At only 22 years old, budding fashion designer Meredith Gill of East Moriches is taking the industry by storm with her head-turning evening and bridal wear. Her designs have won numerous awards and will be appearing on the big screen later this year.
Next month, Gill’s designs will be shown on the runway at West New York Fashion Week alongside fellow emerging designers from around the world. Her new 2018 collection, which she named Stained, is a variety of stained-glass-window-inspired designs that feature a structured bodice and neutral palette with a pop of color. It’s a departure from last year’s collection that had more movement and was nature-inspired with Swarovski crystal embellishments.
“Right now, I am experimenting with different fabrics,” she says. “I am going to be using chiffons, organza, georgette, taffeta, silk, and satins.”
The Cinnia dress, a floor-length white lace gown with sheer bodice and four-foot train, won best wedding gown construction at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Fashion Art and Design Club. It was also the gown that got Gill noticed. It caught the eye of a movie director who wanted the dress to be part of his romantic comedy, New York Minute, slated to open later this year.
“I was honored that he wanted to use my gown from the thousands on the market,” says Gill.
The Butterfly dress, a chiffon-paneled dress with black trim and designed like a butterfly wing with hand-dyed edges and crystal accents, was another one of Gill’s designs drawing attention. The meticulously crafted garment that was worn by a contestant in the Miss Latina USA pageant was featured in a newspaper advertisement last summer.
Pretty impressive, particularly since Gill only graduated FIT in May. The sewing machine, she explains, always came second nature to her when she started taking lessons at age 12. Soon she was teaching other young people how to sew. It wasn’t until Gill was in college that she discovered how talented she truly was.
“I never thought of myself as a fashion designer. For a while I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” admits Gill, who works at a retail job during the day that helps her pay off her student loans. The rest of the time, she can be found in her sewing studio in the basement of her home. “I feel lucky and I am grateful that other people are seeing this in me which is giving me the push to move forward.”
What Sets You Apart: “I see whatever trend is current and focus on the little details and making that the big picture. Then I add a little more creative and artistic ideas that are subtle.”
What You Love Most: “Finding the inspiration for my next piece and being as creative as possible with the research that I gather for my next collection. I love getting ideas from Pinterest and Instagram and seeing what others are doing.”
Favorite Designer: Australian Designer Paolo Sebastian.
Secret Weapon: “I am very patient. A lot of work goes into making evening and bridal gowns. It is not just making a t-shirt; you have to be good with your hands. It takes a lot of hand sewing.”
Biggest Influence: “My mom. That is where I get my creativity. She constantly inspires me.”
Next Big Thing in Bridal: “Lots of sheer and lace. Showing a little more skin and seeing gowns that are not floor length, but layered. White is still popular but some are going toward the nontraditional, using eggshell, ivory, and light pink.”