CCAD Student Designers: Melinda Duvall

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Melinda Duvall doesn't know what's next for her, but she knows she's close to finding out what it is that she wants.

The OSU grad was once a high school art teacher in Kentucky. But she left that, unsatisfied, and moved back to Columbus, where she started balancing classes at CCAD with work as a substitute teacher in Hilliard.

Now, she's open to anything.

"I'm not too picky," she said. "I'd love to be in the actual design field, but I did a tech-design internship, and I liked that aspect of it, too - where you're fitting the clothes and adjusting the patterns."

She's just glad she made it through her senior project. The workload was a life lesson, she said.

"You get into it and realize how much work goes into each piece and everything that you're making, and it's just unimaginable how many hours that you put into it," Duvall said. "But it also makes you appreciate other things more."

The project pushed her out of her classic, ready-to-wear comfort zone to find designs that would suit the show's theme, she said.

Each of her garments loosely interprets the characters in a circus, reminiscent of performers like the equestrian rider and trapeze artist. She dyed silk, including the colorful skirt she's pictured with, by hand using fabric dye.

And given the opportunity to design a garment for a friend, Duvall created an apprentice's outfit for her boyfriend's 10-year-old daughter, Blake, who's excited to wear it down the runway.

How would you describe your collection? Turn-of-the-century, feminine silhouettes in modern colors

What designers do you admire most? Valentino, Elie Saab, Christian Dior; ready-to-wear: BCBG Max Azria, Betsey Johnson, Gucci, Versace

What's your favorite part of the design process? Everything from sketching to having a finished product to be proud of

What was the hardest part of this collection? Time-consuming and tedious sewing and finishing touches

What's your favorite part of a circus? The acrobatic elements