A Passion for Fashion: The Art of Designing Clothes
Two Bristol Designers from Different Backgrounds
By Angela Wampler | February 23, 2009With all eyes focused on what First Lady Michelle Obama is wearing, A! Magazine for the Arts talked to two local fashion designers about their passion for fashion.
The two designers come from different backgrounds, but their paths converged nearly 10 years ago when Linda Stewart taught Sarah Jane Walls to fine-tune her sewing techniques. Their paths took separate directions when Walls completed formal training in design. Now, self-taught Stewart specializes in custom-made bridal and formal wear, while Walls is designing an entire line of clothing under her own label. The differences in their training and experience give them their own individual perspectives on design problems and possibilities.
Linda Stewart Couture Designs
Linda Stewart, age 61, is an award-winning fashion designer in Bristol, Va. She offers custom-designed couture wedding gowns and formal wear. Gowns are made of the finest fabrics, including silks from across the world. Stewart was named Bernina Fashion Show Designer for both 2006 and 2007. She is a member of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (ASDP), American Sewing Guild, and Fashion Group International. She has spent the last three years developing the Master Certification Program for ASDP. She teaches classes nationwide to train professional alterations specialists and has published two books on CD.
Sarah Jane Designs
Sarah Jane Walls is a 26-year-old designer who owns Serendipity, a trendy boutique that opened in November 2007 in downtown Bristol, Va. The shop carries designer label clothing, intimate apparel, accessories, handbags and shoes. When time permits, Walls offers her own "Sarah Jane" clothing and creates custom jewelry that fits into the style and vision of Serendipity. She also hopes to include custom jewelry and small three-dimensional works by regional artists. "Both young and the young at heart, those on a shoestring budget or those where the sky is the limit can shop here," she says.
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