Body positivity, spirituality, biology, and more inspire top student collections at the 2022 CCAD Fashion Show
Body positivity, spirituality, biology, and more
inspire top student collections at the 2022 CCAD Fashion Show
Interim Communications Director
Columbus College of Art & Design
COLUMBUS, Ohio—Fashion’s future heads west this spring as the 2022 CCAD Fashion Show makes its way to the Franklinton Arts District on Thursday, May 12. The move to this new location is a natural fit: The venue is at 400 West Rich in 400 Square, a collaborative community center for the arts that’s home to many CCAD alumni and provides an ideal setting for an evening featuring the creative, the unexpected, and the daring.
Emceeing the live runway show will be CEO of Warhol & WALL ST. and Director of the Columbus Fashion Alliance, Yohannan “Yogi” Terrell, with Walt and Erin Keys of Land-Grant Brewing Company, and CCAD Trustee Jennifer Pick and Iain Grant as hosts. Based on early excitement, CCAD is offering two showtimes: 6:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. The evening will wrap up at 10 p.m. when DJ BIG DADD spins his final tune on the patio immediately following the 8:15 p.m. show. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided through a partnership with Columbus State Community College's Interpreter Education Program.
Of course, attendees will not only enjoy celebrating fashion’s future, they’ll support it, too, with proceeds from the event supporting student scholarships. Tickets are on sale now at ccad.edu/fashionshow.
The 2022 CCAD Fashion Show is made possible in part by the generous support of sponsors, including Easton, Hungtington, Chase, Nationwide, Susan Rector, Porter Wright, Morris & Arthur LLP, Justice Design Lab, Jamie Crane & Tim Miller, DSW, Columbus Underground, Nurtur Salon + Spa and Aveda Institute Columbus, Land-Grant Brewing Company, Patron Spirits Company, and
Metro Cuisine. To learn more about the 2022 CCAD Fashion Show sponsorships and how you can make a difference in the future of art and design by supporting student scholarships at CCAD, email [email protected].
The industry experts who served on this year’s panel of jurors and selected the looks that will make it to the runway include representatives from Wardrobe Therapy, Seth Stephens (Fashion Design ‘14) from Abercrombie & Fitch, Designer Brands, Easton, Justice Design Lab, Ascena Retail Group, Pursuit, IL Moda PR, Fashion Week Columbus, and Amanda Rango (Fashion Design ‘02), founder of Amanda Rango Design, LLC. Each of the designs were selected for the show by this panel, and ultimately work by eight senior Fashion Design students and one second-year Master of Fine Arts candidate made the cut. The looks selected for this year’s show represent a range of influences and construction techniques, from vintage ‘60s-era looks to Japanese “visual kei”-inspired goth streetwear, from “nude” designs that embrace the feminine form in all shapes to those inspired by traditional Guatemalan dress.
Columbus is home to the third-highest concentration of fashion designers in the U.S. (behind New York and Los Angeles), thanks in part to the CCAD Fashion Design students who go on to be the creative and innovative minds behind a number of major fashion brands. Alumni now work at Abercrombie & Fitch, EXPRESS, Free People, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, Old Navy, Urban Outfitters, and many other leading brands.
“This year’s fashion show features a wide range of work with every student bringing something different to the table,” said Suzanne Cotton, chair of Fashion Design. “During the pandemic, the students were learning remotely, which forced them to tap into themselves for inspiration. As a result, each designer developed a unique, individual style. Despite their different approaches, returning to an in-person environment inspired them to make their collections even better.”
Learn more about this year’s designers
The emerging designers whose work will be featured in this year’s show are:
Drawing inspiration from the deep metaphorical use of the lotus flower in spiritual Vedic literature (ancient Indian spiritual books), the collection Kairava by Ridhima Batra showcases women’s elegance and femininity through different silhouettes. “Kairava” is Sanskrit for a white lotus flower that blooms at night, and Batra says that her spiritual practices have helped her bloom, even during such dark times as the COVID-19 pandemic, which kept her from traveling back home to India. Batra researched the numerous temple paintings described in books written by sages thousands of years ago, and sought to bring their visions to life with her collection. “I hope people appreciate that something intangible like spirituality can be translated into something artistic,” she says. The resulting spiritual, elegant, and feminine was made with sustainability in mind, using such fabrics as silk crepe, silk taffeta, silk habotai, and Bangalore silk to mimic the softness of lotus petals.
Marilyn Brown’s design style has always embraced a mix of modern and 1970s styles, and her Fashion Show collection, Every Witch Way, is no exception. Brown spent hours doing trend research on the consumer insight site WGSN and discovered that witches are the next trend, and decided to build on that for her collection. Bewitching, relaxed, and feminine, Every Witch Way calls on the essence of Wicca as both a religious practice and style. “I used new techniques and I experimented with different patterning and draping techniques combined to achieve my desired results,” she says. Listening to the “white witch” herself, Stevie Nicks, and Fleetwood Mac gave Brown a “freeing feel” that she has gone on to incorporate in the collection. From the dark, mysterious vibe to the flow of the fabric to the burned and distressed scarves, the collection’s witchy aesthetic builds suspense.
Nat Della Selva
With her collection NEIGHBORHOOD, Nat Della Selva gives homage to the people who raised her, including both family and neighbors from her childhood in a tight-knit community in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was reminded of that time during the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, and tapped into it for the collection. “During isolation, people reconnected with their neighbors and leaned on each other for support. This experience reminded me of my childhood,” she says. The resulting collection has a strong emphasis on community; every piece is made using techniques that could be replicated at home. Viewers can expect plenty of knits as well as naturally dyed and reclaimed textiles from Della Selva’s youth, in rich tones of olive, cranberry, and chartreuse contrasted with pale pink, and ecru. Together, they evoke a useful, textured, and nostalgic feel. Della Selva says she’s always been a maker. “My mom was a florist for part of my childhood. I would often spend time at the flower shop making little corsages, or playing with rose petals. I always dressed outrageously, and I guess the two (making and clothing) came together to be known as fashion,” she says.
Calix Jace's interest in fashion stemmed from learning to sew at the age of five, but quickly grew when he discovered the art of cosplay and Harajuku street fashion (J-fashion). Kinzoku no Akuma (Metal Devil) features garments and accessories handmade by Jace. The designs are inspired by the Japanese “visual kei” style, specifically a substyle known as “angura kei”, which melds traditional Japanese garment silhouettes with ’80s glam rock and modern gothic streetwear aesthetics. The collection’s color palette is intentionally pared down, allowing the materials and silhouette in each look to stand out. Each look uses a variety of fabrics like faux leather and custom jacquards, fur, mesh, and thermoplastic, which can be cut, heated, molded, and shaped to provide a wide range of applications. Jace’s focus lies in bringing more high-quality alternative fashion to the alternative transmasculine/masculine-leaning nonbinary scene–especially important since he himself is an alt fashion-wearing transgender man. “My creative process for this collection has been a few years in the making and I’m excited to finally show everyone what I’m capable of,” he says.
Making a statement and bringing power back to women and their bodies is all what Nicole Klein’s collection, nood, is about. “Bodies in all shapes, sizes and colors are beautiful and we should be able to show them off without having to worry about making others uncomfortable,” she says. Klein’s inspiration for her collection came from Adam Selman's crystal-and fishnet “naked” dress designed for Rihanna at the 2014 CFDA awards, close research of nearly every naked-look dress worn on a red carpet in the past 50 years, as well as Klein’s longstanding of lingerie. Each piece in her collection was carefully hand-dyed and hand-beaded to maintain a specific, consistent shade despite the presence of different fabric types—including silk charmeuse, silk duchess satin, power mesh, and a very soft Italian tulle—in nood. Ultimately, the collection’s elegant, nude aesthetic is one that preaches confidence and affirms that showing off your body doesn’t have to be controversial.
Inspired by Guatemalan culture and traditional wear, Heritage by Maria Mendoza promotes the idea that textiles are a key expression of culture and spiritual identity. Mendoza’s extensive research on Guatemalan culture and traditional wear, textile production, and runway trends allowed her to incorporate a harmonious range of influences in her designs. Mendoza’s collection combines traditional textiles with modern designs and fabrics, together reflecting the importance of traditional textiles while also expressing Mendoza’s contemporary style. Mendoza was born in Guatemala but raised in the US. “I never felt truly Guatemalan because I left at such a young age and grew up in the US. I felt that this collection is my way of reconnecting with my heritage,” she says. Mendoza’s collection shows appreciation for the beauty of Guatemalan textiles while highlighting a variety of textiles and cultures that aren’t typically seen in current fashion designs. Colorful, avante garde, and chic, the collection comprises colorful hand-woven cotton Guatemalan textiles, cotton, linens, wool, charmeuse, and habotai.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Skylar Rice has spent a lot of time connecting with nature in her hometown, away from the city, a practice that inspired her collection, ABIOGENESIS. The word itself is defined as the original evolution of life or living organisms from inorganic or inanimate substances. “I developed a passion for natural design and gathering inspiration from the outdoors and the world around me that I had never really seen in my own work before,” she says. Rice’s collection utilizes natural materials such as cotton and hemp and techniques such as hand embroidery. Bright hues created with onion skins, walnuts, and blackberries complement the materials and techniques and emphasize the pieces’ earthy feel. Rice's crisp and clean silhouettes create structure and style to contrast the raw and earthy qualities of her bacterial inspiration. The collection's major influences include science and biology, sustainability, and contemporary street style.
Seductive, vintage, and fierce, Austin Tootle’s collection Serene Queen hearkens back to the drama of the 1960s—with a twist. “The backstory of my collection is a cult where woman use men for money and sex before changing their identity,” he says. The collection is inspired by Lana Del Rey’s music, Priscilla Presley’s style, and the American Horror Story TV series. “I watched a lot of documentaries about the 1960s, concert films, and listened to Lana Del Rey’s music constantly to really analyze her lyrics.” Tootle says. The resulting collection tells of womens’ objectification and eventual empowerment beginning in the 1960s. “Certain aspects of the collection are the shoulder pads in the coat to show a strong backbone, but once the coat is revealed, the sexy lingerie shows a vulnerable side,” Tootle says. The pieces share a vintage Hollywood, cult aesthetic, with all the models wearing eight-inch heels and custom retro-styled wigs. The showstopper: A breathtaking catsuit made of Swarovski rhinestones.
Metamorphosis by Crystal Zhang, a second-year Master of Fine Arts candidate, shares her story of growth and healing from depression. “The healing feeling made me want to share my story with people and invite them to look into my inner world and find some echo” (to their own experiences), she says. Inspired by postmodernism and deconstructionism, each garment in Metamorphosis conveys a unique quality through different textile manipulation techniques and mixed-media. Avant-garde, flamboyant, and lively, many of Zhang’s designs are more like wearable sculptures than what we traditionally consider clothing, blurring the boundaries between art and fashion.. Perhaps Metamorphosis’s most anticipated piece is a look that features a large, red lobster tail-like piece decorated from bottom to the top and representing the growth of hope. “Metamorphosis not only happens through the whole collection but on each garment,” Zhang says.
About Columbus College of Art & Design
Columbus College of Art & Design teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the midst of a thriving creative community in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1879, CCAD is one of the oldest private, nonprofit art and design colleges in the United States. CCCAD offers 11 BFA programs, a Master of Fine Arts, and a Master of Professional Studies in Retail Design that produce graduates equipped to shape culture and business at the highest level. For more information, visit ccad.edu.