Katelyn McClain on her sustainable designs made with recycled materials

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:Katelyn McClain

Age: 25

Residence: Columbus

Credentials:Assistant designer at Substance. Designer and founder of Katelyn McClain Designs

My story:I went to Kent State University for fashion design and merchandising and graduated December 2012. I've always been a creative person-art, drawing and painting were my outlets and the only things I was really good at. I knew my career path would be in a creative field. I took a few classes at the cultural arts center downtown, just a weaving class. It's such a great place to be, and I felt very inspired while there. I hope to start them up again after the show.

Personal style:My style is earthy, I guess... I love wearing greens, but I love wearing bright colors as well. I have an eclectic style. It's always changing and varies with my mood.

Inspiration for this collection:I take inspiration from everywhere. My last collection was mostly inspired by Native Americans and my Irish heritage. I always seem to have a romantic, tribal & sustainable vibe. What I design is always romanticized fashion with a bohemian, tribal feel. Draping, textures, prints and bead work enhance the tailored garments. I focus on sustainable pieces using organic and recyclable materials and natural dyes.

For Alternative Fashion Week, I'm taking sustainable and reusable to a new level by using all the scraps of fabric I've saved over the years. It's going to be patch work and a lot of mixing prints. I'm very excited. So you may see some familiar fabrics and some similar draping in silhouettes, but there will be a lot of new elements added. I'm also doing some beautiful weaving pieces and hand-knitted elementsthat I can't wait to show.

Biggest challenge in creating this collection:The biggest challenge for this collection is going to be time... I have a ton left to do! But also having to go out to get more materials. I always get less than I need. This has been a very fun collection for me, though, and I love a challenge.

Are items shown in this collection for sale?The items in this collection will be for sale at Substance after the show. The prices will range from $50 to $200.

Do you do custom work?Yes, I do custom work.The pricing is the same-it just depends on the material and the time that goes into the work.

Personal website and/or contact info:

My goal for this year is to get a website started for my designs and illustrations, so in the mean time please contact me through my email katelynm@shopsubstance.com or kmcclai6@kent.edu. You can also stop in and see me at Substance!

Phototaken by Vinh Vu at last AFW