Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fashionspeak 2014

This past October I had the opportunity to present at Fashionspeak 2014.  My boss at Lear Corporation and I conducted a 70 minute workshop in front of an audience of over 200 people.  We talked about what we do as automotive fabric designers, and how fashion influences our work.  I never imagined that my education in fashion design would lead to a career in the automotive industry.  We hoped to show the audience, especially the students, that design skills can be transferable, and inspire them to possibly try something out of their comfort zone.

Jeanette and I presenting

It was such an honor to be included to speak with such established fashion professionals.  Designer Tracy Reese spoke about her impressive fashion career, from growing up in Detroit to dressing the first lady of the United States. It was such an inspiration to hear about the success of a fellow Detroiter!

Fashion designer Tracy Reese
Malina Joseph Gilchrist, editor of T Magazine, spoke about how to get your product or service in front of editors.  She stressed the importance of having a strong point of view as a designer in order to stand out in the heavily saturated fashion industry.

Malina Joseph Gilchrist, editor of T Magazine

My good friend Rachel Lutz owner of The Peacock Room in Detroit spoke about branding.  She talked about how important authenticity is when you're developing your brand, because people love to connect on a personal level.

Rachel, myself, and Jeanette

Full audience!
 A big thanks to The Detroit Garment Group Guild for putting on a spectacular event!  I had a wonderful time with old and new friends.  It's so exciting to be a part of the Detroit fashion scene as it develops.
DG3 president Karen Buchemi speaking


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dancing with the Survivors

This fall I had the opportunity to design design a dance costume for breast cancer survivor Cheryl Perkins, who performed in the Pink Fund's Dancing with the Survivors event. 
Here she is performing her swing dance routine at the event!

After getting to know Cheryl and hear her inspiring story, I knew my challenge would be to create a dress that adequately reflected her resilience, strength, and exuberance.  
My dress for Cheryl was inspired by impressionist ballerina paintings by Edgar Degas.  I love the texture and movement that is created by his brush strokes, and the overlap of color.
Red Ballet Skirts by Edgar Degas)
Title Unknown by Edgar Degas

This is my initial sketch of the dance dress:

I love using recycled materials for my designs. 
I started with a light blue dress I bought at a thrift store in New York City, and dyed it.

Then, I hand painted the skirt:

Next step, hemming and gem-ing...because it's not a dance dress until it's covered in sparkles!

Finished and ready for dancing!

Dancing with the Survivors is a fantastic event for an important cause, and it was an honor to be a part of it!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Belle Isle Beauty

This post is so long overdue!  I worked with photographer Megan Marcoux and model Madison Ortiz last winter when we shot my Magnolia Dress and Library dress in the beautiful Belle Isle Conservatory.  Hair and makeup was done by Natalie Briles.  

Photo shoots are such an important element of my design process.  I love collaborating  with the talented photographers, models, and makeup artists that are bring my clothing to life.  Thanks to everyone who has given me such positive support…I couldn't do it without you!  Enjoy these photos, and many more updates to come!   

Magnolia Dress and Necklace
Bridget Sullivan Designs

Library Dress and Necklace
Bridget Sullivan Designs

Monday, September 29, 2014

Glam Detroit TV Fashion Show Day

Last Thursday I showed my designs at a gorgeous Detroit Design Festival event in Eastern Market.  The amazing day started off with filming a tv promotion for Fox 2 New..thankfully I work with some early-rising models!  See the clip here!

Pictures from the show, held in Shed 3 in historic Eastern Market. 
Hair and makeup was done by the fabulous Natalie Briles.

Madison Ortiz in Colom Dress/Peony Necklace
Photo by Robert Guzman

Madalyn Knebel in Caftan Dress
Desiree Lacole in Hydrangea Dress and Necklace
Desiree Lacole in Hydrangea Dress and Necklace
Photo by Robert Guzman
Photo by Robert Guzman
Destiny Mankowski and Hurricane Dress
Photo by Robert Guzman

Magnolia Dress
Photo by Robert Guzman
New Dress
Crane Dress
Photo by Robert Guzman



Thank you to everyone who made this show happen!  It was one of my favorite days ever. xx  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Beyond the Armor Fashion Show

Better late then never…photos from the final fashion show of the Beyond the Armor competition at the Detroit Institute of Arts!  

It really was a dream come true showing one of my designs in the gorgeous Diego Rivera Court.

Model/ballerina Destiny Maknkowski brought my Crane Dress to life as she danced down the runway on pointe shoes.  Such a magical moment!

Hair and makeup by Natalie Briles

The dream team!  Hair/makeup artist Natalie Briles, model Destiny, and me.  
Looking forward to working with both of these ladies again this Thursday, when I show some new designs at the 2014 Celebration of Architecture even in Eastern Market, Detroit.  Tickets here!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Samurai Ballerina

I am one of 10 fashion designers competing in the "Beyond the Armor" fashion challenge sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Garment Guild.  We were given a private tour of the facinating "Beyond the Armor" Samurai exhibit at the DIA, and challenged to design garments inspired by what we learned and saw.

You can vote for your favorite design at!vote-dia--dg3-design-competition-/ckeg (vote for Bridget Sullivan, #8!) now through May 12th.  The winner will be revealed on May 17th at a fashion show finale at DIA.  The show starts at noon and is free with general admission just RSVP by calling 313-833-4005

Here is my final design!

I was inspired by 'Reeds and Cranes," a silk painted folding screen painted by Suzuki Kiitsu.  He was trained by a powerful Samurai artist named Sakai Hoitsu, who adopted him and elevated him to the elite Samurai class. 

Samurai culture is full of rich symbolism, and the crane is a powerful image that can mean many things.  The Samurai warrior learned about facing death bravely by watching cranes, who appear calm and fearless when attached by an enemy. Cranes are a symbol of longevity and soaring spirit.  They are also considered good luck in marriage because they mate for life.  I kept these ideas in mind when I sketched the initial design for my "Crane Dress."

Crane Dress Sketch

I used kozo, a natural fiber used in traditional Japanese papermaking, to create the "armor" bodice of the dress.  The fiber must be cooked and beaten with a mallet before sculpting.  I added gold leaf and a wash of sheer metallic paint after sculpting.

The dress is made from a vintage wedding dress that I re-shaped and lined to create a halter top silhouette with gold chain trim.

I designed the Crane Dress specifically for a talented dancer named Destiny.  I was inspired by the Samurai practice of balancing"bun" (arts) and "bu" (war).  This reminded me of the beautiful blend of strength and grace in ballet, as well as the delicate power of the crane. 

Here is the final result!

*****Don't forget, vote "Bridget Sullivan, #8" here!*****