TJ Exclusive Designer

Rachelle Rose is an exclusive designer for TJFormal!  She is a graduate of New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. In her years there, she participated in their end-of-the-year fashion shows. She studied in Florence, Italy 2004-2005 where she traveled to Paris for PREMIÈRE VISION - the biggest fabric/fashion market in the world, to Milan for Milan Fashion Week, and toured The Gucci factory in Florence. During her last year at FIT, Rachelle interned at What Comes Around Goes Around.

We recently caught up with Rachelle Rose at her design studio in Charleston, South Carolina.

When did you decide to become a fashion designer? When I was a sophomore in high school. I went to market with my mom and was able to see how everything works, and then talk to some designers. Rebecca from Scala inspired me to go to FIT. I worked with her when I was 15 years old, modeling at market. I remember going to Express at the mall and really wanted a lot of the clothes there, but it was expensive for me. Also, that was one of the only fashionable stores in our area. I thought, I'd really love to design clothes and make them available and affordable for people like me. Not that we were poor, but spending $40 on a shirt for a 15 year old is silly. Things have changed and there are stores like that now. I remember when I applied to FIT and people started getting excited, saying “oooh you're going to be famous! “ The thought never even crossed my mind, and I could still care less! I just want to make cool clothes for cool people.

What makes your designs different? I try to explore different design details. RR3 has a cool back that I love. I'd love to explore with more styles so that's why I always encourage prom girls to be adventurous. It would make all the designers very happy.

What would you say is "new" or "hot" now or how would you define this year's look? I think the dresses are getting very sophisticated. Low backs are very popular as well as prints which I LOVE! I wish they had them when i was in school. Flowing skirts are so beautiful and fun. I love the interesting draping details like Sherri Hill's 2223 also.

Is there a certain era you find inspiring? I love the 70's because I'm drawn to the prints as well as the music and the spirit of that generation. But I love the 20s and the 50's too.

What's fun about making prom dresses? It's really fun to play with color; people tend to go for natural colors as they get older which gets boring. The beading and jewels are also fun to play with. Prom is a completely different vibe than any other type of fashion. You can be girly, sexy or sophisticated, etc...

What inspires you when you design? I get a lot of inspiration from traveling, other types of art, photos, architecture, nature, fabrics, beading; whatever I can get my hands on. Being around creative people is a huge part of my "success." I have a lot of talented friends and family. They motivate and inspire me.

What did you wear to your prom? I wore a fully beaded gown with a super low back and small train my sophomore year. My junior year I wore a two piece purple dress (when school still allowed it ) My senior year I work a more classic looking gown in crimson, with a sweetheart halter with sheer, beaded inserts where side slits would be and a long train. Of course I had the best dresses from TJFormal!

What is your advice for choosing a prom dress? Be adventurous and daring! You won't dress up many other times in your life so don't play it safe. Stop saying you look fat and have big hips, because you don't!!!! You will also never have the same body as you did in high school so take full advantage. I did, thanks to my cool mom!

What is the first thing you designed? At FIT- A corset with a shrug and a high-low printed skirt. We just learned to drape on the form and the school gave us fabric - it was hideous! But mine wasn't as bad as some of them!

Do you design/make other things besides dresses? Dresses are my favorite thing to make, but I explore all kinds of fashion. My passion is reconstruction from old garments. It's original and special. I make a lot of accessories, belts, hair pieces, some jewelry. I've made a few handbags and crochet from time to time. I'm learning to knit right now which is a lot of fun.

You can only find Rachelle’s designs here at TJFormal. She recently released 2 new dresses that are selling fast! If you want to definitely have a dress that no other girl will have, check out Rachelle Rose Designs! (Then go register your dress at the National Prom Dress Registry to be sure.)

Rachelle Rose Designs Dress RR2
Rachelle Rose Designs Dress RR3