When Camerin Stoldt, Fashion Design MFA ’21, found herself inside for an extended period last year along with everyone else, she observed that she was not only dressing for comfort, function, and how she wanted to be perceived, but also that her language and relationship to clothing had changed.
So she wanted a way to manifest that change in her work. Enter Mimaki, a Japanese company that provides workflow solutions for the sign graphics, textile and apparel, industrial, and 3D markets. FIT partnered with Mimaki to work with first-year Fashion Design MFA students in March of this year. Stoldt’s project was studying a traditional poster artist, but what interested her most was how imagery was put on fabric, and she used the Mimaki technology to develop her own sartorial language.
The Mimaki technology allowed Stoldt to experiment with opposites by printing to transform existing garments into something new—for example, she printed an image of heavy duty Levi’s onto soft virgin wool pants, and an image of a blue oxford cloth shirt off-kilter onto a white sateen shirt. The prints became, she said, almost a conversation with the garments they were printed on.
“I see it as this idea of presenting and being seen, along with wearability and being very practical,” Stoldt says. “Also, I was learning a skill and wanting to know everything about that skill, which was really cool.”
Stoldt’s thesis collection comprised old items which she made new in a way “that’s not forcing them or having to reconfigure them or overwork them,” she explains, “but rather just sort of taking my clothes, copying them and printing them out and calling them new again.”
Since leaving FIT, Stoldt has gone on to consult with a luxury ready-to-wear design company, which she declined to name, but she remains driven by her love of the same process she mastered while earning her MFA. “I don’t know what the next thing is, but the process is the most important thing because I kind of created a method of questioning and studying and research and making that works for me,” she says. “So even in the future, if what I do make next looks different, it comes from the same place.”