Katie Johnson is an apparel designer with a vibrant curiosity and prevalent ambition. She was fairly shy growing up, and struggled to connect with those around her. Eventually, she developed her creative voice through the self expression of clothing and her talents in sewing, crocheting/knitting, and jewelry making. Pursuing a career in design felt like a far away dream for Katie, until she learned about the design program at the University of Minnesota. There she found an uplifting community and inspiring friendships that have contributed to a sense of belonging and support as she finds her purpose in the design industry.
With Ephemeral, Katie continues to investigate the power of dress - it’s a conceptual collection that serves to inspire a transformation in the restrictiveness of womenswear. With a focus on the introduction of corsetry in the Victorian period, Ephemeral reminds the audience that these prejudices formed against women, and further reinforced with the introduction of tightly laced stays, are still prevalent today in ways that might not be all that obvious. Katie conducted historical research on the severe health concerns that arose following the introduction of restrictive womenswear styles and the prevalence of increasingly transformative styles. She then translated it through historically reminiscent silhouettes, a messy and revealing aesthetic, as well as colors, shapes, and textures that are in representation of internal injuries. Ephemeral hopes to inspire all to look at how morphed feminine ideals continue to prevail in society, at how damaging these conceptions are, and to inspire empowerment rather than a formerly assumed willingness to conform.