Columbus designer Isolda Marie Meade on Betsey Johnson and her custom designs

The Alternative Fashion Mob will host Alternative Fashion Week from April 19 to 26. A week of workshops, presentations and runway shows will culminate in a grand finale fashion show at The Gallery at Strongwater Food & Spirits. Ten local designers will show full collections, and 10 more will show mini-collections. Go here for more info. Meet one of the designers below.

Name: Isolda Marie Meade

Age: 29

Residence: Westerville

Credentials:In August 2007, I graduated with a B.A. in fashion design (accompanied by a concentration in fashion merchandising) from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. From 2003-2004, I attended various courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

My Story: My interest in fashion developed as a young lady when I played with different combinations of dressing my Barbie dolls and helped my mom sew. In the summer after 11th grade, I attended the pre-college summer program at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, where I studied illustration (because the fashion design courses were full). Once I was done with my illustration assignments, I read through a friend's fashion textbooks for the fashion courses each night and started to teach myself how to draw croquis figures. (I still sew better than I can draw today, but that's been of greater benefit to me in the long run.) This experience cemented my interest enough to pursue a career in fashion.

In the summer of 2003, I was one of seven design interns (of the 100+ candidates who applied) whose portfolio was solid enough to receive an offer to work for Betsey Johnson in her 7th Ave. design firm and showroom in New York City... and I was fresh out of high school! This was an important accomplishment in my life, and that experience provided important foundational knowledge of how a properdesign studio should be run. In the summer of 2007, I studied abroad and worked as a freelance designer in London, England, where I began to shape the idea and logistics of launching Isolda Couture.

Personal Style: A little vintage, a little bohemian. I love black, but I also love pops of color!

Favorite Local Stores: Francesca's, Bink Davies and The Swanky Abode

Style Icon: I have a few... Top three are Marilyn Monroe, Dita Von Teese and Adriana Lima

Favorite Designers: Betsey Johnson

True style is... whatever you feel confident in!

Inspiration for this collection:My inspiration comes from various sources including contemporary and generational pop culture (Gil Elvgren pinup girls, the lifestyle as exhibited in "Mad Men," etc.), music (specifically trip hop, Brit pop, rock, classic rock, jazz, electronica and industrial dubstep), films, art, beat poetry (Allen Ginsberg is my favorite!), nature, my travels abroad and the fabric itself.

Biggest challenge in creating this collection:By day, I work as a team lead for JPMorgan Chase in Customer Claims. As intellectually stimulating as my day job is, I absolutely love coming home to spend time with my family and focus on creative Isolda Couture projects in my "spare time." Finding time to sew has been very challenging!

Are items shown in this collection for sale?All pieces in my first-ever lingerie/sleepwear collection can be made to order at a bridge price point. I will meet with you in my design studio, by appointment only, andpersonalize the order to cater to your desires, including color choice, fabric selection, preferred length and proper fit to ensure it conforms to your curves in a flattering manner. And whatever budget you're working with, I can usually adjust the project to fit your needs.

Do you do custom work?YES! Isolda Couture does custom and made-to-order pieces, handmade by yours truly, to fit a personalized budget. I've done made-to-order accessories for as little as $5 to custom, 100 percent silk dresses in unique prints for up to $5,000. For most projects, I cap the number of times I will reproduce a pattern before it's retired to maintain exclusivity for the wearer. I tried to sell ready-to-wear pieces at one time, but my clients demanded more custom, so I decided to stick with that for now.

Personal website/contact info:

Isolda Marie Meade, head designer
(Design Studio Address Disclosed Upon Appointment)

Mailing Address:
Isolda Couture
P.O. Box 1743
Westerville, OH 43086

614.383.8122
isoldacouture@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/isoldacouture