Artist of the Week: Jaclyn Lupo, Fashion Designer

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Artist of the Week: Jaclyn Lupo, Fashion Designer

 Jaclyn in the jumper she designed and 
created herself.

Jaclyn in the jumper she designed and created herself.

Jaclyn in the jumper she designed and created herself.

Jaclyn in the jumper she designed and created herself.

Parker Abramson, Hope Hanson, and Joelle Beck

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Jaclyn Lupo is a junior here at Mendham High School. She has been designing and creating clothes for herself and others since she was eight. Her grandparents on both sides were involved with the fashion industry. Jaclyn recalls, “I stumbled upon my great-grandmother’s sewing machine in the basement and I just kinda started sewing a really bad dress and ever since then, that was all I wanted to do. I just loved it!”


Another dress Jaclyn has designed and created.

A favorite of Jaclyn’s projects is a jumpsuit that she made recently. “I might be wearing it to prom” Jaclyn reveals. “I like experimenting.” Of course, how long it takes her to complete each project entirely depends on how much time she has to work on it and her motivation. “If I’m committed to the project it’ll be less than a week, but if I’m not committed to the project it can take months.” Her longest project that she was committed to was a long, red, prom style dress. She explains “that took me the entirety of the summer.”

Jaclyn finds time to design clothing both inside and outside of school. “Being in studio art, we need two projects per marking period, so I’ve merged my passion for fashion into what I’m doing in class.” Jaclyn is able to make the most out of her time in school by using her sketchbook time to also develop her own ideas, both on her own terms and to build up her portfolio for applying to college. She would love to pursue fashion design as a career. She details “the plan is, once I graduate, I want to go to some well-known fashion school and hopefully crack into the industry.”

Jaclyn has developed her interests outside of school by participating in different programs all around this area. She explains, “I went to Drexel over the summer and took some classes there, that was pretty cool. I got to meet some pretty cool people and everyone loved clothes.” She is also a part of the Nordstrom Fashion Ambassadors, a club that gives her the opportunity once a month to go and talk about trends as well as go behind the scenes to see how everything works. Regarding this, she mentions “this is to help boost the application status for FIT but it’s something I enjoy too.” FIT is the Fashion Institute of Technology, a college in Manhattan, New York.

Most of the sewing Jaclyn has done has been creating clothing for herself. However, she has done some sewing for others, but mostly smaller projects such as making some adjustments to other people’s clothes like tailoring. She recalls, “my best friend, I tailored her suit for prom, again I did one of my other friend’s, her prom dress.” Jaclyn also explains that there is a reversal of roles in her household. Usually, grandparents hem clothes for their family but she explains“I hem everything in the family.”

As for which fashion idols she most looks up to, Jaclyn said that she loves Alexander McQueen and Vivienn Westwood. “Alexander McQueen, he is an icon,” she says. “He managed to make just the weirdest, strangest, most negative concepts into the most beautiful things. It was beautiful.” As for Vivienne Westwood, Jaclyn describes her as being “huge in sustainability and ethical fashion, which is pretty cool.”

Jaclyn describes her own style by saying, “It’s kind of like Audrey Hepburn gone bad.” She explained that she’s very classic, but at the same time, she likes a lot of edge. Going along with that style, Jaclyn usually works with vegan leather and satin.

A drawing of a dress Jaclyn designed.

When it comes to sharing her own work, Jaclyn tends to not make a big deal about putting her work out there and making sure people see it. While she will definitely talk about her artwork and designs if someone asks, she tends not to post anything online. “I feel like I create better when I’m more inward,” she reasons. “So, I don’t share it.”

Jaclyn also explained how she wants her designs to speak for themselves. “I hate it when designers make a name for themselves, not for their clothing,” she said. Despite how hard it is to crack into the fashion industry, Jaclyn would still rather have her designs and her success come more naturally, which contributes to her decision to not share her work on social media platforms.

When questioned where she draws inspiration from, Jaclyn answers that she is mainly inspired by music. “I’m obsessed with old, weird bands,” she says. “The coolest designs I’ve done have been inspired by weird indie songs that probably nobody has heard of.” She is also motivated and inspired by one of her best friends, who is obsessed with art. According to Jaclyn, this friend is the one who has really motivated her to continue with her designs. “Just that being an artist is possible,” Jaclyn conveys, “that you don’t have to go into math, go into something that you think you have to go into, but you can do something that you actually like.”

Photos courtesy of Jaclyn Lupo.