By Kristen M. Foley
Karla Norquist’s love of fashion was uncovered when she was just a tween. She completed her first fashion sketch at age 11, even though at the time she admits she really didn’t know what she was doing.
“I liked an outfit in my mom’s fashion magazine so I drew it,” she remembers. “Then I started drawing a version of what I would want. When I showed my mom she told me I should look into fashion as a career.”
Karla still has that first sketch. It’s a constant reminder of what she loves and what she wants from the future, including her senior collection, which she considers “tropical jungle wear.”
In her designer brief she notes that she “wanted to capture the energy and creativity of youthful street fashion through silhouette and color” and “based on upcoming trends, chose a tropical theme for spring and summer cruise wear.”
Just as Karla’s relationship with fashion started young, so did her education at CCAD. An alumna of the Saturday Morning Art Classes program as well College PreView, Karla quickly learned that there was a place for her in the CCAD community.
Karla notes that she also chose CCAD because she had the option to take classes from different fields of study. If she had attended a fashion-only school she wouldn’t have been able to take classes in ceramics, oil painting, or advertising, all of which she felt were essential to her creativity. However, fashion has always been a guiding force in her art direction
As she has developed her skills in fashion design, Karla found that by draping the fabric on a form first, she would get a better idea of what she wanted to create.
“I worked backwards,” she laughs. “I’m much better at draping so I just started draping forms on mannequins. I initially came up with this scaled looking garment with all these inverted pleats down the back. Once I made my first look my classmates told me I should use brighter colors and before I knew it, it was tropical.”
With her senior collection done and graduation nearing, Karla had a moment to think about what advice she would give to next fall’s incoming class.
“At CCAD you’ll take a lot of classes that seem like they have nothing to do with your major, but pay attention in these classes,” she said. “They have everything to do with your creative process and design influence. Keep an open mind and you’ll learn a lot. You’ll be surprised what ceramics can do for a fashion major.”
Karla Norquist is a native of Eagan, MN, and a graduate of Northridge High School.
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.