I can say without a doubt that my life is a fantasy-filled fairytale. I’ve had my share of frog princes, evil witches, and while I’ve yet to have my “happily ever after,” “someday my prince will come.” The idea and want and need to make this collection a reality started the minute I walked onto the O’More campus in the fall of 2014. In the beginning, it was the seven deadly sins, ball gowns, and magical. As the years went by, it grew with me. It has now become something I could previously only imagine, and it truly has brought The Black Garden story to life.
Revival of the Fittest
I found inspiration for my collection from my surroundings. I have lived in Tennessee my entire life and I let the roads guide my creativity. I wanted my designs to be linear and geometric like the pavement and signs on a highway. But in Tennessee, if you look beyond the road, there is much more to see. These past few years, I have spent countless hours on country back-roads trying to find my inspiration. I incorporated organic colors and textures to capture the nature seen along these roads. I not only wanted to capture this scene through my designs, I wanted to literally use the nature as well. The fur used in my garments is collected from roadkill, the leather is made from salmon skin, and my textiles are hemp, peace silk, and wool. I wanted to give new life to the animals I found and give them a new purpose. I was transfixed by the way that something that brings people disgust could be transformed into something unexpected. My collection was created from my surroundings, but now that my garments are complete I can see that they came from me too: a little quirky, somewhat futuristic, and mildly confusing.
I most often find myself inspired by connectivity, especially the marriage of opposites. There is a compelling beauty in juxtaposition, whether that be in human relationships or in art, and it is a theme which I am compelled to highlight. Sacred Nature intends to provoke thought, as it questions the current societal perspective on the relationship between spirituality and sexuality, and femininity as a whole. My collection has the intention of inspiring its viewers to step out of their peers’ influence and to consider what is sacred to them, personally, and what exactly that means to be sacred. It strips away the over-sexualization surrounding femininity, and presents it in a truer light of beauty and creativity, highlighting the intricacies and complexities of womanhood, as well as the purity within sensuality.
I have always strived to find balance—the balance between strength and weakness, elaborate and dull, loud and silent, concentration and distraction. In this collection, I have found balance in all of those things. It’s essential that I continue to strive for equilibrium wherever tomorrow leads me—being stagnant in this world is not an option. I desire to elevate the expectations of design. Design is not only a field of interest, but the wheels that keep the world turning.
My collection stems from my interest in culture, technology, and contemporary architecture. There is a plethora of sources I desired to utilize, and businesses to support, both across the world and in my community. I developed relationships with textile suppliers in Japan, and sourced most of the fabrics in my collection from their beautiful mills, and I worked with a local manufacturer in Nashville to execute the 3D pieces that accompany my garments. Although my inspiration as a designer changes on a consistent basis, I hope to always push new and innovative ideas into the world. The following quote from Socrates is one that has resonated with me more than most, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” I am truly thankful for the people and places that have allowed me to begin my career here in Nashville, and I am ecstatic to continue my journey of learning here.
I have always had a passion for designing. My mother recalls me saying at the young age of four that I wanted to be a fashion designer. Almost eighteen years later I’m still holding onto the same dream. People envy the fact that I have always known what I wanted to do, but with that being said, I’m still figuring out who I am as a designer. Through my time at O’More I have found an immense love for non-traditional bridal and Red Carpet wear. My goal is to create elegant designs while playing with more daring silhouettes. My senior collection, La Femme, reflects my unique approach to bridal and evening wear. I want to give all women the option of something that is uniquely their own, not “traditional.” I’ve always looked to fashion to express myself. Now, I believe it’s my turn to give that same experience to women and brides alike. After interning for NYC designer Cristina Ottaviano, I fell in love with the City and its contagious energy. Upon graduating, I plan to expand into New York’s bustling fashion industry.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
The word I use to describe my design style is “sophisti-gance” — a term combining the words sophisticated and elegance. I aspire to create bridal wear that will hold a significant place in your heart. I believe in happy endings and making dreams come true. My collection is inspired by vintage laces, eight of my best friends, and the 1930s-50s. I strived to bring vintage and timeless elements into my collection, while still designing for a more modern customer. There is limited appreciation for anything old-fashioned, and I hope to display my admiration for previous generations by incorporating a piece of the past into the gowns. Each dress features something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
I’m a Tennessee native with a passionate and tenacious spirit. Since childhood, I have dreamt of silhouettes, draped materials, and textiles. My debut Spring/Summer ‘18 collection actualizes those dreams; transforming women’s work wear into a dramatic and vibrant experience. I design for the career woman who desires to look professional and fabulous! Inspired by Spring/Summer themes, most pieces can transition, spanning other seasons. Versatility is especially important to each garment design and its particular accessories. Not only can these garments be worn from season to season, but they can easily translate from weekday to weekend! The Cuban culture in Miami–femininity, transparency, color, and contrasting textures–is central to my inspiration. Every garment has a story, and its evolution has an intentional narrative in mind. Original tropical and floral prints, which are my own creations, are aesthetically paired with stretch velvet, satin, chiffon and faille textiles. Intricate draping, pleating, and couture techniques embrace the natural curves of a woman’s body and conceptualize the vibrant female spirit. The Ken.drama woman celebrates every moment and lights up every room!
Art is my life, and I love to paint and draw. You will never see me without my sketchbook or without wearing a pair of my custom hand-painted shoes. Art is what ultimately led me to O’More. At the time, I chose fashion design because I loved illustrating the clothes. As I continued my journey at O’More, I discovered that textile surface design is what I actually want to do, and you can see that in my brightly colored collection. Each piece and outfit is unique and includes something hand-painted or dyed, making everything a one of a kind original. I hope you enjoy this bright and colorful collection.
My biggest inspiration as an artist is the correlation between music and fashion. My passion to dress music artists in my designs is what originally connected me to Nashville. When I first visited Nashville in high school, I immediately knew that this is where I would make my mark in the fashion industry. Completing my degree at O’More College of Design has allowed me to work on my craft in close proximity to the music and entertainment industry, which has allowed my voice and perspective as a designer to take new heights. With this collection, I am developing a new status quo for how musicians dress for their performances and appearances. With each look that I have created, I have kept in mind specific musicians and how I envision each of them taking the stage. I hope to bring excitement, elements of surprise, and lightheartedness to the runway with my designs!
My entire life has been about finding balance in the juxtaposition. “Maximus” is about just that – finding the thin line between two utterly contrasting aspects. Only natural fibers are used in the collection to bring awareness to sustainability and the effects of clothing on the environment. In contrast, individuals think of over indulgence and waste in the major cities. The colors of the collection play off the bright city lights and the plaid represents the tall skyscrapers. I chose to conquer menswear not because I thought it would be simpler, actually quite the opposite. I wanted a challenge. Menswear stretches my creativity in ways that womenswear does not.