UW Design Studies Portfolio Showcase

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by Alyssa Morrow


Friday evening I attended the UW Design Studies portfolio showcase in Nancy Nicholas Hall, where junior and senior textile and apparel design majors displayed their portfolios for the public to review. The students displayed designs of their choice, their portfolios and textiles they had created.


One of the first portfolios I saw while entering the exhibit was the work of Stephanie Carnes, a junior in the textile program here at Madison. Stephanie’s intricate attention to detail and strong design aesthetic immediately caught my eye. Stephanie explained that she draws much of her inspiration from her childhood. “I grew up in the mountains, so I take my inspiration from landscapes and  American West culture,” she says. I found this to be especially true in her color palette and frequent use of leather.


Stephanie’s collection of jewelry is a perfect illumination of American West influence in her work. She loves to utilize vivid reds and greens as well as gold metals common to American West native culture. To view more of Stephanie’s work, visit stephaniecarnes.com.

Another designer whose work greatly contrasted Stephanie’s was Chelsi Zollner, a senior studying apparel design. Chelsi’s inspiration comes mostly from urban life and street style; plus, she “idolizes” Marc Jacobs and Free People.


In the portfolio review, Chelsi featured the dress shown above as her primary piece. The inspiration for the black torso of the dress came from spider webs. Chelsi also remarked about the importance of color in this piece, and that “it was a simple design that used natural pinks and other neutral colors.”

Chelsi’s fashion illustrations futher demonstrate her design aesthetic of urban street smart. Her designs are edgy and modern with a mix of classic design.


Although I only discussed two designers’ work, there is much more to see! The UW Design Studies portfolio showcase is open until January 7 in the Ruth Davis Design Gallery of  Nancy Nicholas Hall, so be sure to take a peek.

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