Put together boyish, prissy, unpredictable, punk and urban and you've got Keyona Gore's Ryain fashion line, Fashion Elements Clothing. Keyona does not like to categorize her fashion as one particular aesthetic. She likes the edginess of urban punk with a rather boyish side but doesn't want her fashions to ever be pigeonholed to one style. From ball gowns to hip hop, leaning towards punk is the best she can do in describing her 'style'. This is what she believes sets her apart from other designers who prefer to follow one particular style. "I guess you can say I keep my viewers guessing on what I'm going to do next."
Having grown up in as an Army brat, she was born in Youngstown, moved throughout the US, including living in Anchorage Alaska and SC, to finally settle back in Columbus at age 13. Instead of attempting to make friends every time her family moved, she immersed herself in creative avenues. In third grade, she designed clothes for her dolls...sketching and then eventually making actual garments! She continued to draw, sew and create anything with her hands, but making garments eventually evolved into her passion.
In November 2013, she made her debut at The Sound of Colors Fashion and Hair Show here in Columbus. As you can see in these pictures, the punk look frequently comes out in her designs. Self-taught and self-motivated with some Home Ec. sewing classes under her belt, she creates for the girl that doesn't necessarily care about the latest trends but creates her own look by 'going with the flow' and following her inner muse.
When asked about her inspiration, she stated that she literally designs from her dreams..."I dream and I design." An example of this is a recent dream where she was atop a mountain looking down at Earth in flames, while wearing a huge black-and-gold dress with chains. Although she has no idea what the heck this dream was about, she did get some fashion inspiration out of it, which is pretty typical. Vivid fashion comes through even if she doesn't remember the dream! Her mom suggested a dream catcher might be appropriate. Don't you agree? She also admits that her children have a say in her fashions, giving her either a thumbs up or down before the final product is created. Always good to get the younger generation's take on what looks best, huh?
Wanting to continue showing her clothing to the Columbus market is what got her involved in AFW14. Being chosen for the finale seemed like a perfect springboard for starting school in the fall at CCAD with a major in fashion design. Woot!
And for our closing question: what fashion does Keyona want to see in the dumpster FOREVER?
"Booty shorts! OMG, showing off that much of your private parts is just too much for me!"
Photographs by John Nevarez
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~ Vicki Oster