By Ellie Dietrich
MFA fashion designer Rebecca Fabrizio’s senior thesis collection brings together her love of mysticism, mythology, and the human narrative as an offering to the planets themselves. Hailing from the Santa Cruz mountains in California, Fabrizio has always felt a strong connection to nature.
Fabrizio originally received her undergraduate degree in animation and visual effects. After graduating, she worked for a while for a post-production studio in Brooklyn, then moved on to tattoo apprenticeships in New York and Los Angeles. Fabrizio’s decision to pursue fashion came one night when she had a dream in which a celestial being came up to her, placed a hat onto her head, and told her to start studying fashion. When she woke up, she began looking at programs and eventually started her graduate studies at School of Fashion.
For her thesis collection, titled Venus Under Fire, Fabrizio found inspiration from spiritual and celestial forces. With her Venus in the fire sign of Leo on her astrological birth chart, Fabrizio feels an affinity to Venus’ planetary energy. Venus holds a common theme throughout her work as she feels it has an important energy in fashion, representing beauty, creativity, harmony, and love. Fabrizio feels a strong connection with the cosmos and dedicates a look to each planet in her collection.
Fabrizio is also a student of the Qabalah, which is based on ancient Jewish mysticism and connects her to her Jewish heritage. The Qabalah’s tree of life is a “map of creation from Godhead to material reality,” and includes multiple spheres placed in a pattern that symbolized the pathway of manifestation. The sphere of Venus rests under the sun on this map, thus revealing the origin of the collection’s title. The pathway between these two spheres is Death. This represents the process of transforming the past and starting anew, similar to the symbol of a phoenix rising from the ashes.
To turn her concept into reality, Fabrizio used organic fabrics, hand-dyed with non-toxic ingredients such as avocado pits. The color scheme from this process reveals correspondences to the planets: earthy pinks and reds attributed to Mars and Venus, oceanic and sky-like blues and greens for Jupiter and Neptune, and muted blue-grays representing planets Mercury, Pluto, and Saturn. The idea of being “under fire” also evoked images of war and the desert for Fabrizio, bringing in the inspiration of parachutes, harnesses, and get planes. To source the hardware for her looks, Fabrizio went to professional and parachute and sail manufacturers. Hoods were added to multiple garments to help protect the wearer’s energy and as a connection to hermetic mysticism. The result evokes an otherworldly militaristic feel through harness-like elements, protective hoods, and padding mixed with feminine elements such as exaggerated hip silhouettes.
Fabrizio intends for each garment to act as a “portal for the planets to manifest more strongly in the modern aesthetic,” and designed for people “who are interested in the subtle energetic resonances with the planet and the universe.” She hopes to continue creating work that can help others to connect with the profound magic of life.