New York native Mathieu Mirano attributes some of his fashion instincts to his creative training at the Huntington School of Fine Arts.
"They taught me how to think like an artist, how someone truly creative could view their surroundings," says Mirano. "It had to begin with me thinking in new ways. Discovering how to think like an innovator was one of the hardest processes of my life because no one gave me any answers."
But at just 20 years old, it seems Mirano -- who left Parsons a year early in order to launch his own line -- has already answered a number of those questions for himself. Utilizing couture-level crafting techniques and handmade embellishments, Mirano gravitates toward super-luxe materials (exotic skins, sequin embroideries, and elaborate appliques all make appearances) tempered by more subtle detailing. For example, one particularly memorable gown features frayed layers of silk sewn together in a soft, ombre effect.
"Creating something from scratch isn't always easy, and sometimes you have to be patient and wait for it," says Mirano, who also trained as a classical pianist before delving into fashion. "[My inspiration] could be as broad as an evolutionary process or as specific as my favorite video game."
Indeed, Mirano has no shortage of fanciful references. His Spring '12 collection, for example, was inspired by "heroic, legendary, feminine dragon riders." We may not see any literal, fire-breathing references in the clothes, but who wouldn't want to wear a gown with a sci-fi back story, especially with the The Hunger Games gaining such a cult fashion following?