Emily Lugo


Syn(n): A Case Study of the Temple Garment

Investigating the relationship shared between underwear and public space, Syn(n) focuses on sacred religious undergarments utilizing 19th c. personal family archives to propel initial research. This collection directly acknowledges, questions, and pinpoints the religious undergarment’s potential to be used as a vessel for cultural imperialism and as an instrument for the erasure of one’s nature. Breaking down themes of gender and hierarchy, Syn(n) reminds of the importance to recognize forgotten memory and the connection between origin and land that is often set aside for commercial gains.

The story of European lace is intertwined in the religious pursuit that is being critiqued. A textile known for its representation of purity and innocence is juxtaposed in a collection of odd proportion, gender referencing details, and a visual undressing of historically restrictive clothing. In a time and culture of fast connection, AI technology, and a synthetically robust industrialism, Syn(n) advances the introduction of the current underlying culture of true individualism, community, and responsibly. Sacred religious undergarments are used for liberation by acknowledging colonialist history and thought, breathing new spirit into old ideas and remembering what has been forgotten and denied by an otherwise dominative culture.


As a Finalist of the Solstiss Lace Sponsorship, Emily works within the realm of a positive transition design framework, pursuing to support a dynamic and responsible future within social and environmental spaces. With design experience and knowledge of body movement and photography, she commits to implementing elements of detail-oriented design and historical reference, highlighting the intersection between the natural world and modern society. With an interest in research strategy, alternate construction methods, timeless and practical design, Emily works to develop a new approach in design and construction techniques that stem from natural and choreographed body movement, adapting forms of upcycling and zero-waste patternmaking.

One of the few students in the first course under the partnership of Tory Burch x Parsons School of Design, Emily had the opportunity to further broaden her education in client-based, namesake label design during an internship with the Print Design team at Tory Burch. Additional professional experience includes fine art curation, website design consultation, and public relations strategy.

Prior to pursuing fashion design, Emily trained at Long Beach Ballet--a pre-professional in classical ballet academy in Southern California--and also received training from The Joffrey Ballet, Chicago and Guangzhou Ballet, China.

To view the full collection, please visit the following link.