Audrey Swart’s interest in fashion started early. She loved drawing clothes and fashion figures when she was a little girl and took Saturday Morning Art Classes at CCAD all throughout high school.
“I have always loved art and anything that I could channel my creativity into,” Audrey said. “Being able to fully express myself while growing up helped me to become a more confident artist and designer.”
Even though she said she’s still learning about herself as a designer, Audrey is clearly on her way to developing a design aesthetic that’s all her own.
For her senior collection, she created a style that she said is “more me than anything else I’ve ever made.” It’s a little bohemian, a little edgy, and all reminiscent of one of her lifelong inspirations—the sea.
“Most of my work is really dark and edgy,” Audrey said. “I wanted to take a little bit of a different twist on that. This is the other side of me that nobody sees very often.”
Audrey’s collection is mostly inspired by the creatures in the sea, with a jewel tone green color scheme, fish net knits, and flowing silhouettes.
Though her collection is far from street wear, Audrey said she wanted the pieces to straddle the line between high fashion and ready-to-wear.
“I wanted [my collection] to be a little more high fashion than what I normally make since it was going to be on the runway, but I didn’t want it to be super unrealistic,” she said.
Her favorite look, a knit maxi dress underneath a sheer, floor-skimming cardigan, is finished with dip-dyed fringe. Another favorite, silk pants and a lace-trimmed tank, adds visual variety to the collection with a pop of black and white print.
With so many different fabrics, textures, and details, Audrey focused on a jewel tone green color palette to ensure that her collection was cohesive.
A strapless velvet leotard trimmed in fringe is a bit of a departure from the other looks, but a piece that Audrey said was necessary for variety.
“The fringe plays with the movement of the water that I wanted to focus on,” Audrey said. “The leotard is short but I put the long shawl over it to relate it back to some of the other looks. I wanted to play with different lengths.”
Post-graduation, Audrey said she’s looking to get her foot in the door to the fashion world. She wants to experience the world, figure out what she likes, and then move forward in that direction.
“I just want to try out a bunch of different things,” she said. “I’m not going to turn anything down.”
For now, though, she’s focused on continuing to define her own style and learn about herself as a designer.
“I just make things that I like and that I would wear and that I hope other people would like to wear also.”
Catch a glimpse of Audrey’s bohemian collection at the runway show on May 9. Tickets are available now. (Hurry—they’re going fast!)
Audrey is from Thornville, OH, and attended Lakewood 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.