Alternative Fashion Week: Celeste Malvar-Stewart

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

The Alternative Fashion Mob will host Alternative Fashion Week from April 19 to 26. A week of workshops, presentations and runway shows will culminate in a grand finale fashion show at The Gallery at Strongwater Food & Spirits. Ten local designers will show full collections, and 10 more will show mini-collections. Go here for more info. Meet one of the designers below.

Name: Celeste Malvar-Stewart

Age: Dinosaur/47

Residence: Columbus

Credentials: Bachelor of Applied Arts in fashion design from school in London, England, and Master of Science in textiles from Michigan school

My story:After so many years of creating and refining my skills, I am finally able to really enjoy the exploratory aspect of the way I create It's always been innate, yet I've fought it, thinking that my creativity should stay focused in order to be understandable. Now I enjoy trying to understand my own work and happy to hope that others understand aspects of it too!

My creative process is always evolving, and I've become fascinated with breaking my processes down and then recreating from that new place… construction to deconstruction to reconstruction… from fabric to fibre to yarn to fabric. It seems random, but it's actually very thoughtfully and carefully orchestrated.

Personal style:I commonly wear jeans and a t-shirt because I am mostly working. But I enjoy my vintage pieces that I have altered and pieces I've found in other countries that reflect their local craftsmanship.

Favorite local stores: Since I'm fairly new to Columbus, I haven't been to many stores, but I enjoy finding stuff at the local Goodwill, buying gifts from SoBo and my dog's treats and gear from Posh Pets-all on High Street. Celebrate Local in Easton is another fave.

Style icon: Wallis Simpson, The Duchess of Windsor (because she understood that the most stylish accessory was a pug!)

Favorite designers: Balenciaga because of how private he was able to stay… Alexander McQueen for his revolutionary genius… Rodarte for their collaborative beauty… and of course, the Father of Couture, Charles Frederick Worth.

True style is… sincerity beneath the clothing

Inspiration for this collection: The Blueprint Collection is inspired by my fascination with old blueprints and the symbolism they hold for me. In this collection, the blueprint symbolizes the great thought and time put into the design of every piece, the calculated processes I used to create the fabric and the mindfulness of having minimal waste in production. The circa 1918 tugboat used is also a symbol of how mighty even the smallest can be when considered in the right way.

Biggest challenge in creating this collection:I designed and created the fabrics and pieces for this collection before the surface design was added by my collaborator in Detroit (Amanda Cinco-Hoyt of fresh cut TEXTILES), which was an unconventional approach. Trying to design every piece with enough simplicity to hold the predicted surface design while considering the randomness of the dye and print processes was a challenge. Trying to envision how they will look with the surface design while making everything in white was like painting on canvas with invisible paint!

Are items shown in this collection for sale? A resounding YES. $800 to $1,800

Do you do custom work? Yes. Anywhere from $190 for a scarf to $6,000 for a completely hand-felted couture wedding gown

Personal website and/or contact info: