Jessica Driscoll’s studio is an oasis of inspiration.There’s no TV or internet access—just a table, three sewing machines, and loads of sketches, swatches, and magazines pages.
A coat of chalkboard paint transformed one of the walls into a giant sketchbook that displays each garment in Jessica’s collection, and natural light floods in from windows that look down over Gay Street in downtown Columbus.
Her studio is only a few blocks away from campus and her apartment, but for Jessica, having a space devoted solely to her senior collection has made all the difference.
“Being separate and by myself helps a lot,” Jessica said. “[My studio] helps me manage my time.”
Jessica’s collection, like her studio, is personal. It brings together her love of construction and sewing and her aspiration to pursue accessory and costume design, with skills that she’s picked up in classes at CCAD and in various internships.
Titled The Golden Age, Jessica’s five-look collection is loosely inspired by (and named after) an album by French musician Woodkid. The songs on the album tell the story of a boy who begins life made of wood—soft and malleable—who turns to marble as he ages—hard and fragile.
Jessica said she didn’t want to take the inspiration too literally and instead chose to focus on the juxtaposition of soft and hard, creating a feel that Jessica calls “streetwear with an edge.”
Though they may not all be visible from the runway, Jessica was focused on minute details throughout the construction process.
Handmade leather harnesses and accessories stand up against full skirts and chunky machine-knit scarves and sweaters. Custom-designed prints mimic wood grain and marble.
One of the details that’s garnered the most positive feedback is something only the wearer can see: tags. Each piece has two—one with the collection name and one with her logo.
“I spent a lot of time thinking through every detail in my senior collection,” Jessica said.
Though she’s learned to enjoy the design process, Jessica said she loves construction and sewing—passions that began long before she came to CCAD.
After experimenting with hand sewing, Jessica got her own sewing machine at age 11 and started making stuffed toys she called Patchwork Pookies. Her small business took off when local gift shops and art galleries started carrying her quirky creations.
Jessica got into clothing design in high school and said that a summer fashion design class at CCAD “really sealed the deal.”
“I got to see and experience some of the campus and what it was like at CCAD,” she said.
Several years later, she said she’s enjoying construction and sewing more than ever—and it shows.
“I like the hands-on process of things,” Jessica said. “I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting my construction skills and I feel like all of that work has come together for the looks in my senior collection.”
See if you can spot all of the details in Jessica’s collection when it hits the runway on May 9. Tickets are on sale now.
Jessica is from Columbus, OH.
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.