Kent State alumna to present vintage-inspired collection

Image courtesy if Deanna Turcotte.

Samantha Tully

A Kent State fashion design alumna will present her first show Friday, inspired by a 1930s American socialite with a scandalous history.

“Wallis Simpson is a really inspiring character,” said Kent State graduate Deanna Turcotte. “Her dynamic character helped to design the clothes.”

Turcotte spent some time researching the controversial aristocrat. Wallis was a divorcee who went on to marry King Edward VIII after he left his throne to be with her.

The time Wallis spent in the spotlight allowed her to leave her mark on the fashion world.

“She was an amazing fashion icon,” Turcotte said. “She loved all the couture designers, and she was in vogue.”

Turcotte’s pieces are vintage with a modern twist. The fashion alumna aims to design for confident women looking for vintage-inspired pieces with a modern twist.

Mirroring the collection’s vintage quality, Turcotte chose to showcase her work at Mahall’s 20 Lanes in Lakewood, which was built in 1924.

Turcotte shed the typical runway show and will provide a theatrical representation of her work.

“There’s just one model,” Turcotte said, “and she’s going to be presenting the clothes by acting like she’s in her dressing room getting ready.”

Turcotte graduated from Kent State with a fashion-design degree in 2012. Since her graduation, she has worked as an independent designer.

“She is extremely talented,” said Noél Palomo-Lovinski, Turcotte’s former professor. “(Turcotte) has a wonderful aesthetic, and her clothes will be sought over, no doubt.”

As a student, Palomo-Lovinski described Turcotte as dedicated, thoughtful and professional.

“The fashion program at Kent State has really helped me as a designer,” Turcotte said. “I learned a lot of technical skills there that have allowed me to be able to create everything by myself.”

Turcotte’s advice to aspiring Kent State fashion students: get involved.

“I did at least one extracurricular show every semester and every competitive fashion show I could possibly do,” Turcotte said, “and I feel like that really prepared me.”

Turcotte’s pieces will be available by made-to-order requests and via

The show will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, and admission is $6 at the door.

Contact Samantha Tully at [email protected].