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From the classroom to ELOQUII

Some designers labor for years in hopes that their fashions might one day catch the eye of a top retailer.

And then there’s Ran Tao (Fashion Design, 2019), who will see her dress design sold online thanks to a Columbus College of Art & Design partnership with plus-size contemporary brand ELOQUII, which is based in Columbus.

Ran Tao, who goes by Peach, was part of CCAD's Advanced Pattern Drafting class, which was tasked with conceiving, designing, and creating plus-size garments.

"It was an amazing opportunity for our students to learn about plus-size design and work with a real-world company,"

Rebecca Robinson Interim Chair of CCAD's Fashion Design program

ELOQUII executives provided feedback and guidance as students moved from concept to fully realized garments. Those dresses and one-piece jumpsuits were unveiled on Friday, Oct. 27, at the opening of Embrace the Curve, an exhibition of the ELOQUII-inspired works on view in CCAD’s Byers Gallery through Monday, Nov. 6.

Tao’s design — a romantic, cold-shoulder halter dress in on-trend Millennial pink — won the favor of ELOQUII’s judges.

“We loved the dress. It caught our eye from the beginning. It is just what our customer is looking for,” ELOQUII Co-Founder and Chief Merchant Julie Carnevale said of the piece, praising its “intricate, lovely details,” including Tao’s treatment of the maxi dress’ hem and elastic gathering.

Carnevale and her colleagues also awarded honorable mentions to a blush-colored dress by Brenda Rangel (“This is on-trend and would fit beautifully in our size range,” said Carnevale), a sleeveless red rose dress by Kamry Brown (a colleague “loved the pin tucking and the detail you put in that dress,” Carnevale said), and Shayla Cole’s wine-colored body-conscious dress with bishop sleeves and a keyhole cutout (“We thought it captured the aesthetic of our brand. It mixed feminine and youthful sensibilities without being too junior,” said Carnevale).

Tao’s dress will be sold online, at Eloquii.com, as part of the retailer’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection.

Tao said she was “surprised and shocked” to have her work selected by ELOQUII.

“It’s an experience I’ve always wanted, to work with a real company,” she said.

Find The Columbus Dispatch feature on the ELOQUII project here.

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