Memory is placed at the forefront in designer Becky Bungarz’s heritage collection. To showcase her thesis accessory designs she and photographer Nikki Krecicki have teamed together to craft this striking lookbook. The clean and delicate colouring and stylization of the collection, as paired with the undeniable gravity of the vintage photos of Becky’s own family, is also highlighted and juxtaposed by the bold and colourful backdrop, and clever staging (courtesy of Mary Florence Brown). Modelled by Molly Strohl & Lamia Lazrak, makeup and styling by Lady Katherine Taylor.
We love your nostalgia theme, how did the idea first come about? The idea behind my collection was something that I had in mind for years. I knew early on I wanted my senior thesis to focus on transferring family photos onto leather because printmaking has always been a passion of mine. The focus on memory and nostalgia came about more during the process of finding the photos I wanted to use. Going through all of the boxes of photos with my grandparents was an extremely sentimental experience for me. Hearing them retell stories from when they were younger like it had just happened yesterday made me feel so much closer and more deeply connected to the people I owe most everything to.
Tell us a bit about the significance behind the collection’s unique colour scheme (azure blue coupled with ivory and gold hardware)! The azure blue was less of a choice than originally intended. The photochemical process of cyanotype, which is how I was able to transfer the photos to the leather, is only possible in a deep blue and a sepia tone. The way the chemicals reacted with the leather caused the blue to be a little less indigo and a bit more green, which I love. The beige, sea foam colour and gold hardware were chosen in order to keep the collection feeling more light and clean. I wanted the collection to feel like a modern take on vintage classics and the color story was essential to that.
Your top five favourite designers and/or brands, & who or what might you say has had the most influence on you? My top five favorite designers right now would have to be: Rachel Comey, Celine, Dries Van Noten, Marni, and Delpozo. I appreciate design that explores materials and really takes into consideration the artistry behind all aspects of a product. I think design should be artful and allow the process and the materials speak for themselves, the designers and brands I listed really acknowledge those things, by exploring not only interesting silhouettes, but textiles and embellishments.
How did you go about selecting which particular photographs you would transfer onto your pieces for this collection? The process of selecting the photos was really quite simple. First I narrowed them down to my personal favorite photos. And then I went through and looked at each design I had, decided where the photos were going to be placed and chose appropriately which image I felt was best for the shape and size of that part of the design.
In what ways has your apprenticeship at Coach influenced your work? I’ve only just started my apprenticeship at Coach, but already love the work environment and atmosphere. I can speak more towards how my past internships have affected my design sense. I interned at a small made in America label called Fleabags last summer. Getting to be a part of every step of the process from inspiration and material exploration to understanding each and every step that goes into producing a bag was great. At Fleabags specifically they did a lot of playing and experimentation with dyes and painting. It really helped me to allow myself a little more creative freedom, as well as trying to experiment more with materials to come up with new treatments.
What’s next for you? What’s next for me is a really good question. I’d love to see where this apprenticeship at Coach takes me. The company is really doing a great job at reinventing itself and it seems like it would be a great time to get to be a part of the brand. But if that isn’t in the cards I would love to experience working with a smaller independent designer as well.