Do a Google image search for Calvin Klein. You might notice that more than half the images don’t include clothes, or at least not outerwear. But the images that do show Klein’s impeccable sportswear, present a distinct sense of brand, and this brand is beautifully referenced by Olivia VanScoyoc who chose Calvin Klein as her Masters of Design muse.
“Calvin Klein’s early work served as the inspiration for my collection,” noted Olivia. “I appreciate his clean tailored lines and limited color palette. I also connect with the ease associated with American sportswear.”
An appreciation for clean lines is not surprising from a designer who included architecture among the list of things that inspire her.
Getting that clean, deceptively simple look, however, is anything but clean and simple.
Olivia came to CCAD with no sewing experience, so when she started learning to sew during her sophomore year, she describes it as a struggle at first.
“I broke needles got bobbins stuck in the machines. I couldn’t do a fly front when we first learned them. Now I do them all the time.”
She mastered the sewing, but discovered new hurdles as she worked on her collection.
“The jeans were a challenge,” she explained. “Getting the fit and the little details—rivets, pocket stitching, linings. The industry has machines to age jeans. I did it by hand with sandpaper, bleach, and washing.”
Another unexpected hurdle involved fabrics. Olivia purchased a lot of fabric online and was surprised at how often she would be sent damaged merchandise or the wrong color.
Overcoming challenges is a natural part of the learning process. But Olivia found that some lessons, some discoveries, are a positive part of the creative process. She describes the evolution of her women’s wear garment, and how it changed multiple times as she worked from illustration to actual, wearable pieces. “Each step took me closer to what it should have been,” she said. This willingness to adapt and constantly re-evaluate her work, led her to pieces that are fitted and well finished.
While her looks clearly nod to the CK brand, she pulled her own voice in with finishes such as rib-knit cuffs and edgier zipper and rivet choices.
Olivia’s open engaging attitude was clear when she was asked to describe the most important thing she learned at CCAD: “Have integrity,” she wrote. “Listen to criticism and don’t disregard others’ interpretations of your work. Your greatest influences are the creative people you surround yourself with.”
As she finishes up her collection, she is getting ready for graduation—working on her portfolio, setting up interviews, and keeping her options open.
The CCAD Fashion Show is an annual fundraising event that showcases the talent of graduating Columbus College of Art & Design Fashion Design Seniors. This popular event sells out every year and this blog is a portal through which to view the behind-the-scenes goings on.