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Fashion, culture, and art osmosis: Sophia Strasburg’s Paris education

Sophia Strasburg stands in front of the Palace of Versailles
Stamps student Sophia Strasburg has studied in Paris as part of the Stamps International Experience.

Stamps junior Sophia Strasburg joins a Zoom meeting from her apartment in the calm 16th Arrondissement in Paris, France, just blocks from the Eiffel Tower. A hairless Sphynx cat donning a fashionable sweater sits by her side. Remnants of a replica Vivienne Westwood bridal gown, Strasburg’s work in progress, surround the pair. 

I’m having my Devil Wears Prada’ moment in Paris,” jokes Strasburg. 

Strasburg is staying in Paris while she attends the Paris College of Art (PCA) as part of the Stamps International Experience. 

In her artistic practice, Strasburg regularly tackles various mediums, such as fashion, painting, and photography. 

I give myself ambitious projects to test my limits and prove my abilities to myself,” Strasburg says. I absorb as much as possible before moving on to the next big thing.” 

Strasburg’s current big thing is the semester in Paris, and she reveals the impact the opportunity has made on her creative journey. 

Colorful, transparent windows in a museum exhibit
The Centre Pompidou in Paris. Photo: Sophia Strasburg

Cultural Immersion

Strasburg is passionate about fashion, and now, she’s studying in the fashion capital of the world. 

When I was a kid, I had a Paris poster in my room. I’ve always had this feeling that I should go there one day,” Strasburg said. Last year, when I saw it was added to the Stamps International lineup, I felt like it was meant for me.” 

Strasburg has become involved in Paris’ museums and the PCA’s community. Outside of class, Strasburg and her classmates attended PCA alum Daisy Sleiman’s show during Paris Fashion Week to gain inspiration for their careers. 

Strasburg says that the guidance from her dedicated teachers has helped her artistic growth. Strasburg’s fashion teacher’s freelance experiences and her textiles teacher’s work with high-end brands have added valuable insights. 

My teachers are wonderful, and they push you really hard. They seem like they want to be there to help students,” Strasburg says. 

Silk wedding dress positioned on a mannequin.
Strasburg constructs a replica Vivienne Westwood bridal gown. Photo: Sophia Strasburg

Current Projects

In one of her fashion courses, Strasburg was tasked with recreating a garment based on a photo. She’s working on a replica of a Vivienne Westwood bridal gown – the second dress she has ever made.” 

It’s a big learning curve for me,” Strasburg says. There’s been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.” 

Strasburg is also creating textile pieces and paintings. She’s experimenting with animation, architecture, and different materials in her projects. Strasburg says that she is soaking up the whole experience like osmosis. 

One of Strasburg’s favorite memories took place on a metro on her way to a textile critique. As Strasburg sewed her piece on the go, a young boy couldn’t resist reaching out to touch it – enamored with all of the tactile elements of Strasburg’s art. 

I feel like the more you see and the more people you meet, the more opportunities you have to be impacted by the world around you,” Strasburg said. International experience shapes your character and your worldview.” 

Textile piece, with various feathers and stitching, hangs on display
Deathless Dancer” by Sophia Strasburg.

Story by Katelyn Stuck