Design Student Makes Super Creative College Thesis By Combining Nature, Fashion & Photography

Have you ever thought of taking a college thesis above and beyond? To do more than you are asked to do? To not spend hours in a dorm or library but roam new locations and shoot? If the answer is yes, come and find out more about the girl who took ‘going above and beyond’ to another level.

When assigned her thesis, a recent graduate from Parsons School of Design in New York, 22-year old Sofia Colvin blew our minds, completely justifying the concept of thinking out of the box! Combining her interests in fashion, nature and photography in what she calls

an exploration of the self within the natural environment,

Sophia Colvin has created a most captivating series called, ‘To Make a Mirror.’

Sophia Colvin

She has produced and photographed for over ten months, scouting for locations online and working with designers to create enchanting garments for each place, to which she travelled, to photograph herself. Completely re-imagining the studio fashion editorials that Colvin was used to, she took the concept to other worldly landscapes, like Iceland’s fields of moss-covered lava and California’s barren salt flats. Sophia Colvin created couture garments and designed each piece in collaboration with different designers. To Make a Mirror, a series of self-portraits, has the dresses acting as a response to the environment where it would be photographed.

Sophia Colvin

Poetic and meditative, the resulting images blur the lines between fashion editorials and landscape photography.

By designing and having garments constructed for each location, I bridge the gap between the natural world and fashion. I do not venture into these landscapes in search of civilisation, but to take a moment for myself, a quiet, meditative time to reflect and understand my role.

says the young Sophia Colvin when asked about locations and fashion she chose.

Sophia Colvin

The moss-covered lava in Iceland was by far the most magical location. The rain was on-and-off that afternoon, so I had to keep running to the car to wait for it to pass. Walking on the moss felt like stepping on a sponge. The fashion really helped me adapt to the landscapes, though—this specific garment made me feel like a storybook character,

Sofia Colvin says when asked about this particular photograph.


Scattered pieces of driftwood on the shore of Georgia is what attracted her to blend in and shoot this particular snap. The fashion for this location was inspired by a previous shoot she’d done where a collaborator and she wore long-sleeved black dresses. When Sophia Colvin worked with designer Olivia Le Blanc on this garment, they chose this gray fabric so the dress could mimic the branches.


The garment, co-designed with Linda Hamouie, was made of neoprene which relieved the artist as she shot in the rain. This was one of the last shoots during her Iceland trip, and so she was pretty tired.

Sophia Colvin

Nervous about the weather, Sofia Colvin set off to search for this location, with the forecast not on her side. Arriving the next morning, she was relieved that the weather had calmed down and the day was perfect to do the job she was there for. Shooting on the location for about three hours Sofia encountered a lot of tourists watching her shoot and asking questions about her project. She throws more light on the experience, saying,

This was one of my favourite locations from my shoots in Iceland—the garment really made me feel like I was one with the rocks around me.

Sophia Colvin

Garment constructed to mimic the California desert’s curves and shapes, the artist went too far (literally and physically) for this shoot. The artist fought the harsh desert and hiked and climbed for 45 minutes just to make sure that she had found the right spot with the view of the horizon and that showed the scope of the environment to put her camera to work. Further, the artist Sophia Colvin adds about the shoot,

This shoot was difficult because the sun was harsh, and I typically want to shoot in shade, or cloud-covered lighting.

Sophia Colvin

One moment that stands out is my shoot on the salt flats in California. It was the last location I worked with before wrapping the series.

According to the artist, the moment which stood out in the series is the one portrayed in the picture above. Taken in the salt flats in California, this was the last location where Colvin shot before wrapping up the series.

The lighting that day was oddly perfect: overcast, my ideal lighting. The only tough part of that day was that the salt burned my bare feet,

Colvin adds when talking about the last moments of her shoot.


Working with the best, this young artist has created history by not following the norms set by others for completing their thesis, just like a couple of other clever students we know. From waking up by 4:00 am, to hiking the dunes, to taking the project to another country, Sofia Colvin has done it all and showed us that the world is the best library!

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