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Jennifer Pool

designer profile

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you can’t wear white before may 1 or after labor day. patent leather shoes in the winter is a no-go, just as suede shoes in the summer is equally errant. your belt, purse and shoes should always be the same color.


 

These fashion maxims that once governed our mothers have fallen to the way side like ‘70s bell bottoms and ‘80s oversized shoulder pads. Fashion is less about adhering to rules and more about feeling and looking good in your clothes.

Jennifer Pool couldn’t be happier about this. What excites her the most about fashion is all the options it affords. “I think right now there really aren’t any ‘rules’ that have to be followed. That sense of freedom is really exciting,” the designer shares.

Pool will be participating in Omaha Fashion Week this September 13-18. She currently works with many local theatres as a costume designer. She graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in theatre. She then attended the University of Georgia in Athens where she earned a Masters in Fine Arts in Theatrical Design.

After a stint with the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis, Pool returned to her native Omaha area and found work with Omaha Theatre Ballet. She continues to be active in the local theatre community, primarily designing for Bluebarn Theatre productions and as a designer, director and performer with Bluebarn’s Witching Hour.

Theatre is her “first love.” Says Pool: “I love the collaborative nature of theatre and really being able to tell the story with my designs.” Costume design and fashion design dovetail nicely for Pool. “I got interested in fashion design as a way of elaborating and expanding on some…silhouettes that I used in my costume design work,” she explains. She would tinker with how a costume could be tweaked to work in the real world. Fashion design also afforded her the opportunity to revisit costume designs she had developed for productions but was unable to use because they didn’t work for an actor’s body or weren’t compatible with the set.

Though Pool says her interest in design was solidified in college, the first sparks were ignited in childhood. “I’ve always sewn; my mom taught me when I was eight,” she states. Her love of history, which greatly influences her designs, was also sown in childhood: “When I was growing up, we would go on these epic vacations where we would visit every old house converted into a museum. I loved it. I love all the old architecture and furniture, and if I was really lucky, they would have clothing on display.” 

The past has always beckoned to Pool, feeding her imagination and influencing her designs. Currently, she looks to the late 18th century-1770 to 1800- for inspiration, though she admits to a wider span of “everything from the 50s on back to the beginning.”  

“I am playing with the line of the pierrot jacket as well as the 18th century trend toward a softer, simplified silhouette,” Pool says of her line to be featured this fall during Omaha Fashion Week. She will also present soft, pale colors emboldened by bright accents. Knits, silks, and woven suede will feature prominently, as will dyed and painted fabrics. “I have a slight obsession with seaming,” the designer admits. “It’s not unusual for me to make a garment that has upwards of 25 to 30 pieces in it.”

The outlandish, well-crafted work of John Galliano strikes a cord in Pool. She also looks up to Bob Mackie whose work in the television special “Alice through the Looking Glass” was the first example of costume design of which she was aware.

Pool knows the power costuming has on a production. It was often written during “Sex in the City’s” long run that the clothing was the show’s fifth character. Pool will keep on enriching local theatre with her costume design- good news for theatre patrons. That she also is turning her needle and thread to fashion design is good for the general population.

-end- metroMAGAZINE

 

 

 

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