Friday, April 25, 2014

Bohemian and Playful: Meet Designer Isolda Marie Meade

Isolda Couture, the brainchild of Isolda Marie Meade, was established September 2007 after Isolda graduated with a BA in Fashion Design from Marymount University in Arlington VA. As she explains: 

 From 2003-2004, I attended various courses at FIT while I was working for Betsey Johnson as a Design Intern at her 7th Ave design firm and showroom in New York City. Furthermore, I studied abroad and worked as a Freelance Designer during the summer of 2007 in London, England...where I began to shape the idea and logistics of launching Isolda Couture.

Her experience since has included being an outsourced vendor for alterations for the Lane Bryant Flagship store and JCrew at Easton Town Center, working as a Technical Design Temp of Women's Woven Tops/Dresses for Hollister and Gilly Hicks at Abercrombie & Fitch Home Office, making handmade pillows using fabrics of interesting prints and color palettes for Swanky Abode and various other privately commissioned projects.

She now works as a Team Lead for JPMorgan Chase in Customer Claims by day. As intellectually stimulating as this day job is, she absolutely loves coming home to spend time with her family and to focus on creative Isolda Couture projects in her "spare time"!

Isolda discovered the Alternative Fashion Mob through her friend, Jody Krevens, who has been involved in AFW. After attending the runway show last year, she was quite impressed with the professionally produced, large scale event she witnessed, so she reached out and got involved!

Isolda will be participating in many of the AFW events, including the Grande Finale Runway Show where she will be launching her FIRST EVER Lingerie Collection! Then in May, she will be working with Rachel Katz, AFW model and photographer, on a photo shoot for an editorial publication submission!  Very exciting!

Why fashion?
Barbie Dolls initially sparked my interest in design. I made outfits of toilet tissue, tinfoil and tape! Haha...Gotta start somewhere I guess!

How do you integrate a day job with fashion design?
The experience I've gained at Chase over the past 3 years has really taught me how to run my own business. I've taken that knowledge I've gained about how to make good business decisions... stick to your guns and stay calm when you have to, stay organized in order to be efficient, prioritize your responsibilities to meet deadlines but be able to be flexible on the fly, show confidence even when you have no idea what you're talking about and be resourceful enough to find the necessary information ...and I apply those lessons towards developing the same successful work environment in my design studio. It's difficult because a lot of time and energy is invested into both, but the outcome is rewarding enough to me to be worth it! Passion and persistence are KEY to being successful in the fashion industry!

Describe your design aesthetic.
My original aesthetic involves passion, creativity and uniqueness. Sometimes it's bright, sometimes dark, but it's always playful, a bit rebellious and alluring! Overall, my designs tend to consist of a blend in vintage, bohemian, and lingerie styled looks.  My garments are custom and made-to-order so they'll always fit by conforming to your curves properly. 

What is YOUR fashion mission?
My mission is to create beautiful, handmade, wearable garments for the modern fashionista with a playful, chic style.  She craves classic and contemporary couture looks with a twist that only Isolda Couture can uniquely provide!  It's even better that the garment is custom made just for her and done on a personalized budget!

What/who is your fashion muse?
My inspiration comes from various sources including contemporary and generational pop culture (often times Gil Elvgren pinup girls, icons like Marilyn Monroe, Dita Von Teese and Adriana Lima, the lifestyle as exhibited in Mad Men, etc.), music (specifically Trip Hop, Brit Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Jazz, Electronica and Industrial Dub Step), films, art, beat poetry (Allen Ginsberg is my favorite!), nature, my travels abroad and the fabric itself.

What is your "pet" project?
I plan to continue raising money for Pet Promise, a local non-profit pet rescue, by making made-to-order pet bow ties along with (optional) matching pin-back bowties and bow barrettes for their owners.  We fostered, and later adopted, our dog, Sophie. through them and the process was smooth and organized. So if you're looking to foster and/or adopt a pet, I highly recommend going through them! 

Contact information for readers:
Isolda Couture
P.O. Box 1743
Westerville, OH 43086
(Photo credit for floral garments is Billy Bradford.)

~ Vicki Oster

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