Study Abroad Experience Plays Role in Amanda Smith’s Senior Collection

April 6th, 2012 by Kristen Foley
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Amanda Smith envisioned her collection to be comfy, natural and cultured.

Each designer’s “canvas” for this year’s Senior Fashion Show collection is as diverse and captivating as the designer herself. There is not one collection that mimics the other, each standing tall on the inspiration and unique vision of the designer. Distinctive techniques, fabrics; and, of course, their chosen muse make each collection true, exceptional works of wearable art.

Amanda Smith’s designs take on big patterns, geometric and animal shapes, and try to include natural fabrics whenever possible. When you look at each piece separately you may question whether the two patterns would work together, but when you see the completed design you understand Amanda’s gift even more.

“My overall collection and style was derived from my experience studying abroad in England. While taking part in this amazing experience, I learned a lot about myself as a designer and how I design,” she says. “I learned to explore knitted fabric along with knitting my own fabric on a machine and by hand, which I have incorporated into my collection.”

Before exploring her true “passion for fashion,” Amanda considered applying her gift of assembling textiles and patterns to interior design. When she found that process to be nothing like Extreme Home Makeover, she expanded her creative search and found that fashion design satisfied her fabric cravings.

“All I wanted to do was immerse myself into the tactile feeling and handling of the fabric choices and creating something that gave a certain feeling,” she remembers.

Amanda used a "burnout" technique to create designs in some of her fabrics.

That notion is carried throughout her Senior Fashion Show collection, which is peppered with rich fabrics ranging from knit, suede and velvet, many of which were embellished with personal, hand-stitched details or with an inimitable “burnout” technique.

A burnout pattern is a special type of treatment used on tufted fabrics, like brocade or velvet, to create a distinctive look. To get the look she wanted, Amanda took her original sketches and developed them into digital designs using a computer graphics program. The designs were then printed, cut out, and placed over the fabric. A chemical paste was then applied to the fabric to create the desired pattern.

Being the perfectionist that she is, Amanda admits she completed this process several times until she got the results she wanted. Even now she has to hold back from fixing them again and again.

“My most difficult challenge is that I envision perfection and expect to present that through my finished pieces. Due to this challenge, when I look at my pieces I want to change them and fine tune them constantly,” reflects Amanda. “I feel like I’m never getting anywhere. I have a perfect state within my mind and inner drive to please and capture the perfectionism and never seem to reach the end.”

The final runway show is coming up fast and there is still work to be done, including creating an outfit for herself and putting the finishing touches on the garment she created for Kristy Eckert, Capital Style’s editor-in-chief. There’s still time for you to get your tickets, but those will be gone before you know it.


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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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3 Responses to “Study Abroad Experience Plays Role in Amanda Smith’s Senior Collection”

  1. Study Abroad Experience Plays Role in Amanda Smith's Senior … says:

    [...] here:  Study Abroad Experience Plays Role in Amanda Smith's Senior … Share this: Other Artcles:Study Abroad Safety in the Wake of Amanda Knox's [...]

  2. Mardi Gauer says:

    Very nice Amanda – knock em over at the show.

  3. the Cross Family says:

    Good luck at the talent show! I know you’ll do great! You are very talented and a wonderful person.