Expression comes in many forms, whether it’s an annoyed eye roll or a sad pout. But what about one’s hands? MFA Fashion Design graduate Abby Yang realized one day that they are the most expressive part of the human body. Often, when she wants to better understand how someone talks and expresses themselves, she looks at the movements and shapes their hands make.
Our hands represent so much more than what we have come to believe. A symbolic way of communication often more powerful than words, they help us show emotions and express our love to others. Yang’s collection is based on her research on this idea. Yang used the shapes of hands caught in acts of love to form the silhouettes of her collection; there are voluptuous sleeves and curves of fabric, bunches of fabric that represent fists, hands embracing, hands pushing and pulling, and hands reaching towards one another.
The bunches are, of course, symbolic – they show that with any kind of love, there is still weight and extreme pressure on your shoulders, that love comes with pain, challenges, and sacrifices. Made by stuffing the fabric with cotton to create unique hand-like shapes, they simulate movement and add depth to the garments.
Love comes with opposite emotions that reflect joy or happiness. She explored the idea of feeling the weight of emotions that love carries within like frustration, anger and decided to translate that burden into her collection through the use of exaggerated hand inspired silhouettes in pants and sleeves as well.
Yang’s usage of florals throughout the fabric is to show that love can bring vitality and growth into your life. But could copious amount of flowers merely cover up the painful experience of love? Can bleached denim symbolize real, uncontrollable emotions, the truth we hardly see but that’s still there? With this imaginative collection, anything’s possible.
Words by Christianne Philippone, BA Fashion Journalism