My practice revolves around making garments that prove the conceptual and wearable can exist together. My garments allow the audience to decide how deeply they wish to interact. The wearer can choose, for example, between simply admiring its beauty or diving into the conceptual qualities it holds. Influenced heavily by text-based research, my concepts are formed through the piecing together of moments in history with theories and emotions. A full collection viewed together may reveal a storyline, while single garments exist as strongly on their own. I decode narratives through the use of garments, creating the physical adaptation of a story with color and fabric, such as contrasting black and white to emphasize the life of a bride turned widow. The use of color and its associations emphasize the story line I convey in the full collection.

There is an overarching theme of darkness that comes through my work both physically and conceptually. Black hues consume my practice. The few contrast colors that I select are chosen for the meaning that is evoked when paired with the color black. Fine tuning the color story in this way helps me to create more depth in each color’s meaning. White does a great deal more than just contrast black, in my collections it helps to build the story, adds atmosphere and places the audience in a certain mood. While white on its own can symbolize things like light and purity, in my collection, death do us part, placing it in the dark setting of the other garments brings out its more haunting nature: a ghostlike nostalgia that communicates nothing but tragedy. In my practice there is great complexity in the minimal use of color. Pairing matte and sheen fabrics creates the ability to build depth in an all-black look, reflecting lights in some moments and absorbing them in others. The use of layering and deconstruction offer something tangible to the dark nature present in my work. The unfolding of a shirt from the shoulder reveals for instance, a plethora of layers slowly coming undone describing physically the dark presence of passing time. Pooling loose threads and raw edges evoke tragedy created in tangled swaying movements. Heavy volumes of fabric can hinder or inspire movement, such as weighted sleeves that make arms drag slowly or a loose skirt that moves like a spirit in the way of the wind.

As concept and aesthetic hold a strong place in my practice, so do the values I follow while creating. As a designer, living in the world today I realize the immense importance of sustainability in fashion. In my practice, I strive to find new ways to create that are conscious of this, replacing even the smallest parts in how I work with a sustainable alternative. Things like the reuse of pattern paper, the separation of muslin so it can be composted and the use of only natural or recycled fibers, are all small but purposeful changes I have made.

haley goldberg is a fashion designer who creates collections that tell a story. Using her love for narrative, she communicates her vision, whether it be from a text or her own creation. Her work, pairs the wearable with the conceptual, demonstrating her ability to research and explore the world of the past while creating something for the present. A Chicago native, haley has been exposed to the world of art from an early age, fueling her love and need for creating. She finds fashion just as much a form of art as painting and uses it as her medium to turn abstract thoughts of stories and emotions into something physical to be worn on the body. She has a strong passion for sustainability and plans to pursue this further in hopes of bringing what she learns back to the fashion industry.


model: sari goldberg

collection photos: haley goldberg

biography photo: emma kawasaki