CCAD Fashion Show: Ryan Richmond

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

It was the first thing he ever designed: lounge wear for his King of Rock and Roll action figure.

"I used to sneak into my mom's room and take her supplies," he said. "I think I even embroidered 'The King' on the back."

The need to create continued to pull at Richmond in high school. He crafted art dolls out of fabric and yarn, his first course in exploring body and form.

But when he entered art school, Richmond studied interior design and fine art (his parents had encouraged him to study architecture). Quickly, though, he felt himself pulled toward the fashion program by the bug he'd caught early on in his life.

Abercrombie & Fitch recruited the designer for an internship last fall. Richmond now works making sample knit and woven tops for the clothing line. He hopes to eventually show fiber work in art galleries around the world.

Wherever his future takes him, he'll never forget his design beginnings of plastic Elvis and his felt accoutrement.

"I think I still have it," Richmond said with a laugh.

Paul Poiret (early 1900s)

This Frenchman encouraged turn-of-the-century women to get out of those rib-crushing corsets and snap on some brassieres. Poiret's designs of harem pantaloons and draped dresses ditched the tailored ethos, earning him the status of the Picasso of fashion.

Despite empowering women through movement with some of his designs, one of his most popular, the hobble skirt, did the opposite.

The skirt was an ode to Orientalism, meant to help women walk like the alluring geisha of Japan. To don the popular style, women wore shackles on their ankles so they didn't walk too fast.

Ryan Richmond

Age: 22

Hometown: Bucyrus

Master designer: Paul Poiret