THREADS Designer Spotlight: Alissa Berriman

Read about how your favorite THREADS designers find their inspirations and get the sneak peak on what to expect at this year's Threads fashion show, April 16, 2011.


Central Michigan Apparel design senior Alissa Berriman fits a dress to CMU Freshman Sienna Monczunski in Wightman Hall Tuesday, March 28, 2011. Berriman chose wedding dresses for her theme. (Ken Kadwell | Grand Central Magazine)

Growing up, Alissa Berriman started her design career by draping blankets on her sisters to create wedding gowns.

Now an apparel merchandising and design senior and THREADS co-producer, she knew by the fourth grade that she wanted to do bridal design.

“I would use old pieces of napkins and sheets on dolls as wedding dresses,” Berriman said. “I can picture peoples dresses and draw out what they want.”

Berriman is designing eight wedding dresses for the fall/winter portion of the show.

“I figure most weddings are in the fall because the colors are really pretty,” Berriman said. “Most of my dresses are ivory.”

She finds inspiration in wedding designer Vera Wang, and couture dress designer Alfred Angelo. Berriman stated that she could look at a person and figure out what kind of style and silhouette dress she would design for them.

She purchased special occasion polyester fabrics from Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, 4208 E Bluegrass Road. Her designs were created by purchasing basic shaped patterns and changing them using draping and flat pattern techniques.

Berriman completed her internship this past summer at The Wedding Shoppe, in Berkley, where she learned fitting and beading techniques that she will use for her line.

She describes her designs as very “romantic.” The dresses vary in length and for three of the dresses Berriman used five yards of fabric or more.

The pop of color on the runway will be seen in Berriman’s head pieces which she is still in the process of making. Colors for these include burgundy and jewel tones.

With the added stress of being a producer and not being able to be in control of everything all the time, Berriman finds comfort in family, music and her co-producer for the show Jason Gagnon.


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