Victoria D. Sung ’10 selects a navy swatch of fabric amidst the rows of fake chinchilla at Boston’s Winmill Fabrics. Sung’s choice in material reflects her personality as both a designer and a stylish individual.
“It’s collegiate preppy with a hint of downtown New York,” Sung says. Think Ralph Lauren with a twist.
Sung, who is also a Crimson Arts Columnist, strolls through the fabric store’s aisles and aisles of multi-colored buttons and faux-fur. Despite the one-day time crunch, Sung is the essence of cool. Dressed in a casual white button-down and gray wool sweater loosely tied around her waist, Sung slings a CVS bag filled with Kraft Easy Mac on one arm, and brown leather handbag across the other.
It is this personal sense of simplicity and comfort that she hopes to bring to her Natalie Portman ’03-inspired creation, which will be the first dress, incidentally, she has ever made for someone other than herself.
“I alter all of my clothes, cut things here, pin things there,” Sung says.
Her past experience in fashion has been in another realm of garments: t-shirts. She started making them in high school, specializing in “screen printing, lots of hand-stitching, embroidery, beading, and...a great attention to detail.”
What began as a personal hobby has now become a full-fledged company called Port and Kit, a name inspired by the two protagonists from her favorite book, “The Sheltering Sky” by Paul Bowles.
Sung created the company with her older sister Jennifer D. Sung, and says, “It started out as t-shirts I wanted to wear, and then my friends started liking them, so it began expanding naturally.”
Sung’s creative process for coming up with these designs? “Sketch, then make a prototype, and finally make sure the factories can reproduce it in bulk.”
But for the FM Fast Fashion Challenge, time is of the essence. Her creative process is more direct: sketch, sew, and braid.
At noon on Saturday, four hours before the end of the challenge and six and a half hours before her arrival at The Crimson’s runway, Sung brings her sketch of a minimal, feminine dress to life. Because she doesn’t have a sewing machine, Sung completes her look with the help of a needle and thread. She braids the piping for the dress entirely by hand.
As Sung’s model prepares for the catwalk, working a short navy jersey dress with spaghetti straps and an oversized bow, Sung gives herself a few pats on the back.
“I am pretty happy with the way everything turned out,” she says. Natalie Portman would be as well.