Clare McKinney makes good at Pratt Institute

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Tigard resident Claire McKinneys Organic Matter design at Pratt Institute features pantyhose repurposed as a large-gage knit outfit.It would be accurate to describe Tigard native Claire McKinney as jetsetting. Earlier this month, she told Vogue magazine contributor Sarah Mower about her experience as one of a few dozen lucky fashion students chosen for an all-expenses paid trip to see a haute couture runway show previewing the newest Christian Dior collection — with the famed design house footing the bill.

The whirlwind trip came soon after the announcement McKinney would have her work featured in a Manhattan art gallery in “Organic Matter: Woven Artwear by Pratt Fashion.”

McKinney is in her third year at the Brooklyn design school, and this year’s show has a theme with an arguably Pacific Northwest Flavor: knitwear.

Students were challenged to reconsider form, function and design of the ancient craft, and McKinney’s entry presents the very best in another Portland-area art form: “upcycling,” or creating something new out of old apparel items. McKinney, a Lakeridge High School alum, used pantyhose and a large-gage stitch to create a knit T-shirt, accompanied by a more delicately knit, wrap-style skirt. The two are integrated into a cohesive outfit thanks to neutral-color suspenders.

With the earthtone color scheme, the effect of McKinney’s design is surprisingly ready-to-wear.

McKinney is reaping the rewards of hard work in the industry. A former production intern at Portland Garment Factory, she also interned in marketing and sales at Porltand-based Solestruck.

The piece will be displayed at Gallery Nine, alongside 30 other student selections, like a knit corset, a crocheted coat with a collar made from a plush dog toy and a crocheted bodysuit.

For more information about McKinney’s work, visit our website,

Contract Publishing

Go to top