Katie Jecha (Visual Arts 2014) has Designs for a Creative Career
January 28, 2021
Katie Jecha (Visual Arts 2014) has designs for a creative career, sparked by her experience at Perpich Arts High School. Katie’s fashion design aesthetic is feminine, but strong. She uses contrast in her selection of textiles and silhouettes that are both structural and soft. From her earliest memories, Katie has loved art. She has worked with all types of media, extending into costuming and fashion. Katie thrives on the entire creative process of apparel design from sketch to runway. She is inspired by nature with the many textures and lines. Katie also finds inspiration in unique textiles and colors. She plans to work in design locally, expanding her skills in the creative and technical aspects of the field.
The south Minneapolis native grew up designing doll clothes as a hobby but it really wasn’t until her senior year at Perpich that she decided to commit to apparel design. “My senior show at Perpich is part of what pushed me into apparel design. I created three outfits based on artwork I had made. It was great to see my 2D cut paper art with my 3D outfits,” said Jecha. That senior exhibition solidified for Katie that her creative future was in fashion.
She attended St. Catherine University and received a degree in Apparel Design in 2018. While a student at St. Catherine University, Jecha worked in the costume shop for the theater department, assisting with fittings and making costumes.
Her junior year, she created a three piece collection called Verdant Glade. The collection evoked a youthful, fresh feeling of spring. The white eyelet and lace added a lightness to the line that contributed to the playful, feminine feel. The earthy tones of the rich green with the denim blue of the sky inspired the joyful feeling of being outdoors on a sunny day.
Senior year saw Jecha stretch her knowledge with a seven piece collection called Glacial. “Collection work can really test you,” said Katie. In addition to the apparel design and creation, she was also in charge of monitoring the models, arranging the photoshoots, and managing aspects of the runway shows. Jecha recalls her communications skills being put to the test, proving that being in the fashion world was about more that just talented design.
Glacial was a fall to winter, day to evening women’s wear collection. It was inspired by the harshness and yet beauty of ice and snow. It took geometric patterns and silhouettes and paired them with soft grey and icy blue hues that were reminiscent of the light reflecting off the wintery landscape.
Jecha participated in creative group projects during her college years, too. The collaborative senior sustainability line was called Luna which incorporated a multitude of materials: red plastic cups, kool-aid and granola bar wrappers, instrument strings, and juice box pouches. The sustainability project her junior year was called Sakura, meaning “cherry blossom” in Japanese. In Japan, cherry blossoms bloom when it is spring time, signifying a fresh start. Each garment is inspired by the idea of rebirth, freshness, and newness.
After graduation, Katie had the opportunity to work at VStar Entertainment Group, a leading entertainment company and producer of live shows such as Sesame Street Live. Her role included costuming for the characters and hand sewing. Unfortunately, the gig was cut short when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted live entertainment. But Jecha still took away inspiration from her time working with costumes made of faux fur. She recently finished an independent project called Mephitidae, the family of mammals including the skunks and stink badgers. “The striped skunk was chosen largely because of its fur pattern,” said Jecha. “I wanted to challenge myself to figure out how to pattern and construct the stripes on the vest.”
Katie believes it is important for artists of any kind to try new things. At Perpich, she was pushed to look at projects with her own lens. “I feel the teachers were very encouraging [for us] to do things our own way. For me, it was sometimes frustrating because I like clear instructions,” she recalled. “But for design, that skill of having a unique interpretation of a concept is very important. For good designs, it is great to go outside my comfort zone when sketching and planning. Because who knows, I might discover something great that I want to make.”
Katie is hoping her next job will be in the field of assistant designer or assistant technical designer. She’s actively looking for a position where she can be involved in the planning of a garment, utilizing flat illustrations, patterning work, math, and her intuition.
Artist Website: www.katiejechadesigns.com