Folsom grad's fashions take turn on the San Francisco runway

By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
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FOLSOM CA - One local fashionista is taking her eye for design to the fashion capital of the world. Rachael Sansom, 24, of San Francisco, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion and Textile Design, debuted her senior collection earlier this month in front of top industry professionals including Sarah Burton, creative director at Alexander McQueen, and renowned milliner Philip Treacy, during the Academy of Art University?s Annual Graduation Fashion Show and Awards Ceremony. Sansom, who grew up in Folsom, drew upon her double major to create both the collection and the prints. ?With a strong, passionate eye for color, print, texture, and the combination of unusual proportions, I make clothes that are meant to be worn by people with a secure sense of individualism, intelligence and wit,? said Sansom. This season, Sansom?s colorful and graphic collection was inspired by David Hockney?s paintings that portray life in Los Angeles from the 1960s and 1970s. She constructed the garments using organic cotton twill, poplin, voile and cotton pimatex. Sansom graduated from Folsom High School in 2006. In 2008, she received the David Downtown Award for Fashion Illustration, and was recently awarded with a University scholarship to study fashion at L?Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in Paris, France, beginning this fall. ?I?m very excited because I have family in Paris and love European design. This is a prestigious school to learn and gain experience in an European fashion setting,? Sansom said. ?As students, we can also make connections with classmates and industry professionals in France.? She credits her education and early mentors as a helpful guidance to becoming who she is today. ?I took orchestra, art and cross country at Folsom High School as extra curricular activities,? she said. ?I am really glad that I was given the opportunity to take these classes in high school. These activities combined, contributed to my work ethic and making me strong enough to get through four years of college. Taking these diverse classes and activities in high school all contributed to the ideas and designs that I have now. It?s all a growing process. So I hope these programs do not disappear in the near future for other students.? Dave Gregson, her coach at Folsom High School in cross country and track, said her strong sense of work ethic was always one of her best attributes. ?Her success definitely is one of the rewards and joys that teaching gives teachers,? Gregson said. ?Seeing her grow and succeed after being in the confines of Folsom, makes us proud. It?s amazing what these kids will go on to do.? Now, Sansom is looking forward to a life and fashion in Paris. ?Fashion to me is a way of expressing yourself and turning an idea into something tangible that people can see,? she said. ?It?s about being experimental and different and challenging other people?s perception of color, proportion and what they are used to seeing everyday.? Sansom said what helps make her unique, is her broad use of vibrant colors and patterns. ?I am naturally drawn to bright colors and unusual color combinations,? Sansom said. ?I really like neon colors. I believe that life should be more colorful and I think a lot of times people turn away from color. Color makes people happy and wakes people up. Color is exciting in a world that can sometimes be bland and monotonous.? While in Paris, she hopes to make connections with European designers including Henrik Vibskob. ?Studying oversees means everything to me,? she said. ?I am so excited. The main reason I went to the Academy was to gain European connections and eventually go back to France. I want to meet Europeans and become immersed into the culture.?