YOU MIGHT HAVE COME ACROSS Frank Fan’s music on Soundcloud, or perhaps seen Sophie Kim’s costume design on theater productions at Stanford. No wonder why - Frank and Sophie are two of the most creative minds on this campus.
In the past, they have experimented with a series of quirky projects, including a giant matcha mochi ice cream and a short-lived cover band that only got to play Viva la Vida. They work together to materialize their spontaneous, most original ideas - and they do so effortlessly. This time, Frank and Sophie collaborated to produce a fashion design inspired by Franz Kline’s Figure 8, which was selected to be brought to life and displayed at Anderson et La Mode.
PULSE: You should tell me a little bit more about yourself.
Frank Fan: Sophie, you go first…[laughs]
Sophie Kim: I’m Sophie, I’m a sophomore and I’m majoring in Product Design. As far as stuff related to this project, in high school I did a lot of fashion design projects and stuff like that. I organized fashion shows and I was also in the costume design team for school productions. And here I continued doing theater too, like last week I was working on Phantom Of The Opera.
FF: I’m Frank, I’m a senior. Most of my previous artistic work has actually been in electronic music, like EDM. I’m really exploring soundscapes like that. So this is my first foray into fashion actually. I’ve always wanted to [explore] it, so this is a pretty fun experience.
P: So do you go to the Anderson often?
FF: Yeah. The reason why we chose the painting was actually because we went to The Anderson Collection and the painting Figure 8 was both of our favorites.
P: What do you like about it?
SK: I like how it sort of looks like calligraphy in a way, and is understated but also has complexity in it. I don’t know, I think it looked like something I’d really like to have hanging in my house.
FF: It kinda looks like a cat actually, with the ears and the tail. For me, when you hear Figure 8 you think of a one graceful stroke across the canvas. But this Figure 8 is - it goes against that notion. It’s very fragmented, it’s very like bulky, kinda like a sharp figure 8. It sort of makes you feel uncomfortable... it’s different, it’s gestural, it has pizzazz, it has personality.
P: What are you most excited about for this project? Or what are some challenges that you see coming up?
SK: I’m just really excited to do another fashion project and make things. As far as challenges, I think we chose some kind of not-very-typical material to use for the garment. Like for example, for the base of the dress we’re gonna use duct canvas fabric, like this industrial sort of material. And I think that’s gonna be really interesting to work with, I’m not 100% sure of how well this is gonna work out but we’ll see.
FF: Same thing. I’m just excited to work on my first fashion piece. Something cool. Something where I can express this artistic side of myself, that I don’t really get to express with MCS or Stats.
P: So you, Frank, have talked about your music and you, Sophie, have been doing costume design. I’d like to hear a little bit more about your own projects.
FF: So when you play, say, a guitar… [or] go onto those mainstream instruments, you’re only limited to finite sounds you can make, like strumming the strings or tapping on the body of the guitar, or whatever, some random shit. But with electronic music, you have to manually shape the waves of the sounds you wanna make, to create an endless possibility of sounds, tambors, [and] textures. Music now is not just about the melody and the harmony and the rhythm. There’s also this added element of the texture - and I think with this piece, it ties in really well. here’s a very interesting interplay of the industrial fabric of the base dress - the canvas- and the luxurious sheer fabrics like the black tulle and organza that we’re going to use to overlay across the canvas.
SK: Honestly, I just really like making things and figuring out how to put things together.I especially like going from 2D to 3D.
Last quarter I did sculpture and one of my favorite projects I did was a giant paper crane. And I think it’s really satisfying to take all of these small pieces and bring them all together to make this bigger piece. This is what I like about sewing too, and how it slowly comes together and looks more and more like the vision in your head.
P: So the projects you collaborate in are just random ideas? Are you’re pretty much on the same page?
SK: Yeah, pretty much [laughs]
FF: Pretty much [laughs]. We’re both pretty spontaneous. One time, Sophie messaged me out of the blue. I was working on my pset. And she was like “Hey, want a Korean melon?”
FF: Literally. And I was like “Yeah, okay, sure...” So she bikes over to my dorm. I open the door and she gives me this Korean melon, and she bikes away. Like what? Deus ex machina right there. This is just what I needed to finish my pset, you know?
P: What project are you most proud of? And what’s next for you in terms of artistic pursuits?
SK: For me, it was definitely during my last year of high school. I organized my own fashion show with another friend.. So we each did our own collection, booked the venue, and we had people donate money to a nonprofit organization, got other local designers to be part of the fashion show too.
And I also think Phantom of The Opera was one of the biggest ones too. There’s usually an assistant costume designer but this time it was just me so i really got to make creative decisions. So basically those two are the ones that really stand out to me.
FF: Last quarter, I organized this all campus concert and party at 1047. And though I wasn’t the one making the music, I was the one making the music happen for the community, you know? That [felt] pretty sick.
But in terms of artistic projects, I would say a few of the songs on my Soundcloud. Let’s not talk about my Soundcloud, I don’t wanna be that guy. I just love making music, that’s all. With electronic music, you’re dealing with these waveforms, and they’re conceptually math-y and physics-y but at the same time there’s putting a precise science to this fluid form. That’s all I gotta say. My Soundcloud.
Written by: Daniela Chang-Foxon
Photography by: Cathy Wang
Edited by: Annie Zheng
PULSE Magazine thanks Frank and Sophie for their time.
Frank and Sophie’s design will be displayed at the Anderson et La Mode event, which will take place on June 1st at The Anderson Collection.