Darlene C. Ritz at FROST

Darlene C. Ritz
Designer, instructor, and chair of the fashion department at RMCAD

How do you define fashion?

Darlene C. RitzI define fashion with the technical definition: “a taste shared by many for a period of time” Eubank, Phyllis G. Tortora & K. Survey of Historic Costume, 5th Edition. Fairchild Books USA, 6/2009. VitalBook file. 

This may refer to clothing, art, food, interior design, literature, etc. A fashion is anything that is accepted by a group of people for a period of time. 

I use the term “style” in the way that most people use the term fashion. Style is the way a person expresses themselves visually. 

ritz-design-for-gary-lee-days-23-1How long have you be designing your collection and where can we find them?

I’ve been designing as long as I can remember. My industry experience was mostly in private label for large retailers. 

For over a decade, my focus in the industry has been in fashion education and in developing the next generation of fashion industry professionals. I do not currently sell my designs, though I have been active for the past year in using my designs to promote Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD) and the relatively new fashion design program (launched in Fall of 2014).

How does your inspiration appear in your designs?

This depends on the project. When working on Pridefest, the inspiration was celebratory. We worked to meet the needs of DeMarcio Slaughter, Pridefest’s Emcee. When working with Athena Ambush the inspiration was RMCAD branded merchandise and upcycling. The inspiration for Gary Lee days was 40s pinup models. For Red Ball the inspiration was an Edwardian corset.

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What do you want your fashion to personally express to the world when worn?

I want the person wearing my garments to feel confident; from there it is up to the wearer.

What one designer would you love to collaborate with?   

I love to collaborate!! Brandi Shigley is high on my list!!