A fashion Q&A with four CCAD students

When the Columbus College of Art & Design fashion program celebrated its graduating seniors this year, a strong global influence emerged from female graduates who hail from around the world. From macramé roping to a gele headwrap in bold purple prints, students celebrated their heritage while revealing works of fashion that will likely inform the industry far into the future. We've selected four outfits to share here, and asked questions of the designers involved.

 Natalia Monserrate: Ponce, Puerto Rico

How did you discover the intricate metal pieces used in this design and what were you hoping to achieve with this effect? Since I began developing my senior collection last year I knew that I wanted to have armor as a main element of my collection, but I did not know what materials I could use to achieve this. When I was sourcing my fabrics and materials I came across a website that sold chainmail supplies and learned how to link chainmail for my looks. For this specific look, I wanted to represent divinity through the representation of wings. Because I was not able to link the chainmail due to the weight, I sewed them to shaped crinoline fabric and connected it to the dress with magnets in order to give the illusion of weightless dimension.

Diane O. Brown: Pocahontas, Va.

What inspired the design of this outfit? The design of this outfit was influenced by my desire to incorporate the idea of draping that is part of African culture. This feature can be noted in the design of the sleeve. The cigarette pants were an influence from harem pants.

Luyao Zhang: Beijing, China

How did you get the idea of creating a dress made out of white roping? I do not follow the traditional way to make patterns to fit on my models and also I do not have clear plans ahead for each garment. I regard my garments as lots of fragments coming together; I knitted plenty of strips first, using macramé techniques to create the decorative patterns, and played around with the placement to figure out what I should do for the rest of the clothes. I use the Silver Reed SK280 standard knitting machine to finish all my knitting, and a Juki sewing machine to put each piece together in the fully-fashioned way.

Steffy Tjandra: Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia

This design seems so light and ethereal; what was your inspiration? My collection was inspired by the Garden of Eden from the book of Genesis [where I get] the idea of heavenly paradise. As for the colors, it is inspired by the sunrise of Mount Bromo, which is in my hometown in Indonesia that has really bright, pastel-colored skies. I used light and flowy fabric like silk organza, silk charmeuse and embroideries from Indonesia.