Exploring the Seams, features work by four Maine College of Art Fashion and Textile Program thesis students, Meg Hudson, Nicole Waller, Ariana Faria, and Justin Desper.

The only program of its kind in America, Textile and Fashion Design at MECA teaches the design and fabrication of textiles, study of the field of apparel, and exploration of creative expression through the medium of fashion. The curriculum features garment design and pattern drafting as well as classes in machine knitting, textile printing, weaving, and millinery.

This exhibition showcases the thesis projects of the program’s four graduating seniors. Each student’s senior thesis is a collection of five looks that they take from concept to completion and present on the runway at the annual MECA fashion show. The garments progress from sketch to paper pattern, to muslin, to fashion fabric throughout the course of the spring semester. Students are encouraged to include textile techniques such as machine knitting, hand painting, pleating, or structural frames in their collections.

This year the graduating seniors show a wide range of design sensibilities. Meg Hudson has created a collection knit and sewn garments which feature the colors and textures of 5 locations on the Maine coast. Ariana Faria took inspiration from her semester in Florence, Italy to design classically feminine looks that feature a modern take on the corset. Nicole Waller used her fantasy-inspired style to explore the emotional and physical symptoms of anxiety. Justin Desper has included technology in their garments as a commentary on Transhumanism and the future relationship between humans and machines.

Exploring the Seams also includes Transforming, an installation by York-artist Gayle Fitzpatrick which ties together Biddeford’s textile and garment industry and broader community concerns about domestic violence. The opening evening, on May 26, will include the PussyCATWalk, a runway show featuring original work by Woolwich artist Martha Miller benefitting Planned Parenthood.

The opening on May 26 will run from 5-8:30pm at Engine, 128 Main Street in Biddeford, and coincides with the Biddeford+Saco ArtWalk. Exploring the Seams and Transforming will run through June 24.