By Kristen M. Foley
If Kate Elaine Pohrt had it her way, after graduation she would be organizing and designing costumes for a huge movie production. It could be a futuristic or historical piece, anything that would tie together her love of costuming and the ever-changing fashion world.
“Growing up I had always enjoyed dressing up and making sure that even my companion stuffed animal was the best dressed. I would even go so far as to request that my mother take the time to sew something onto a garment last minute if I believed it would improve the look,” she remembers. “My parents nurtured my passion and encouraged me in every aspect that would improve my ability to fulfill my vision.”
Kate enrolled in sewing classes at a young age and continued to build upon her new-found talent as she got older. She then applied her skills to the art of costuming as part of her high school’s intensive theater program. Under the direction of her costume supervisor Kasia Mrożewska, she challenged herself not just in the art of design, but in the construction of the pieces. She also focused on the historical accuracy and poignancy of the designs for a each production.
“[Kasia] had all of these avant-garde ideas and I wanted to take that and apply it to fashion,” said Kate. “I felt that coming to CCAD would expand my horizons far beyond theater tech school. As a designer I also believe it is important to have a well-rounded understanding of all aspects leading up to the design and final construction of a garment.”
As a senior poised for graduation, Kate truly believes that after all of the years of hard work and dedication CCAD has prepared her and her classmates for the ever-changing fashion world. The last step in the process being her senior collection.
Since there was no over-arching theme this year, Kate looked forward to the freedom to “do what she pleased” with her designs. She took inspiration from Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis and her affection for art deco and avant-garde elements are intertwined throughout her three final pieces.
“I’ve always appreciated the art deco style and I wanted to go to the more theatrical side without moving away from that ready-to-wear place,” she said. “I also brought in a lot of metallic to my collection.”
While “swatching” fabric, Kate discovered a metallic upholstery fabric that she instantly fell in love with. Due to its non-traditional nature, she originally thought the super-shiny fabric would be used as just an accent to her designs but soon found herself creating an entire garment out of it.
“People have responded to it really well and I really appreciate that,” said Kate. “I also found ways to incorporate it into my other pieces by creating cutouts and inlays in some of my other garments. It was something I haven’t done in the past.”
Kate Elaine Pohrt is a native of Ann Arbor, MI, and a graduate of Ann Arbor Pioneer 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.