AJ Saunders '17 and Rachel Powell '17

For designers AJ Saunders ’17 and Rachel Powell ’17, their collections from the Cornell Fashion Collective’s 33rd Annual Runway Show represent personal stories of self-discovery, evolution and change captured within their designs and creations.

Agitated by the phenomenon of body dysphoria, Saunders, through her collection “Ad-Just-Men,” wanted to counteract the negativity individuals feel about the excess or lack of body parts.

“It’s really about the playfulness of gender,” she says. “It’s not so serious, it’s fluid, it’s androgynous and it’s about the play and fluidity and choice that people have to switch if they wanted and go between [items of] clothing.”

Powell explained that her collection, “Roots,” “explores the intersectionality of black women in America, the unique double discrimination that they experience based on their race and gender, the consequent omission of the black female voice from American history.”

Drawing inspiration from the African diaspora and the 1960s civil rights movement, Powell said the collection highlights the erasure of the black woman’s narrative and her journey in rooting her place in American society.

Read more at the Cornell Chronicle

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