Strong Spaces

Portrait photo of Professor yang in the fashion studio. EUNYOUNG YANG



Eunyoung Yang, who joined Meredith’s fashion program in 2007, can frequently be found in the fashion studio, located just down the hall from her office on the second floor of Martin Hall. In this space, she teaches design classes, mentors students, and works on her own designs.

“I teach all the fashion technical courses, from construction to pattern making, which consists of flat patterns and draping, and advanced construction, which is tailoring, and sketching courses,” Yang said. “All of those require cumulative knowledge. You have to do well in construction to move on to pattern making.”

Yang, who is a native of South Korea, originally planned to study classical singing, but a vocal injury before college led her to choose another path. Now, she teaches students the technical skills needed to bring their designs to life.

A normal teaching schedule for Yang begins at 11 a.m. and ends around 6 p.m. Between classes, Yang visits the studio to support students working on their own pieces. “I peek in and see if they are doing ok. Students can drop into my office to ask me questions as well.”

Yang frequently presents her creative work at professional conferences. She has earned first place in three International Textile and Apparel Association competitions.

The opportunity to solve design problems is what drew Yang to fashion.

“In design, I’m more analytical than artistic. When you start construction, there are so many problems that you have to solve. The scientific, analytical part of solving a design problem is the most exciting to me.”

  1. On the walls of the fashion studio are framed poster presentations by Meredith students who have attended fashion conferences with Yang. This is an example of the kind of creative scholarship encouraged at Meredith.
  2. Meredith students are frequently using the fashion studio outside of class hours to work on their assignments. The machines are for the exclusive use of students enrolled in fashion courses.
  3. The fashion studio is equipped with a document camera that Yang can use to project her work on this sewing machine during classes. Students are able to see her handiwork up close as they are learning sewing techniques.
  4. Yang uses her work as examples for students, pulling specific pieces that illustrate concepts or techniques they are learning in class. In 2016, Yang earned first prize in the fiber art category at the International Textile and Apparel Association annual conference for this piece. The fabric, which was woven by her great aunt, had been in her mother’s closet for years before Yang made this piece. She used a natural dye technique to make the panels.
  5. This is an instructional piece that features all the sample techniques that students have to learn. “I call this ‘Construction 101 Lady’ because it is used to show different types of buttons, a button hole or a loop, seams, and finishes.”
  6. The sample rack is used to show the students different techniques. The collection includes Yang’s work, work of previous students, and commercial items, all of which serve as examples of the construction techniques. “This shows them what to do and what not to do.”
  7. This coat, part of a presentation at an international conference, was co-designed with one of Yang’s professional colleagues at another university. “She is an expert on natural dye. She gave me technical expertise on the dye and I gave her technical expertise on surface design. Collaborative work with someone at another school is unusual. We use the same inspiration and same techniques, but our two designs are completely different. We don’t force our tastes on the other person. We share each other’s technical expertise.”
Melyssa Allen

News Director
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