A photograph of kimono designs

Seven student fashion design projects with a focus on identity

Dezeen School Shows: we've selected seven design projects presented on Dezeen School Shows that explore identity and self-expression through fashion.

These fashion design students have created clothing that respond to various social and cultural backgrounds through the experimentation and combination of traditional and modern textile techniques.

This roundup includes a collection that celebrates Ukrainian culture and a clothing range informed by 1970s British punk.

The selection of projects come from fashion design and textile design courses at international institutions including University of Arts Linz, Hong Kong Design Institute, Kingston School of Art, Design Institute of Australia and Bath Spa University.


KitschCampCraft by Johanna Rappersberger

KitschCampCraft by Johanna Rappersberger

Johanna Rappersberger, a BA (Hons) Fashion and Technology student, has created a collection that aims to experiment with conventional textile traditions.

Called KitschCampCraft, Rappersberger's collection plays with the different parts that form fashion processes like textiles, visual patterns and garments.

"Textile habits are undermined. Visual patterns are disrupted. Conventional garments are infiltrated," said Rappersberger. "KitschCampCraft explores new ways of dressing, seeing and crafting."

The image is by Anna Breit.

Student: Johanna Rappersberger
School: University of Arts Linz
Course: BA (Hons) Fashion and Technology

View the full school show ›


Photograph showing two models in plaid and leather clothing on dark backdrop

Unrestrained by Cowen Yeung

Cowen Yeung, a HD in Fashion Design student, has designed a series of clothing pieces informed by punk music, rebellion and the feeling of dissatisfaction with the society.

Through the spirit and meaning behind the term punk, Yeung's collection called Unrestrained aims to give a voice to young people's ideas and thoughts.

"The theme of being unrestrained comes from the 1970s during economic instability in Britain," said Yeung. "Punk spirit has a primitive meaning: be yourself and bravely practice your own ideas in the moment."

Student: Cowen Yeung
School: Hong Kong Design Institute
Course: HD in Fashion Design

View the full school show ›


Where's my teenage dream? by Lydia James

BA (Hons) Fashion student Lydia James has created eight different looks mixing knitwear and denim that aims to convey her emotions of growing up during her teenage years.

Where's my teenage dream? has drawn upon James' personal experience, as well as the music and the films she liked as a teenager.

"Where's my teenage dream? explores the coming-of-age period, the ever-changing landscape of being a teenager, and the traumas of growing up," said James. "The silhouette [of the collection] mimics that of being a teenager, overwhelming, oversized, playful and voluminous."

Student: Lydia James
School: Kingston School of Art
Course: BA (Hons) Fashion

View the full school show ›


Model wearing a full length white dress with blue print

Skyfox by Emma Daley

Emma Daley an, Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising student, has created a series of clothing pieces that feature hand drawings screen printed onto satin.

Called Skyfox, Daley's collection aims to convey the human emotional response to different times of the day by combining traditional hand-manipulated textile techniques with digital technology.

"The Skyfox collection expresses the natural wonder of the sky and depicts a sense of dreaming, wondering and imagining," said Daley. "An overcast sky is satin and digitally printed tulle, appearing soft and subdued, and a cloud full of water is a weighted crepe de chine, heavy and dense."

Student: Emma Daley
School: Design Institute of Australia
Course: Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising at North Metropolitan TAFE

View the full school show ›


Complex Divorce by Zhanna Moskalyova

Zhanna Moskalyova, a BA (Hons) Fashion student, has designed a clothing set that celebrates her Ukrainian roots.

Called Complex Divorce, Moskalyova's collection conveys her split heritage between Ukraine and Russia while referencing photographs of abandoned ex-soviet countries.

"In the last couple of months, with the ongoing war, developments of my collection gained a deeper more personal meaning", said Moskalyova. "The research behind the collection forms the basis of a built narrative surrounding my family history."

Student: Zhanna Moskalyova
School: Kingston School of Art
Course: BA (Hons) Fashion

View the full school show ›


Embodiment by Elena Alexander

Embodiment by Elena Alexander

BA (Hons) Fashion and Technology student Elena Alexander has designed a "corset" that aims to redefine the garment's traditional appearance and use.

Titled Embodiment, Alexander produced a corset that aims to do the opposite of suppressing the body like this historical type of clothing is known for.

"Clothing can act like a cast, suppressing the body whilst building up some kind of armour, a distinction between the outer world and the inside," said Alexander. "The process forms a new body shell – a shell of anonymity, androgyny and armour."

The image is by Anna Breit.

Student: Elena Alexander
School: University of Arts Linz
Course: BA (Hons) Fashion and Technology

View the full school show ›


A photograph of kimono designs

Kimono design by Sophie Bowen

MA (Design) Textiles student Sophie Bowen has produced two kimonos that intend to connect people to nature.

Bowen's design process started with hand drawings, which she later translated into a variety of sustainable textile techniques, such as natural dyeing, print and hand embroidery.

"These 'heirloom' pieces are regarded as journeys intended for embodying the process of being with a sense of acceptance and gratitude towards change and growth," said Bowen. "Japanese Zen tradition and Wabi-Sabi influence the philosophy of this project reflecting on the idea that truth comes from observation in nature."

Student: Sophie Bowen
School: Bath Spa University
Course: MA (Design) Textiles

View the full school show ›

Partnership content

These projects are presented in school shows from institutions that partner with Dezeen. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.