Senior Designer Spotlight: An Interview with Hannah Trainer ’15

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Tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from etc.

I’m from Hilo, Hawaii.

How did you get started in design and what inspired you to become a designer?

My mom taught me how to sew when I was young. I made my Barbies clothes, then made costumes for Halloween each year. I commissioned for friends who wanted me to make them things. All things considered, I loved doing it and decided I would major in fashion when I graduated.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

I was inspired by the indie designer, For Love and Lemons, and how they would innovatively transform lace intimates and lingerie into formal evening gowns. I fell in love with the elegance, simplicity, and rawness and transformed my collection into a similar concept, but for everyday wear.

Describe your collection in one word:

Au Naturel

Tell us the theme behind your designs for Runway.

In harmonization with my inspiration, my theme, Sleepy Comfort, takes lingerie and intimates one would usually wear indoors/to sleep and transforms it into apparel comfortable enough to wear outdoors. My collection is all about taking it back to basics, with the natural makeup, solid colors, simple design…to keep the focus on the real beauty: the woman.

What do you think is it about your work that sets you apart?

My designs are definitely not conservative; each person is beautiful and should embrace what they have. I try to capture the beauty in every woman and hope that they feel beautiful, when they wear my designs, too.

What other activities do you enjoy doing besides design?

Drawing, eating, sleeping, laughing lol.

What are your goals for designing? What type of person do you imagine you’re designing for?

I come from the tropics and plan to design for such an environment. I enjoy designing things like lingerie and swimwear. But, I wish to design for diverse people because all human beings are beautiful. J

If you could design for one celebrity, who would it be and why?

I’ve always thought of Katy Perry because she likes to experiment with different styles…Lupita Nyong’o has gorgeous style and looks good in every evening gown she wears—I, also, would love to design evening gowns—but, Beyoncé is always a dream; let’s be real.

Could you talk a little bit about your experience in Runway? I don’t think a lot of our readers are very clear on what it is/what the experience is like

We took a class, last semester, in which we design our concept and research trends, then take our ideas and bring them to life, this semester. We drape/draft, make patterns, purchase our own fabric and findings, cut and sew, until the final product is complete.

What can you tell us about the color scheme, construction and how you went about making the collection on the more technical side?

My color palette is plain white because it is elegant and makes anyone look good. It was originally nude colors, but I preferred white, since I wanted diverse models.

How do you think your education has prepared you for Runway?

I’ve learned all I know, now, through previous classes and it’s helped me grow as a seamstress and designer.

Runway Fashion Show student portraits.

Post-grad plans?

Traveling, work for an indie designer or be one myself. 

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