Janell Clemente chose Alexander McQueen as her Masters of Design muse because, as she put it, “he created beautifully.”
As a designer Janell embraces the meticulous details, a trait she shares with McQueen who was known as an extravagant designer. New York Magazine writes the following about him: “The label is known for its dramatic, gorgeously constructed pieces, combining elements of British tailoring with French couture. Signature looks included billowy dresses cut in hourglass silhouettes, frock coats paired with skinny pants, sharp, angular suiting, and darkly romantic gowns covered in intricate embroidery and lace.”
It is the last description, the darkly romantic gowns, which Janell chose to reference as she developed the two full-length, evening-wear looks that will come down the runway May 13.
One look has a more obvious connection to her Masters of Design muse. The dress incorporates carefully applied lace appliqué and a waterfall of hand sewn ruffles. The other look is more restrained—a testament to Janell’s appreciation of simple elegance. The sleek, fitted gray dress has long sleeves, an exposed back, and subtle detailing. The beauty of the garment is dependent in its careful construction, fit, and the elegant knit fabric—and the end result is stunning.
An enormous amount of handwork went into Janell’s gowns, and each came with its own set of challenges and adjustments.
She used interlocked knit wool for the gray dress because of the way the knit draped and gently hugged the body. While the effect is elegant the stretch inherent in the knit was a construction challenge. She ended making the pattern a size smaller and used interfacing to provide support and reinforce buttons and button holes.
The dress with the lace appliqué underwent design changes as she dived into construction. Originally conceived with more appliqué and a train, she modified her design after she began construction and realized that the train wouldn’t be practical on the runway.
Quality and the final outcome have always been paramount in Janell’s mind as she created her collection. She came to CCAD as a transfer student from California. A few years in a nursing degree, she was exploring pre-med when a friend suggested she consider fashion design. She took some fashion design classes, fell in love, and applied to CCAD. She entered the college expecting to finish her undergraduate degree in two years. As she tackled the course work she chose extend her education one more year to ensure she could dedicate the time and energy to produce a collection that at the caliber that she knew she was capable of—and as the runway show and graduation nears, she is proud of the outcome.
Before heading back to California to explore opportunities in upscale bridal companies, she will present her garments at the 2011 senior fashion show on May 13.
A handful of tickets are still available online at www.ccad.edu/fashion.
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.