March 19 Omaha Fashion Week VIP Spring Runway Show Featuring Chessna Fernald Nomad Lounge, 1013 Jones St. Doors at 7 p.m., GA tickets $25, VIP $75, Chessna Fernald has been designing clothes since middle school. Mostly self taught, she discovered her passion at a young age, and through the support of family and friends was inspired to turn her hobby into a career. “All of my family and friends, and especially my mother, have been very supportive of my choice to pursue my dreams of fashion design, and I am very lucky to have so many great people in my life.” Following the success of Omaha Fashion Week Fall 2010, Fernald applied for the spring show in January. She will be showing six outfits, including one menswear look. I caught up with Fernald to get the scoop on Saturday’s show. Can you tell me a bit about this new collection? What inspired it? My theme is one of life and death. Spring is a time of life and renewal, but with recent events, there is a constant reminder that death can always occur. So it is a celebration of life and a reverence for those no longer with us. Who are your influences? Any favorite designers? Some of my favorite designers include Naoto Hirooka, Anna Sui, and brands such as Metamorphose and Antique beasT. I am very inspired by the creativity of Japanese subculture fashions. Seeing the way individuals coordinate their outfits, and seeing how everyone has a different perspective on fashion are big inspirations. I also like to draw inspiration from seemingly normal scenes in life, and mix them into a sort of fairytale. With the recent devastation that has been occurring in Japan, I feel a tinge of morbidity in my inspiration. My collection is going to be rather dark, in some aspects. Have you always lived in Omaha? Do you have any thoughts on how this community can come together to build a stronger fashion scene? I have lived in Omaha nearly all of my life. I’d like to think that my designs bring variety to the Omaha fashion scene the same way that all local designers do. Every designer in Omaha has their own unique style, and it’s very cool. The Omaha scene is quickly growing, with more events taking place every year. The best way to encourage this growth is to promote an open-minded perspective of fashion, and to promote all local designers and events!

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