Ariana Arwady Pays Homage to Japan in Her Senior Collection

Electric. Ancestral. Japan.

These are three words Fashion senior Ariana Arwady used when I asked her to describe her senior collection entitled Modern Ronin. Arwady’s beautiful print-filled collection will walk the runway at the SCAD 2019 Fashion Show.

As for her concepts, they start as stories she’s written and Modern Ronin is no different. She decided that the idea of an immortal ronin sounded like a good inspiration for a collection, so she went with it. She said the clothes she makes are meant for a specific person in her story, and they’re meant to be the narrative of who they are. Her collection is based on the story of an immortal ronin, a masterless samurai, who has traveled through Japan and become an amalgamation of both the past and the present

Arwady, despite not being from Japan, grew up around it and was fascinated by it. This began when she watched the movie 7 Samurais with her grandfather. She says, “The movie does a great job of showing what a ronin should be.”

Color and prints are two important characteristics in Arwady’s collection. She notes that there were no solid colors, it was all print mixing. The garments are made from a traditional Japanese ikat fabric, sourced from Japan, and a poly-satin blend that she collaborated with Fibers major Alex Gutieras on. “The more modern, synthetic fabrics are for the modern print, and the traditional, more organic for the traditional prints,” she comments.

Other key points of her collection include the high level of comfort and the size inclusivity. She described the collection as “luxury comfort,” something someone could easily wear to a high-end party or event and be comfortable in the whole time. As for the size inclusivity, Arwady proudly told me that there are no zippers in the entire collection. Everything can be tied and adjusted. She says, “It’s not for a particular body type. I fit in it. My models fit in it. That was a huge thing, that everything could be tied to you, everything could fit someone different.”

One of the things Arwady wants to stress most about her collection is that

I want it to very much be an appreciation, a celebration of Japan itself. Because I’m not from that culture, I just grew up around it so I really wanted to pay respect to it. I wanted to also show that you can do things like kimono dresses and hakama pleated pants and still make it fashion-forward, not make it costume.

A very successful, talented and creative student, Arwady will be graduating this May with the SCAD Class of 2019. She left me with this advice for young fashion students: “Find a support group that will help you through senior projects. Find that really good group of people that work as hard as you do, have the same work ethic and love what they do. Not only do you have them for that whole senior process, but they will be a network for you once you’re out of school.”

Written by Karmin Whipple

Photos courtesy of Ariana Arwady

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