Runway ready

Jackie Mantey

This year's Columbus College of Art & Design senior fashion design class may be small (with 16 students, it's about half the size of last year's and next year's), but it's also mighty. So instead of showing the typical two looks in the annual fashion show, select students-whose work was juried by local fashion pros-will send as many as six down the catwalk on May 11. Here's a peek at a half dozen looks and the designers behind them.

Amanda Smith

Personal style: "Casual, comfy, eclectic. Lots of layers."

Collection (Six looks): "Neutral, tribal, earthy, hand-worked."

The goods: As a child, Smith wowed her grandmother with art-once making an animal out of tin foil that blew her away. "Oh, kid," she said, "you're going to be creative." Now 22, the vegetarian's passion for nature impacts her style.

Rachel Cass

Personal style: "Sexy, simple, edgy. Urban chic."

Collection (Six looks): "Sexy but comfortable. Effortless."

The goods: Before attending CCAD, Cass, 28, earned a degree in graphic design and worked as a merchandise designer at Anthropologie. But her fashion itch had to be scratched. "Now," she says, "I'm following my dream."

Shirley Weng

Personal style: "Unique, sexy, glamorous."

Collection (Five looks): "Confident, structured, detail-oriented."

The goods: Weng, 23, who grew up in China and New York, loves to travel. The art galleries and stores she tours inspired this collection-as did Alexander McQueen's fascination with structure. This skirt is made of ribbon and took 35 hours.

Michele Watson

Personal style: "Comfortable, fun, colorful."

Collection (Four looks): "Bright. A lot of prints. Afro-centric."

The goods: Raised on bold patterns and bright colors by her hometown (Miami) and her biggest influence (mom), Watson, 21, used African clothing and prints as her collection's inspiration. Fun model details: ankle bracelets and branches in their hair.

Alyssa Johnson

Personal style: "Eclectic, vintage. Sexy thrift. Mismatched, but it works."

Collection (Five looks): "Prints, geometric shapes, simple silhouettes, tactile."

The goods: The 22-year-old spent last summer interning for Coach. Her work with the iconic accessories line helped influence her collection's accessories. Those necklaces? They're purses.

Rachel Kaplan

Personal style: "New York meets

L.A. trendy."

Collection (Five looks): "Flashy, glamorous, feminine, confident, bead-dazzled."

The goods: Kaplan, 21, models in her spare time, and her catwalk competence has influenced her fashion design. "It has helped me know what can go down the runway without looking like a hot mess."