Elements of the Past Weave Through Natasha Bolton’s Collection

April 11th, 2012 by Kristen Foley
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Natasha's designs give a nod to the past and to her love of the steampunk culture.

Natasha Bolton is an old soul. She is drawn to the historic origins and details of fashion, yet it is her personal insight, interest, and general appreciation of these elements that shine through in her senior collection. Even without her telling you, it’s understood that her pieces are a nod to the past with a present day twist.

“It’s an idea and a way of bringing historic concepts into a modern setting, which we as designers already do,” says Natasha. “There is never anything really new, but we don’t see it until it’s made a little bit more obvious.”

She felt the painting “Still life with Hat and Collar” by Albert Henrich truly encompassed her idea of taking what was old and making it new again.

“You look at it and you think of an old-timey gentleman with the color and the cuffs, things that we don’t use in today’s society as formal wear,” reflects Natasha. “Up until the 1950s, women always wore hats and gloves when they went out or to church. I gravitate towards things that people nowadays take for granted.”

That gravitational pull may be due to her upbringing. Thanks to her family’s influence, Natasha was constantly surrounded by elements of the theater or cinema. She grew up with an adoration of classic and obscure films that was only magnified by her cinema history courses at CCAD.

"Still Life with Hat and Collar" By Albert Henrich

“Stepping back and taking a look at my work I can see a strong influence of film noir,” she notes.  “The lines, the intensity, the palette, and the mood have a definite presence in my Steampunk approach.  It defines me perfectly.”

Steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s, incorporates elements of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and horror. There are historical elements within the steampunk aesthetic, as well as Natasha’s designs. She even used reclaimed or recycled fabrics from thrift stores in every single one of her designs.

As her time at CCAD draws to a close, Natasha, although a fan of the past, is still looking forward. She hopes to continue her design work as well as attend graduate school to continue studying the history of textile and fashion. As new students begin their path towards the 2013 Senior Fashion show, her advice to them is just to remain true to what you do.

“Find your voice, visualize your statement, make it the best it can be, and use the resources you have around you because you won’t have them for long,” says Natasha. “Get your education to make you the best that you can be while doing what you love to do, but don’t let anybody bully you away from your vision.”

We’re a  month away from the 2012 Senior Fashion Show. Buy your tickets now.

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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.

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