Major Celebs Fan Girl Over Her Designs, But You'll Really Be In Awe Of Her RI Project

Mindy Kaling and Oprah were in the news this past week (I guess O mentioned something in an interview about MK being 5 months along in her recently made public pregnancy and Twitter, along with a host of celeb-centric news sites, went cray crazy.). Well, it just so happens that our friend Elana's (of Elana Carello Sweaters) designs appeared on both of their shows - Major! In addition to designing her line of buzzworthy knits, however, Elana also enjoys working shoulder to shoulder with promising young designers right here in the OS. Scroll on to find out more about the program she's created to mentor school age, aspiring talent and meet the final of her future fashion stars in this series. 

About Project FashionWorks

I started Project FashionWorks in 2007, the year I moved back to RI from NYC. Having spent the last 20 years working as a fashion designer, I realized that what I enjoyed the most was teaching my young assistants. And I wanted to teach what you really need to know to succeed in the fashion industry.

In my tween classes, students 8-12 have fun with fashion, while developing skills in sketching and design. In my teen classes, students ages 12-18 learn professional standards for fashion design.  The workshop covers the essentials of fashion, including design vocabulary, sketching fashion figures, using markers, and understanding how to use colors and fabric to develop an illustrated men’s or women’s fashion collection. I keep the classes small, so that I can work individually with the up and coming designers to clearly develop their skills and showcase their personal style.  Students can and do take the class over and over, and since I know each student well, I make sure they continue to grow and learn.  

Student Spotlight: Meet Siena Algeo

I adore Siena. She has taken nearly all of my classes in the last three years, and has always been mature beyond her years. She takes great care in her sketching, and has a strong point of view. I am so excited for her future as a fashion designer.  

Q & A With Siena

1.  Who or what are the major style/design influences in your life?

The place or setting where the clothes would be worn would be the most influential in designing the clothing.  

2.  If you could design for or dress one high profile person in the world right now, who would it be? 

I would like to create clothes for Dove Cameron, a TV and movie actress for Liv & Maddie and Descendants. She would probably be fun to work with because she likes to make upcycle clothes for herself and her friends.

3.  For others aspiring to a career in design, what's been the biggest challenge in your pursuing this as a career?

Creating the shapes for new pieces is the biggest challenge for me.

 4. How do you stay motivated and inspired?  

I just keep going by telling myself that it will turn out great in the end.