CCAD Senior Fashion Show profile: Maya Eigel

Jesse Tigges, Columbus Alive

Perhaps the best way to describe the collection presented by Maya Eigel at this year's CCAD Senior Fashion Show, which takes place Friday, May 8, is creative, complex. Merging together dramatic cuts and shapes with eye-catching accents and fabrics that pre-date WWII, Eigel brought a number of features to her line, and none are simple. Thus, it's no surprise the designer took a grand approach in starting out.

"What I do is I have to lay all of my fabrics first before I design anything. I put all the fabrics out, and go through asking, 'What does this fabric want to be?' And it almost tells me what to do. It sounds so cheesy, but that's how it works," Eigel said with a humble laugh.

Part of the reason Eigel had to "lay everything out" is because she's blending multiple fabrics - most prominently her late-grandmother's beautifully delicate kimonos that are 60-plus years old, stronger leather elements and obi sashes (used to tie the kimonos closed) with contemporary, high-fashion contours. The result is immediately captivating; with eye-catching pieces forming a cohesive collection, all through a multifaceted slant.

"There's a lot of piecing. That whole idea started before this collection," Eigel said, referring to a class she took her junior year where her technique for the fashion show began. "So I'm really about shapes and how they work with color - the balance of that on the human form. Each one is different, just in the shape of the actual pieces. They're all fancy outfits, but I wanted to bring them together with different materials. That's why this leather is worked throughout - to bring [the whole collection] together."

It's probably hard to believe, but Eigel's collection - one that bellows confidence - actually began in hesitation. Her mother and grandmother pleaded with her to incorporate those antique kimonos, but Eigel balked initially.

"They wanted me to use these fabrics and had been pushing them on me since I've been in fashion. I didn't know how to sew before I came into this department so I was like, 'I'm not touching those. They are too nice. There's no way, mom,'" she said.

But Eigel eventually discovered how to best utilize the intricate splendor of her grandmother's kimonos, partly by learning about her family's history. Ultimately, she "got to fulfil [her] mom and grandmother's wishes."

As a child, Eigel, who's attended art classes at CCAD and the Wexner Center since childhood, would pick out her outfits for the whole week - much in the same fashion she designed her collection, laying everything out. Now she's blending together her two (creative) loves.

"I was always an artist first. Then I thought I'd just marry the two. I was jumping around, figuring out what I wanted to do, and once I chose [fashion] I knew that's what I loved," Eigel said. "But I've always liked the fine art aspect. Fashion is wearable art. I like that you're constantly showing yourself, showing different looks and different moods."

Maya Eigel

Age: 28

Neighborhood: Downtown/ OTE

Hometown: Worthington (via Kyoto, Japan)

Instagram: @mayaeigel