The annual “Dreams 2 Reality Fashion Show” chose Delaware resident Esther Sands as its first-place winner last weekend after she created an original collection and presented it at the Villa Milano Banquet and Conference Center in Columbus.
It was her very first fashion show, and much like those fashion design television shows, she said she had a short time to design and create several complete looks. In just three weeks, Sands said she created seven intricate outfits that stood out among her five other competitors.
“I’m really inspired by African and Asian culture,” Sands said when asked about her design process. “My style is a combination of my culture and the cultures that I see.”
Sands, an immigrant from Ghana, said she showcases a lot of her culture through the fabrics and vibrant colors used in her looks. She attributed her success to both God and her strong support system, saying that she wouldn’t have won without either.
“My husband even helped a lot, too,” she said through laughter.
Her passion for design began at a young age when she began with hand-sewing to fix and improve her own clothes. After she immigrated here, she said she began making quilts and receiving commissions from friends. She went on to foster her artistic abilities at Ohio State University, graduating last year with an arts degree.
She said that even though she’s always been encouraged to participate in the fashion world, she never had much interest in it until recently.
Her distinct style and beautiful execution won her a $600 check and a feature in Frame Magazine.
Sands didn’t catch much of a break after the show, though, as she is contributing two more looks to the Alternative Fashion Mob show in Columbus on Sunday and working on a collection of paintings that she’ll be showcasing at The Brewery next week. She also makes and sells jewelry at the Delaware County farmers market.
You can see more of her creations at www.elegantst.com.
Morgyn Cooper is an intern for The Gazette.