What inspired you to enter into design, and when did you first begin your career?
I began designing four years ago. Before I began design school, I was inspired by the tailoring and combination of various components which make up clothing. The thought of beginning with a two dimensional piece of fabric and ending up with a wearable piece of art captivated me.
The design process is an extensive one, from the illustration all the way to the final garment. What is it that you like most about designing, and what do you like least?
What I enjoy most about designing is the preliminary conception of design through the experimentation of raw materials. How can you make them move? How can you shape them? How can you combine them to create something truly original? These are all things I challenge myself to discover with every new garment I begin to design, my least favorite thing about design would have to be final finishing on garments. Every monotonous task from putting in zippers to sewing on buttons really bore me. The worst though is when you have to refit a completed garment, and have to go take it apart only to put it back together with very minor changes.
To date, what has been the proudest moment in your career as a designer?
To date my proudest moment would have to be winning the season premier of Wedding Dress Wars especially the pressure I was under, and the fact that I had only made one wedding dress before going on the show.
In a nutshell, how would you define the overall aesthetic of your designs?
My aesthetic would have to be vintage with a modern edge. I appreciate classic silhouettes, but introduce modern techniques of surface design into my clothing. As for what inspires me most, I would have to say the materials I have at hand. I enjoy manipulating and experimenting with a range of materials in order to create unique appliqués and surfaces for my garments.
Which designers inspire you, and are these also whom you would compare your designs to?
I love the work of Alexander McQueen and the elegance of Vera Wang. I have a real appreciation for the way these designers marry elements of design to create balanced pieces, which although elaborate, they remain tastefully avant-garde.
What is your favorite material to work with?
I love the variety of manipulations I can get out of structured synthetic fabrics, particularly polyester taffeta combined with the soft volume of tulle.
Do you gravitate more toward womenswear? If so, why, and do you feel that menswear is a harder market to break into?
Personally I tend to focus on women’s eveningwear. I feel that there is an occasion for every dress and one is not limited by the restrictions that come with contemporary day wear. I can be as overly expressive as I want to be, while combining a variety of techniques. Although I also have a concentration on outerwear, there are simply more parameters which restrict a designers creativity in these areas. I don’t necessarily feel that menswear is a harder market to break into, I just find women’s fashion excels at a more rapid pace, which I find more appealing then menswear.
How does your “RAW” collection differ from your past designs?
My collection has focused more than ever on the raw manipulations of fabrics. Up until this point I have been working to develop my aesthetic as a way to ground myself and my brand. I feel that my collection has done exactly that in the way of opening my eyes to my ability of raw textile manipulations and surface design through alternative methods, such as heat treatments on synthetic fibers.
Designers are split when it comes to the question of whether fashion is a form of art? What is your opinion?
To me fashion is definitely a form of art. Designers work tirelessly on pieces which fit the visual and functional needs of their markets. Fashion is simply functional art.
There are many paths you could take as a designer aside from starting your own design house; what direction do you currently intend to take?
My dream job would of course be to open my own boutique in eveningwear or maybe bridal. As I am only in my senior year of school, I have a very long road ahead. Initially, I believe I will challenge myself in the corporate world of fashion design hoping to eventually break away into my own design venture.