'What is Gender?' A collection by Ryan B. Workman

About a year ago, I wrote about a very inspirational friend of mine. At that time he was taking Charleston Fashion Week by storm, co-leading SCAD’s own Queers and Allies as vice president and juggling fifteen credits of school work. Today, Ryan B. Workman is successfully leading the club Queers & Allies as president and not only graduating in the spring but also finishing a spectacular senior collection.

Many SCAD students who aren’t in the fashion department ultimately have the wrong idea of what fashion students do. There are many sleepless nights, quick meals, as well as lots of time and money that go into making an amazing senior collection. Today, Ryan gave us a little bit of insight as to what is like to be a senior fashion student as well as a sneak peak at his collection.

HC: Inspiration is one of the most important aspects of not only designing, but creating. Where do you find inspiration when designing a collection?

RW: I draw inspiration form anywhere and everywhere. As a designer, I find myself mostly drawn to the human body and also various social problems within our society, so fusing these together in my collection was only natural to me.

HC: Can you describe your senior collection in one sentence?

RW: My collection takes focus on the idea of sex and gender; how ones gender is not defined by their physical form.

HC: What made you want to do this collection?

RW: The idea of menswear and womenswear is so foolish to me. Why do we force these ideas of gender on objects such as clothing? I made my collection because the difference between sex and gender needs to be addressed and people need to be informed. If not now, when?

HC: You’re working with two other SCAD students to make your collection even more special. Do you have any advice for others about collaborations?

RW: Honestly, collaborating is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I think making it work is all about listening to the other person and smoothly combining their ideas with your own. I know at first I was just telling them what to do but when I realized I should let them share their own ideas that's when I got the best results.

HC: For those who don’t know, SCAD fashion students have six weeks to fit, correct and make their senior collection. How did you feel about working under such pressure in a short period of time?

RW: It's incredibly stressful and one of the most difficult things I have ever done at SCAD. It's one of those moments where any mistake could set you back a couple of hours and you don't have any extra time to spare. I also think the amount of I have learned and picked up within these weeks will help me so much in my future. While I do wish I had more time, like most of my other classmates, I also know that this experience will pay off and produce a great collection.

HC: What is your favorite part of your collection?

RW: My favorite part of my collection is my corsets. I love the beading and painting that gives them a little something extra. While they may not be 'Mr. Pearl level,'  I know all the work that went into one and it makes me so happy to see one finished.

 An example of Mr. Pearl's corsets.

HC: Is there anything you want to share with the readers to get them excited about your collection?

RW: My collection is something SCAD and many other schools have never seen before and I'm proud that I get to be the first to make such a statement piece. When you see it, no matter what your reaction, I hope it in some way it inspires you.

Be sure to check out the SCAD fashion show Saturday, May 21 in hopes to see Ryan’s Collection. Also, check out more of Ryan B. Workman's work at www.behance.net/ryanbworkman.