Sometimes you don’t know what you can do until someone encourages you to try. Marie Hutton didn’t intend to do all menswear for her collection. Her initial concept was one men’s look and three women’s looks. But at the urging of her instructors, she changed direction and tackled the challenge.
“I didn’t know anything about men’s wear,” admitted Marie. “I wasn’t as familiar with how to approach the fit, and women’s wear offers more choices for a designer.”
Fortunately, Ralph Lauren, a designer that has always inspired Marie, is also a perfect inspiration for creating a collection for men.
Today Ralph Lauren is practically synonymous with classic American sportswear. He began his career in the late ’60s designing ties and menswear. He launched women’s wear and his iconic Polo line in the early ’70s.
Ralph Lauren was already a household name when Marie, as a small child, first showed an interest in fashion design.
“As a little girl I would set up a ‘design station’ in my basement and pretend I was a famous designer,” she shared. She always knew she wanted to be a fashion designer and she was just as focused when looking at colleges—CCAD was the only school she applied to.
Despite knowing that she wanted to go into fashion design from a young age, Marie did not know how to sew when she came to CCAD. But she learned, and she said that getting through her sophomore year, while challenging, left her with the realization: “This isn’t impossible. I can do it.”
That attitude served her well as she learned to pattern and fit for men. And, it helped her as she chose to do a few particularly hard pieces, including a winter coat with a quilted lining and a sheer, textured dress shirt—the fabric of which was delicate and difficult to sew.
With her runway looks, Marie references two of Lauren’s more enduring signatures, the tweed jacket and preppy aesthetic. She brought her own touches, however, with unusual fabric choices. For example, she pairs the sheer textured dress shirt with a silk-tweed jacket, and a vest. The effect is subtle, but provides a nice juxtaposition of textures. For a blazer, she ignored tweed altogether and chose a blue corduroy.
While Marie found several creative ways to develop a collection that represented her voice while acknowledging her muse, it was her love of patternmaking that helped her overcome the challenge of menswear.
“Without patternmaking I couldn’t have done it,” Marie declared.
Fortunately, patternmaking is Marie’s favorite part of the discipline of fashion design.
“I love problem solving and all of the technical aspects of fashion design,” she explained. “Pattermaking just relaxes me, and I love being able to see an idea become reality.”
The ‘reality’ walks down the runway on May 13 at the CCAD Fashion Show Event. Get tickets 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.