A Skylar Taking It to the Forest

Photo Courtesy of Skylar Wilson

In a little girl’s eyes, a mother’s closet is a large rectangular box of goodies.

Some little girls find themselves placing their feet into oversized heels and reaching to touch the sleeve of their mother’s favorite dress.

Skylar Wilson was one of these little girls that played dress up in her mother’s clothes and jewelry.

Growing up in Atlanta, Wilson’s style was not only influenced by her mother’s wardrobe, but by the southern heat.


“I don’t like wearing pants,” Wilson said. “It’s from growing up in Atlanta where it doesn’t ever get very cold. When I was younger, I had to wear a skirt for my schools uniform. I’m very girly. You’ll probably never see me in pants. Even in wintertime, I’m in skirts or dresses in thick leggings.”

The no wearing pants designer  has always had an interest in making clothes. Years later, Wilson is a fiber graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art.

She showcased her “She Came From the Forest” collection that she spent her whole senior year working on at MICA’s Artwalk as an exhibit.

“It took me a while to get going because I had never had so much time to work on something,” Wilson said.  “So, I was a little scared to just dive into it.”

Wilson’s fear of her completing her senior thesis project disappeared when she found inspiration in Russian fairy tales. From there, she started to make collages featuring dark evil gypsy characters and typical fairy tale characters.

“The collages had a separate story and were turned into garments,” Wilson said. “I thought of each as a story on the body like my fairy tales were becoming reality.”

Once Wilson figured out the foundation for her garments, the next step was to find the right fabric. There was no need for this young designer to go to the fabric store because she had learned how to make her own fabric in a digitally printed textiles class at MICA. Wilson loves having the ability to be hands-on in the designing process.

“I think a lot of fashion designers out there are missing out by not having the ability to create their own fabric for their garments,” Wilson said. “It just takes it one step further and makes it that much more special to be able to say that I was in every step of the garments I create.”

After a long process of designing the garments, making the fabric, sewing pieces together and working on Photoshop, Wilson had a completed collection for her senior thesis. However, the MICA graduate could see her designer’s eye has developed over the years.

“My designs were very busy and eccentric when I first starting designing in high school,” Wilson said. “My last line was made from these collages I’d made that were fantasy themed, but then scanned and digitally printed. I knew with such busy fabrics that I had to stick with more clean cut garments with simple lines.”

Through her years of designing, Wilson has learned to tame her busy designs with her passion for vintage.

“You can still see a lot of my love of vintage cuts in my line,” Wilson said. “The Kaleidoscope Outfit has a high waisted skirt with a sort of vintage cropped-halter with a sweet-heart top. Its very pin-up swimsuit inspired. I think even what I like to wear carries into my designs.”

Wilson has a love for thrift store and vintage pieces that comes out in her garments and in her personal style. For the summer, Wilson has moved back to her hometown of Atlanta. But, this emerging young designer will be back in Charm City before you know it.

“I’m coming back for Artscape though so I won’t be gone for too long,” Wilson said.


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