This RISD Alum & Acclaimed Designer Is Spotlighting A Student From Her Fashion Summer Camp


Project Runway reruns aside, if you ever spent any time as a kid or a mom or dad cutting up old shirts or pajamas, trying to hash together some semblence of doll's clothes, you know a little something about the thrills and frustrations of the whole process.

Flash forward to whether you yourself had dreams of being a designer or you know someone from Generation Z (or younger, ages 8 to 18) who does, we're going back behind the scenes of Project FashionWorks, a RI-based summer workshop for teens (tweens too!) to meet one of their standout students. The curriculum includes:

  1. Making your own Red Carpet and Runway fashions using paper dolls original to the nationally known designer and founder of the program
  2. Creating your own fashion magazine
  3. Designing and executing an outfit for a Barbie doll
  4. Designing and modeling a newspaper dress for a Runway Show set to music

and the program itself was created by RISD alum, Rhody native, and notable designer Elana Carello. Elana's designs have appeared on celebs like Bette (Midler), Mindy Kaling, and O (yes, Oprah). 

What Elana Says About McKayla 

McKayla has true potential as a designer. She exhibits the maturity, openness, and talent to be a great designer one day. She’s never afraid of color; in fact she embraces it, and loves to create interesting color combinations. She’s inventive and a hard worker. She’s also unfailingly pleasant and has a good sense of humor - two very important traits for success in life as well as in the fashion industry.

She is learning to sew and did a great job with her first project - she even made the pattern for her dirndl skirt. I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in the Teen class, should she choose to continue her path as a designer. 

Q & A With McKayla

1. Style Influences? Zendaya, Taylor Swift and Vanessa Hudgens are my major style influences because they are all strong women with fantastic style.

2. If You Could Dress Any High Profile Person? I would love to design a dress for Camila Cabello because she is a beautiful, inspiring, confident girl who is very prideful about her Cuban ethnicity.  To design a Cuban inspired dress for Camila would be amazing

3. Biggest Challengs You've Faced As An Aspiring Designer? Staying focused and letting other things fill my time.  I have other interests and I don't have the longest attention span!

4. What Keeps You Motivated? The fashion field has many rejections and it isn't hard to become discouraged, but you need to stay up to date on the latest trends and never stop brainstorming, so when your opportunity comes, you have something new

Photo Diary

For More About PFW (aka, Fashion Summer Camp)