MECA 2019 | Zoe Schuttler

By Amanda Whitegiver | Photos by Amanda Whitegiver
May 1, 2019

With the MECAmorphosis and Senior Thesis show drawing the school year to a close, we interviewed MECA’s four Fashion & Textile Design Majors about their inspiration and what comes next.

In her own words, Zoe Schuttler grew up in a “really small town in Massachusetts.” Her seemingly divergent interests in math and art eventually led her to Maine, MECA, and some precise and painstakingly-made, wildly inspired creations.

A: How did you get into this field? What drew you to fashion/design?

Z: It was always something I’ve been interested in; I’ve taken lots of classes in the past, some at Boston School of Fashion Design. It was fun, a hobby. It’s been synonymous: I love math, I also love art…So I really love sewing and patterning because it’s a good blending of my two interests. For my process,  it’s about 2% sewing, 98% math [pattern creation.]

A: Why Maine/Why MECA? Any particular Maine inspiration you draw from?

Z: I’m not a big planner…I applied to MECA because I went to a college fair and their representative was really friendly and gave me a lot of free stuff {laughed} Then I visited and I thought “yeah, I can see myself going here.” I’m from a really small town in Massachusetts, so I enjoy being in a city, but it’s still small.

A: Discuss your creative process, and the inspirations for these projects. What is the degree of work that actually goes into the production of a line?

Z: My process is whimsical and impulsive…it’s a lot of playing with fabrics, experimenting. It’s a weird push and pull of very organic drawing, but when I’m pattern drafting it needs to be very precise. I want my work to fall into the place of the [transition] between childhood and adulthood, not a costume or cosplay, but almost like a costume? Ideally, it represents the playfulness of childhood.

I create my work to be original pieces that are art and clothing: whimsical items that can be worn for an Event. One designer who inspires me is Etta Yorulmazoglu….Like hers, I see my pieces living in a place where people are making a statement, in that way. Not everyday wear, but original, rentable, pieces of art. It would be a dream to dress Bjork!

A: What are your plans post graduation?

Z: I have no idea…I am thinking about a few different things… Perhaps applying for Disney’s costuming department. They are looking for people who use strange fabrics, which is all I do!

A: At what point do you feel like you will be able to say “I’ve made it.”  What does “making it” look like for you?

Z: My ultimate dream would be working with other people who are public figures/performers to create custom pieces for them.

I think a lot of people design for themselves to a certain degree, but I love making and designing, not the wearing of my own work. Even though my work is very attention grabbing, I like to stay out of the limelight.

I want my work to bring others attention, rather than myself. I enjoy the creative process, and would love to recognized as one to seek when you want playful, unique items, rather than be the one wearing them.

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