Elena Debrauske


1.62 m/s²

My thesis is an exploration into my past focusing on how I found my love for sewing through quilting circles with my grandmother. Every Wednesday my grandmother had her “quilting ladies” over to sew and make quilts for women’s shelters. My curiosity led me to  joining them and helping out  where I could. Quilting is a way to tell a story through three layers of fabric. My story lies heavily within the moon and how this lunar object has control over us, and  my love for the 1960s space age in fashion history. Through Sol Lewitt’s methods of art installation I am able to translate the surfaces of the moon into my grandmother’s favorite quilting patterns.
My fabrics were chosen based on comfort and the shape that they form when quilted, using a range of different batting to form my garments. By using only shades of white I am able to render the texture of the moon within my garments and by draping with padded geometric shapes, an oval, circle, and a square I was able to inform the shapes of the silhouettes. Giving the looks a sense of elegance and sophistication. While I wish I could be designing for someone living on the moon, my garments are designed for a woman like myself, someone who is fascinated by space and has a love for tradition and nostalgia.
Image: Comparing the texture from a quilt to different surfaces and finding these textures through artists work. With the white and monochromatic color story we rely on shadows and depth to create texture whether that is Robert Ryman’s Imposto paintings or Louise Nevelson’s 3D sculptures with found objects. The moons surface has these large craters that cast shadows which contrast the higher ground, giving it the most beautiful dimension.
Image: I started my exploration in finding my motif for quilting by tracing the surface of the moon as it reminded me of the texture of quilting.
Image: Using Sol Lewitts process of art making, I used my moon trancings and reaaranged them into different quilt layouts
Image: In Black - Sol Lewitts instructions for Wall art installation
Image: Silk charmeuse swatch using my found motifs. Bamboo batting and cotton jersey backing.
Image: Finding silhouettes through draping with a padded circle, oval and square.
Image: Acrylic ink and paint pen on thick water color paper
Image: Silk charmeuse top and shorts filled with a medium layer of primaloft batting. Faux leather bolero filled with thick prima loft batting. Hand quilted with silk thread.
Image: Baby-knit turtle neck with ring sleeve detail. Faux leather skirt quilted with silk thread and leather cording. Skirt filled with a thin layer of bamboo batting backed with a bamboo jersey.
Image: Silk charmeuse cape and skirt filled with medium primaloft batting paired with a baby-knit top with ring sleeve detail. Patch work quilts made by my grandparents in Milwaukee, WI. Hand quilted with silk thread.
Image: Faux leather dress with a thin layer of bamboo batting backed with bamboo jersey. Hand quilted with silk thread and faux leather cording. Paired with the baby-knit turtle neck with ring sleeves.
Image: Cape made from raw silk and silk charmeuse with a thick layer of primaloft batting paired with a baby-knit turtle neck dress with ring sleeve detail.
Image: Faux leather moon crator dress with medium Primaloft battingback with bamboo jersey. Quilted with silk thread and faux leather cording. Baby-knit turtleneck dress with ring sleeves.
Image: Raw silk puffer coat with thick primaloft batting backed with bamboo jersey. Quilted with silk thread. Baby-knit turtleneck dress with ring sleeves.


Elena Debrauske is a womenswear designer based in New York City. Her background in sewing with her grandma during her weekly quilting circles inspired her to pursue a career in which she could be creative. Her work is very personal, exploring things that are very close to her and comparing them to otherworldly objects. Her most recent work is inspired by the time she spent quilting with her grandmother, focusing on the textures and comparing them to the moon's surface. This led her to quilt using the moon craters as a map. She loves to create her own textiles, often using a monochromatic color story to emphasize texture. Debrauske is a recent graduate in Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design. During her time at Parsons she interned and worked at Danielle Frankel and Fleur Du Mal. 

Email edebrausje@gmail.com

Instagram  @eellaayynnaa_