instances, basing her collection on the geometric
simplicity of lines and betting on prints to emphasize the bright colors, that
become the elements of a fancy narration in the game between bright shades and
the eternal duo of black and white. 
“Memphis” graduate collection by Beatrice Casalini
So the simple jacket suit is brightened by optical
prints in different sizes, the t-shirt shape is an excuse to work with
contrasting inserts and three-dimensional drapes, the more classic fabrics like
cool wool are used in a very modern way becoming perfect for jogging. Real
protagonist are the prints. Lively, almost neon, chaotic and with glitch
effects, made this collection a sight for sore eyes and really appealing for
the market.

“Memphis” graduate collection by Beatrice Casalini
“Between East and West” is a menswear
collection who tells about the experiences of the young designer Song Yaxuan,
who lived for a long time near Mongolia and currently is living in Milan.
Fascinated by both cultures, she wants to blend the traditional clothes and
colors of Mongolian costumes to the more classic silhouettes of western

“Between East and West” graduate collection by Song Yaxuan
The most impressive thing of her collection is
the mix of color, used with strong contrasts and inspired by nature. Highly-impacting
was the incredible duo of orange and blue-violet of the first outfit, more
delicate the choice of grey shades and deep forest green of the other two

“Between East and West” graduate collection by Song Yaxuan
Song Yaxuan plays with contrasts with ability
and nonchalance, alternating soft lines to more structured pieces, using
velvets and classic male fabrics mixed to hard-stiffed jacquard typical of the
Mongolian tradition, cutting jackets with ethnic details and matching them with
the tailoring trousers so dear to the Dandy’s wardrobe.

“Between East and West” graduate collection by Song Yaxuan
The made-to-measure fashion has found its new
protagonist. Liang Tongchao revolutioned the concept of bespoke fashion evolving
the natural shape of his model’s body, moving volumes and surfaces around it.
The starting point of his collection entitled “Space, absence of gravity” is
the work of Mike Dempsey, photographer able to stop the time and the space in
movement, framing the floating bodies into a scenic and surreal reality in
which gravity is not a so powerful force.
“Space, absence of gravity” graduate collection by Liang Tongchao
Liang Tongchao’s creations have volumes that
goes beyond the body, with proportions and structures that floats into the
space twisting the traditional shapes and fabrics, moving the usual position of
sartorial parts. So the jacket has a normal sleeve accompanied by another moved
on the front, becoming strangely asymmetrical. The double-breasted classic
jacket has a shifted button fastening, the shirt has a collar on the front, as
usual, but also another on the back.
“Space, absence of gravity” graduate collection by Liang Tongchao
The cravat ties, supported by an inner lining made
with aluminium foil, connect every pieces, wrapping the body and try to
overcome its boundaries in search of their own place somewhere in the space.
“Space, absence of gravity” graduate collection by Liang Tongchao of ISTITUTO SECOLI
“Lie down” is a kind of invitation that the
designer Li Linrui makes to the modern woman, so often constricted by the frantic
fast pace of the working world to maintain a strong character to support her
role into our society. 
“Lie down” graduate collection by Li Linrui of ISTITUTO SECOLI
The collection is divided into three parts, or
better moments, and tells about the return at home after a day of hard work.
Very softly, the designer describes the various feelings and sensation of this
strong woman from the moment in which she’s leaving the working uniform to the
arrival at home within its warm and comfortable spaces, up to the last part of
the day,  when finally she can abandon any
constrictions indulging into the embrace of the night.

See Also
The Fashion Propellant - Secoli Fashion Show 2023

“Lie down” graduate collection by Li Linrui
Li Linrui transforms the description of a daily
routine into a light, delicate collection in which the passage of shades
indicates the various moments of the day, from the pastel color-block effects
of the beautiful multi-pockets coat to the warm milk-and-coffee draped dress
and asymmetrical apron worn at home, finally arriving to the total black look
for the evening emphasized by the oversize soft volumes that recall Yohji
Yamamoto’s lesson.

“Lie down” graduate collection by Li Linrui
 “Shades”, that’s
the title of the Xi Gu’s graduate collection, are the excuse to work on fabric
manipulation and leave the inspiration as a just whispered suggestion. Basing
on the shaded colors of the Chinese artist
Jennis Li Cheng
Tien, the young designer extracted the essence of the concept to create subtle
movements of colors on the surface of fabrics, overlapping layers and
asymmetries, renewing traditional textile patterns with the handmade needle-tufted
“Shades” graduate collection by Xi Gu
Without exceed with unnecessary creative virtuosity, the designer creates
a solid collection with interesting new volumes and combinations of materials
and proportions, polishing the contrast between modernity and tradition with a
touch of poetry. 

“Shades” graduate collection by Xi Gu
The game of contrast is continuous. The exaggerated shoulders of the coat
and the visual aggressiveness of the obi-belt live with the transparencies of
organdy, the classic Prince of Wales fabric finds a new life with the handmade manipulation
and the asymmetric cuts give a touch of movement to the silhouettes.
“Shades” graduate collection by Xi Gu
Turn-on the radio and enjoy life. This is the message of the funny and
seriously interesting menswear collection “Forever youthful” designed by Yang Ting Ting, inspired
by the movie “The Boat that Rocked” and the story of Pirate Radio, which
contributed to the launch of Rock music in the 60s. 
“Forever youthful” graduate collection by Yang Ting Ting
The glam is that of the Rolling Stones and of other groups of that period,
the final result of this made-to-measure collection is stunning and brings us
back to a moment of happy-go-lucky youth, in which everything seemed easy and

“Forever youthful” graduate collection by Yang Ting Ting
Ting Ting made a joyful collection, rich of irreverence and aristocratic
sense of humor. She mixes tapestry floral prints and psychedelic patterns,
neoprene and velvets, peach shades and bright tones, male textile and feminine
flounces, gold earrings and classic tailoring trousers. Perfect for a modern
Dandy with a nostalgic heart.

“Forever youthful” graduate collection by Yang Ting Ting of ISTITUTO SECOLI
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