It's day three of our DAAP Fashion Series, and we're introducing two more young designers: Michelle Briggs and Calle Evans.
Name: Michelle Briggs
Focus: Fashion Product Development
Describe your collection:I am creating a men's loungewear brand—FRANK convenience—that focuses on minimal graphic design and a new store experience that caters to men's shopping habits.
Who is your current favorite designer?I actually hate answering this question because I always feel pressured to say someone really cool, but the truth is I don't have a favorite. Most of the time I will really like a designer's collection one season and then dislike it the next. I don't really aspire to be the next big designer. I am just looking at the runways for inspiration and trends. I do remember really liking Thornton Bregazzi's collection for Preen last season.
What are your favorite materials to work with and why?Since I mostly work on the computer, I would say Illustrator and InDesign are the tools I use to create most of my designs and projects, but I do like to pull out my silk screen and do some screen printing from time to time.
What is the craziest thing you've seen in the studio?I remember one night last summer, when we were up all night at studio working on our knitwear project, we had rigged up this big projector to watch Netflix while we were working, and we decided to put on Titanic. We were all pretty delirious during this time, but I remember when it got to the end I looked around and almost the whole room was in tears. I just remember thinking how funny it would be if someone walked in and saw a bunch of crazy-looking girls knitting in the middle of the night with Titanic on in the background.
How often do you get a full eight hours of sleep?Not often. I can't remember the last time I went to bed before 2 a.m. Lately, I've been going to bed around 5 a.m. I just happen to get my best work done at night.
What is your favorite piece in your collection?My favorite piece in my collection is an all-over printed t-shirt. The print was created by photographing an orange lighter that I bought at a convenience store and creating a kaleidoscope pattern with it. What makes it interesting is that from far away it looks like just a normal print, but then once you see it up close you realize it is actually made up of tiny orange lighters.
Once the show is over, what will be your vice of choice?Probably some whiskey-Cokes and some good food. I haven't seen the outside world or my friends for quite a while, so I am expecting some late nights over at Murphy's Pub or in OTR.
Other than the above, what are your plans post-graduation?After I graduate, I will be moving to Boston to work on Reebok's color and trend team.
Name: Calle Evans
Focus: Fashion Design
Describe your collection: My collection—Le Jeune Martyr (The Young Martyr)—was inspired by the novel The Ice Princess by Camilla Läckberg and the painting La Jeune Martyre by Paul Delaroche. The two pieces displaying the images of this woman created the setting of an innocent swept into a life of passion and romance that had a dark future.
Who is your current favorite designer? I always check out Dior, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, and Marchesa every season. I really feel like I connect with these designers and what they are presenting.
What are your favorite materials to work with and why? Everything I love to work with is a natural fiber, so silks, wools, etc. I definitely think there is something to be said for staying true to natural materials, and there is such luxury in the hand of the fabric. In addition, I love to embroider. I love detail embellishments and ribbons. I really love adding an extra hint of intrigue to all my garments with these materials.
What is the craziest thing you've seen in the studio?I've honestly probably just seen more nudity than most people.
How often do you get a full eight hours of sleep?In the off season I was sleeping more, but not now that we’re so close to the show I am not sleeping much at all. I don't notice it that much because I’m usually so excited about what I am working on or presenting. However, when it's all over I will be out for a solid 12 hours.
What is your favorite piece in your collection? I actually have two. The first is an embroidered gown that I have been working on the entire semester because it truly has taken the most amount of time, and I am so proud of how much work I put into it. The motif and design of the embroidery really captures my aesthetic too, so I think that is why I am drawn to it. Second, the finale gown is my favorite. It is one of those things I just did. I always love when a design just happens out of the moment. I began draping it and really it didn't take much ‘til I felt it was perfect.
Once the show is over, what will be your vice of choice?A glass of wine and sleep—and if I could, getting a back massage!
Other than the above, what are your plans post-graduation?Currently I do not have solid plans, but I am working towards opening my own label. I recently went through Artworks CO.STARTERS here in Cincinnati, which helps entrepreneurs plan and organize their business to be launched. All semester I have been working on making this collection a good base to launch from, and I have been thinking through all the details of starting my fashion label. I am really passionate about what I do!
Want to see these collections in person? Get tickets to the Fashion Show here, and be sure to follow Cincinnati Magazine on Facebook and @CincinnatiMag on Twitter for updates!
Photos by Lauren Kremer
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