CCAD Fashion Show: Jennifer Sands

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Text and T-shirts are nowhere to be found in Jennifer Sands' final collection, a surprise considering that combining the two is what made master designer Katharine Hamnett famous.

Sands instead focused on the political activism Hamnett's designs inspired.

"Her work is really about social issues," Sands said. "I'm very interested in social issues, too."

The designs of dresses, a vest, tops and shorts are all hand-crocheted, a skill passed down to Sands by her grandmother. One dress (shown) has a crocheted and hand-sewn rope belt. It represents "sweat shops and being bound to a profession." It also is a statement on the profession she's entering.

"I think it says something about people who are bound to the product," Sands said.

After graduation, Sands is heading to Iceland for the summer (fitting, because Icelandic band Sigur Ros helped motivate her during this grueling class) and Ireland this fall for artist residencies.

Saturday she'll be receiving a degree in both fashion design and fine art. Double majoring was intense, she said, and after her final class last week, she spent the night stitching yarn, laughing as she admitted that "I didn't know what to do with myself."

Katharine Hamnett (1990s)

Fashion can be a platform for political and social change, so why not, Hamnett asked, wear your opinions on your chest? Slogan T-shirts touting "Choose Life," "Worldwide Nuclear Ban" and "Education Not Missiles" became iconic Hamnett in the '80s. It was text as art, in the vein of artists Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger.

In the '90s Hamnett hit her activist stride, working to improve the fashion scene from inside the industry, like only using pesticide-free cotton and working to support the invisible labor force of farmers and clothing factory workers.

Jennifer Sands

Age: 23

Hometown: Zanesville

Master designer: Katharine Hamnett