VALULI Fashion Talks: The Art of Deconstructed Prom Dresses by Sara Teator

June 6, 2017

Summer is here and yet another wonderful fashion designer interview is for your fabulous must-read!

Meet Sara Teator – emerging womenswear designer from Brooklyn, NY. I was fascinated with the forms of the designs she had created in her debut collection. It celebrates the opulence of femininity through deconstructing prom dresses. Sara obviously is not afraid to use fabrics in different ways!

Is it possible for Sara to make a piece of clothing in one day? Read more and you’ll know!

What was your first childhood memory regarding fashion?

My first distinct memory with fashion is when I about seven or eight years old, in second grade. I had a plain, oversized bright pink t-shirt that I had decided to decorate with a black permanent marker. I wrote some “edgy” phrase on it (edgy for an eight year old), something about being a princess. After that, I realized I wanted to pursue fashion.

Was there a person who encouraged you to pursue the carrier in fashion industry?

My mom always encouraged me to pursue fashion. She was the one who signed me up for art classes, sewing classes, and whatever I needed to help me achieve my goal. Even this past year as I worked on my collection, my mom came to my studio to help finish hand sewing some pieces.

I always say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.

Where did you study fashion? What was the most difficult during this time?

I studied fashion at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. The most difficult aspect of attending Pratt was learning to stay true to my aesthetic. When you’re studying fashion—and quite honestly in the industry as a whole—you have a million different people giving you their opinions on how they think your collection should look. The hardest part is remembering that at the end of the day, it’s your own collection, and no one else’s. The other parts, like pulling copious amounts of all nighters, become second nature.

How fast you can make one piece of clothing?

Depending on the level of difficulty in the design, I can probably make one piece of clothing, from start to finish, in about a day.

Who is your favourite fashion designer/brand?

It’s so hard to choose just one! I love Adam Selman and British designer Molly Goddard. Gucci is always a source of inspiration. I love looking at 1990s fashion, especially from designers like Todd Oldham and Prada.

What makes your brand different to others?

I’m not afraid to use fabrics in a new way. I was passionate about including taffeta in the collection because it can be so tacky, yet I used it to make my version of a tracksuit. If someone thinks that a fabric is too weird or a color is too bright, I consider that a challenge.

Is there is a secret on how to make connections in fashion industry?

There are two secrets to making connections in the fashion industry. The first is putting yourself out there. It’s rare that a stroke of luck catapults you into stardom. You have to work at it. Message people on LinkedIn and Instagram; make yourself a good website and join platforms that help you promote your work. The other secret is don’t be afraid to talk to people. Even while you’re out shopping for fabric, talk to the person next to you in line—you never know what they’re working on or when they’ll need your design assistance.

Your latest collection is made inspired by … ?

The frivolity of coming of age traditions. I love how over-the-top proms and sweet 16s can be. They’re such a huge part of a girl’s adolescence. I wanted to deconstruct that idea in my collection. I drew a lot of inspiration from dresses in my own closet that I wore when I was a kid.

How do you see your brand in a year’s time?

I hope that my brand continues to grow and that I’m able to expand on my most recent collection. I want to incorporate more surface design like embroidery and screenprinting, and experiment with a different color palette. I have a few exciting projects going on at the moment, so those will also be revealed soon! I would love to put some pieces into production, but as of right now you can commission pieces through my website: www.sarateator.com

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?

Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to grow. I didn’t really know my own aesthetic when I started school, and it took me all four years to develop what it is today. Absorb all inspiration and experiment while you have the chance. If you think an idea might not work, try it anyway—it could become the basis to your next collection.

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