Mass Exodus 2019: Alexandria Jones makes waves inspired by The Little Mermaid

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By Tyler Griffin

Graduating fashion students are busy preparing their capstone collections for the 31st annual Mass Exodus showcase on April 6 at Daniels Spectrum. Considered the largest student-run fashion show in the world, the event offers fourth-year-fashion design students the chance to show off their skills to potential employers and industry professionalsThe Eye caught up with a handful of designers before the big day to hear about their lines.

For her capstone collection for Mass Exodus, Alexandria Jones has created an evening wear collection inspired by the original The Little Mermaid. Influenced by costume design and the attire of the year 1837, in which the book was written, Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale comes to life through Jones’ line. The collection dips its hand in suiting but also typical feminine silhouettes of corsetry and long ball gowns. By combining the fabrics typically used in suiting with delicate fabrics and fraying, Jones is able to show emotion and some of the meaning behind the story.

“[The Little Mermaid] was written as a love letter to a man he was in love with. He imagined himself as the mermaid and used it as a metaphor for his own sexuality,” said Jones. “[He] often talked about wanting to dress like a woman and do certain things that in 1837 were just not possible for a young man of that time.”

Jones was able to take from The Little Mermaid without being so literal by designing an evening wear collection inspired by costume design. Each of her designs represents a character, without being too obvious about it.

Speaking on this year’s graduating class, Jones says they all have very different styles but play off one another. Since first year, Jones has looked up at what designers have come up with for Mass Exodus. Now that she’s here, she says it’s “this bittersweet ending, where everything is very nostalgic and you want it to go slower so that you can enjoy it.”

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