Today’s Fashion Friday is dedicated to Loren Aragon (pictured below) and his clothing brand ACONAV. According to ACONAV’s about page, Loren is Acoma Pueblo, an artist, and a mechanical engineer. He draws inspiration for his designs from his “cultural identity, ancestral beliefs, traditions, and the ever evolving world.”
Now, when I think of fashion, I don’t immediately think of mechanical engineering. In fact, I almost see the two worlds on opposite ends of a spectrum, fashion being the world of fabrics which can be flexible and flowly, and engineering being a world of structure and rules. But, if I think deeper about the two, there is a relationship between being a designer of fashion and a designer of machines. Let me try and explain… Mechanical engineering at a general level is about the knowledge of systems, how parts work and are integrated into a machine, and the maintenance of the parts and the system. A fashion item, for example a dress, requires knowledge of not only how to construct the dress by manipulating individual pieces of fabric (panels of a skirt, pleats, the yoke of a top, shoulders), but also an understanding of the movement of fabric when it is sewed together, and how it will look, drape, and move on a body when worn.
I can see how a background in engineering could bring innovation to the fashion world. Just as machines are constantly improving (becoming quicker and smaller), the fashion world is also rapidly changing and as such relies on different perspectives to keep fashion moving forward. Loren’s fashion line is one such innovation and why, in my guess, he was featured at the 2015 PLITZS New York Fashion Week.
I wasn’t there to take photos for all of you but thankfully a video of his runway show was posted online for us to view! Loren presented samples of dresses from five collections:
The Matriarch Collection
The Hidden Ancestry Collection
The Harvest Collection
The Broken Ground Collection
The Shattered Collection
All of ACONAV’s pieces are gorgeous, but there is one particular dress that I must have in my closet! This dress is a part of The Hidden Ancestry Collection, specifically the dress at 0:52 in the video. I love how the fabric of the skirt flows and sways side to side that you can see the additional fabric panels hidden behind the pleats. It actually looks like there are two types of fabric designs hidden behind the panel. One of the other dresses that is cute and that I could see myself wearing is from The Shattered Collection viewable at 2:12 on the video (which is not the dress pictured below). I love the shape of the dresses and the way the fabric hangs and flows away from the body.
Immediately after I saw the NYFW runway video I thought #Plussizeplease hoping that these beautiful clothing designs could be a possibility for me. I am very happy to note that not only is there a statement on the ACONAV website which states, “All designs shown are sample sizes and are made to order” but Loren embraces body diversity in the marketing materials for The Founding Collection by including models of a variety of body sizes. In a chat conversation with Loren I specifically ask him about this, to which he states:
“Yes, the Founding Collection shows a diversity of women’s unique shapes. I started in on this venture with a group of Pueblo women and a few men who showed me the confidence to help me present my work. I work on a made to order basis for a majority of my looks, if there’s something someone likes, I’ll work with them to fit their body type. The majority of looks I took to NYFW will also be available as made to order designs.”
Thank you Loren! Thank you for showing that all of people, regardless of body size, are worthy of stunning fashion. And thank you for your support to raise awareness on empowerment and positivity of one’s body.
In addition to his fashion designs, Loren sells jewelry, t-shirts, elegant printed silk scarves, and art prints.
Find ACONAV on various places around the web:
Lastly, Loren will be at the OXDX Fall 2015 Release event happening Saturday, September 19, 2015 in Chandler, Arizona. If you’re in the area come out, meet Loren and view the samples of his collection that were at the 2015 PLITZS New York Fashion Week.
I, Redstreak Girl, will also be at the OXDX Fall 2015 Release promoting this blog! I look forward to meeting you, so if you see me (I’ll have a table) don’t be shy and come say hi to me. I’d like to hear your thoughts about anything really. See you there!
Note: Photos obtained from Loren Aragon and reposted with permission.