CCAD senior Yaneé Clements showcased a stunning collection of wedding gowns and veils on last week's runway.

The CCAD Fashion Show—the school’s signature sartorial event, where select seniors and MFA candidates showcase collections  they’ve worked on all year—took place last Friday. The show is always a feast for the eyes, featuring looks that range from street-ready to avant-garde, but this year’s runway included something less common: a bridal line, titled Dreamy Love Letters.

Columbus Weddings editor Emma Frankart Henterly spoke with the collection’s designer, fashion design major Yaneé Clements, shortly after the show; below is an excerpt of their conversation.

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Yaneé Clements, via Instagram

Columbus Weddings: We’ve been at the CCAD Fashion Show for the last few years now, and we’ve only see one other person even try to tackle bridal. What made you want to dive into this as your senior project?

Yaneé Clements: I’ve always loved bridal, and it’s always been something that I had been really passionate about. I was really inspired by my study abroad travel to Europe … my sophomore semester, I went to London and Paris, and I was really inspired by the European architecture inside and outside the cathedrals. I just thought that’d be a great way to kind of start my senior collection.

So did you decide to do bridal first, then get inspired by the architecture? Or was the architecture what made you decide to decide to do bridal specifically?

I was first inspired to do a bridal collection, just because I was always passionate and I was always in love with the idea of just having this beautiful, glamorous wedding, and I wanted to try my hand at it. … It was just kind of like, OK, it’s my senior year, I’m just going to finally make something that I really want to make.

How did you decide what looks to include in your collection?

I did a lot of research. I went to different bridal stores in Columbus an di just kind of looked inside and outside the garments. And even when I studied abroad, I looked inside and outside the garments to see what kind of materials they use. [I found that] the basic silhouettes were what most brides are drawn to, and the different styles and colors brides also like.

Is that why you included a blush gown?

I had seen that blush was trending pretty hard this season. I was just like, I have to do a blush gown because I [had] seen them all over the Internet, all over WGSN, Pinterest, Instagram—I even went to David’s Bridal and [had] seen a few blush gowns and I was like, OK, I’m going to do a blush gown.

All your gowns also had sleeves; was that other trend you identified?

Yeah, that’s another trend I picked up on. I really love sleeves on a wedding gown and when I had seen the trends on different kinds of sleeve silhouettes … I was like, OK, I’m going to try to pursue some of these and make my own alternative, unique versions of the sleeves and the silhouettes that I fell in love with.

Do you have a favorite gown of the three you made?

I think my favorite gown is the mermaid gown with the ruffled sleeves on the side. I just love the way the sleeves drape. I think those were my favorite sleeves to put together.

What challenges did you encounter as you created your collection?

A lot of the challenges I encountered were just kind of getting the garments together to look correct, and fit the model as well. It was extremely exciting to see what garments look like on a real person, [versus] putting it on a mannequin. So I think a big challenge was the under-structures—really making those garments sit up and sit out. Just all the tedious work that you have to do when creating a bridal collection, like sewing on the embroidery. I had to learn—teach myself how to do that, and the hemming—the hand hemmings—and just different details like that, I think, were really difficult.

Having been through this process, are you still in love with bridal as a designer?

Definitely, definitely. Actually, going through the process, I have been inspired to do different looks. I’ve been, you know, sketching and just doing even more research on different bridal collections and just trying to figure out where I want to go next and what else I want to do in the bridal industry.

So what do you want to do next?

I am still open to different offers right now. I’m still applying to different jobs.

If you could pick anywhere to work, no limitations, where would it be?

I think I would work for Vera Wang. I say Vera Wang because I just am truly inspired by her idea of a bride. It was just that alternative bride and she, I don’t know, she kind of pushed the limits. I really fell in love with how she got started—she got started under other designers and learned from them, and that’s kind of how she set her feet in the bridal industry. I really love that. Like, I would love to work under somebody for some years and then start my own line.

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