Ruochen Yuan '21

School & Program
Parson School of Design, Fashion Design

Meadowridge Student Since
Grade 1

Born in
Xi'an, Shaanxi, China

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve always been passionate about drawing since I was five years old. In Grade 1, I told Mrs. Pitzey I wanted to become an artist. I enjoy drawing and taking inspiration from my surroundings. Most of my childhood was spent drawing or making magazine collages – it was my “me time” where I found happiness and where my creativity first began. I also love playing tennis, swimming, and writing letters. I have a few pen pals who I write to, which I enjoy because it is such a genuine and special thing. There are two types of pen pals: those who decorate and go all out, and those who do the bare minimum. I’m somewhere in the middle. I also love baking, especially blueberries muffins, and made an apple pie just the other day.

How did you first find yourself at Meadowridge?

The education. My parents wanted me to attend a good school. I still remember my first day because I was so scared to take the bus. I begged my parents to follow me in the car, which they did, and for the rest of the week after. By my second week of school, I said, “okay! I’m good.”

Tell us about your year ahead.

I’m moving to New York in the near few months. I’ll be right in Manhattan. I’ll be earning my BFA and am also considering a minor in fashion marketing. I visited the campus, so I know the area and plan to live somewhere nearby. I want my own space so I can have room to make my own clothes at home. I also plan to do some volunteer work, including continuing my work with Momentum Magazine as a graphic designer. Eventually, I’d also like to look into internships. You need to learn the ropes somehow!

Write an Extended Essay you’ll enjoy. I actually took the advice from a grad from a few years back, which was to pick a topic you love. I chose to explore contemporary art and haute couture. Is fashion art? Yes.

What was it about Fashion Design?

Clothes tell the story of a person. From someone’s clothes, you get their vibe. It’s how people express themselves without saying anything at all. As a designer, I can create wearable art forms. It combines my love for illustration, design, drawing and painting. I started learning about fashion design through a course I entered outside of school. I started that in Grade 8 or 9 but picked up sewing lessons back in Grade 6. I started by making the usual, beginner things – tote bags, drawstring bags, towels – and progressed from there.

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?

Making new friends. I’ve lived at Meadowridge for so long – 12 years now! It’ll be hard for me to reach out and make new friends, but I’m looking forward to it. I also can’t wait to have a big, huge studio to share with all my classmates. A lot of the projects at Parsons are open-ended, so you can express yourself however you want. As for projects? I’d be very excited to do something like create a pattern or textile. Like weaving! You know people who weave different patterns? I’d love to try that in university.

Also, the food. New York is my dream for food. I can’t wait to try every restaurant, which I plan to do over time. I also am eager to explore the museums and see art that will motivate me and inspire me.

What will you miss most as you move onto the next chapter?

I’ll miss my friends at Meadowridge. I’ll also miss the vibe of the school. It is so welcoming and inviting and I have fun every day at school. Honestly, I’ll miss lunchtimes, which are a time where my friends and I can sit down at a table, take a break from the day, and have a noisy buzz of things happening in the background. I will also miss my dog a lot.

Any parting words of wisdom?

Write an Extended Essay you’ll enjoy. I actually took the advice from a grad from a few years back, which was to pick a topic you love. I chose to explore contemporary art and haute couture. Is fashion art? Yes.

Also, take advantage of other types of opportunities like these. For example, my Diploma Programme (DP) Art Exhibition was influenced by my portfolio. It helped me to curate my collection and place my works in a sequenced order. Motif is so important, and I played with negative and positive shapes in mine. I got time in school to do this and it was such a good opportunity.  

Congratulations to our 2023 Graduates

The Class of 2023 is graduating from one of the most rigorous academic programs in the world. Throughout the past year, and throughout their journey with us at Meadowridge, they have exhibited grace, courage, intelligence, and kindness.

They are all going on to prestigious schools nationally and internationally, to join rigorous programs in a variety of disciplines, and, most importantly, to make a positive impact in our world. We are proud of what they have achieved, and despite knowing change is the only certainty, we are confident that these young people are prepared to not only meet the future, but also to create it.

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