From costumes to metal music

Designer Lucie Biros’ life after graduation.

Micaela Resh

Lucie Biros prides herself on being unique.

She works with corsetry, leatherworking and outerwear —sensibility has never been a force behind her work.

“I either do things that are really practical or not practical at all. There’s no middle ground,” Biros said.

The Minneapolis native graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in apparel design and a minor in retail merchandising in 2013.

During her time at the University, Biros explored costume design. She spent three years working at the school’s costume shop.

Her role in the workroom included everything from stitching seams together to adding embellishments to garments. There, Biros said she learned new sewing techniques and spent time creating hats and accessories as well.

“It was a great way to make ends meet and still learn about the field I am interested in,” Biros said.

She recalled creating costumes for the University play “Oil! and the Jungle,” which is a theatrical blend of two muckraking novels by Upton Sinclair. She developed weathered, grungy looks for the actors who were playing Chicago stockyard workers.

“It had to be completely deconstructed. We took … clothing and really ripped it to shreds,” Biros said.

Biros also aided in “The Winter’s Tale,” a Shakespearean show that required incredibly complex, ornate costuming.

Recently, Biros created the wardrobe design for a short film that’s in the post-production phase.

Throughout her years in the College of Design, a course by professor Pat Hemmis — Intro to Design Thinking — got her excited about the field. Biros said the course taught form and function, and explained the differences between appearances and technicalities.

Biros participated in the first group of students to work on a NASA project developed by another apparel design professor, Lucy Dunne. The students were tasked with developing space suits for astronauts in return for a trip to the space center in Houston, Texas.

Because apparel design is not typically taught in a high school, Biros said the college coursework can sometimes be challenging.

“The technicalities of design and patternmaking, and even the mentality of design thinking, [are] something most people don’t have access to,” Biros said.

Upon graduating, Biros completed an internship and then landed a job at St. Paul business Clothier Design Source, where she works today.

The St. Paul business works with apparel development and manufacturing services for private labels.

Biros also continued her work as a local designer and illustrator. She sells her clothing on Etsy.

And she uses the online platform as a showcase for her graphic novels and illustrations. She said she “geeks out” over concept art and character design. Biros said she’s particularly inspired by the Tolkien stories she grew up reading, along with anything else in the realm of medieval sci-fi.

“I love anything fantastical —anything that requires you to take a leap of imagination,” Biros said.