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Claire Landolt

designer profile

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Hollywood’s hey day provides much of her inspiration. The Roncalli Catholic High School senior is a fan of classic films. In fact, the silver screen precipitated her interest in fashion design: “I would watch older movies…from the 40s and 50s, and see things that I would love to wear and draw them in a notebook.”

 


 

At age twelve, she organized her first fashion show for a school talent show. Her involvement continued and lead to her participation in Omaha Fashion Week 2010, September 13-18.

Not surprisingly, Landolt is drawn to clothing that transcends time. She’s not one to follow fads and try the trends. Rather, she opts for classic pieces and silhouettes. “Clothing that accentuates the waist and bust creating a great silhouette,” is never out of style. She keeps her look fresh by playing with pattern: “I enjoy using prints and incorporating them with other prints and solids.” And forget casual Converse All-Stars or comfy, wooly Uggs; this busy teen prefers heels for her daily footwear.

Landolt has found a great deal of support in Omaha’s fashion industry. She approached Jessica Latham at Bellwether Boutique over a year ago to see if Latham was interested in selling her clothing in the Old Market store. The business relationship blossomed into a mentorship.

“Ever since then she has taken me under her wing and helped me get involved with Omaha Fashion Week,” says Landolt. One day Landolt hopes to own an inn, and Latham has schooled her on the fundamentals of owning and operating a business.

Her fall line is currently under construction. Landolt, who says history is one of her favorite subjects in school, is harkening further back than her beloved 1940s and 1950s. This fall she takes her inspiration from the Victorian period. Once again it is the silhouette that captures Landolt’s creative eye. The Victorian knew how to create a silhouette. Landolt’s fall line will incorporate classic Victorian features like bustles, corsets, and hoop skirts.

But it isn’t simply a rehashing of the old. Landolt’s creations will incorporate newspaper as well as fabric. “I enjoy using new and different materials. I have made garments out of many things, most notably newspaper, duct tape and aluminum cans. I work off the dress form. First I make a pattern with newspaper. Then I cut the pattern with fresh newspaper and coat the inside with duct tape. I then finish the edges with small strips of duct tape. Next I make the skirt which I put on the bodice one strip at a time. Finally I will put in the grommets,” illustrates Landolt. If the dress is primarily constructed from newspaper, it typically lasts for one show only. The more duct tape used in its design makes it more durable.

For Landolt, cut is the most important element of design. “If the cut doesn’t flatter the wearer, none of the other things matter. If the cut is right I believe the wearer could wear any kind of material.”

Landolt is honored to have been chosen to participate in Omaha Fashion Week. She believes the talent presented in the event runs deep and puts Omaha on the fashion map. “It is a great opportunity for the designers of Omaha to showcase their talents,” asserts Landolt. Being included in such company, much of it seasoned, is a boon for a designer like Landolt who is at the incipient stages of her fashion career.

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