School of Communication and the Arts

Freshman fashion major win Adrianna Papell design contest

Natalie Palter, '15, a fashion design major from San Mateo, Calif., is the recent winner of the Adrianna Papell E! Live From the Red Carpet Design Contest. Her motivations and experiences through this contest exemplify a hard-working and passionate student finally getting recog­nized. "I never win contests, so it made this that much more exciting!" said Palter.

Palter found out about the Adrianna Papell E! Live From the Red Carpet Design Contest through posters on campus. "To be honest, I kind of thought about it for a while, and then forgot about it," said Palter. Palter's mom has worn two Adrianna Papell dresses to weddings because she loves the way they fit her. "Her collection is made for all body types, which is so im­portant because then you have a bigger client base," said Palter. "You need women to feel good in what you're making."

On the day of the contest deadline, Palter's friend reminded her that if she wanted to send a design in, she had to do it by midnight.

"I drew up something really quick, col­ored it, and sent it in," said Palter. "I didn't really think twice about it because I never win these kinds of things."

About 700 individuals sent in their own design, hoping to win.

"You scan your design to a website that is linked with Facebook," said Palter. "A week after all the submissions were reviewed, they were put up and everyone could start voting on their favorite."

Voting for the top 25 lasted two weeks. Once Palter found out she made it that far, she was ecstatic but was trying not to have high expectations. Once the top 25 designs were chosen from Facebook vot­ers, Adrianna Papell's design team looked and reviewed them, and chose the top five designs.

"I was so nervous because I hadn't heard from anybody and I thought that I should have already gotten the call if I made it into the top 5," Palter said. "Then I was sitting in philosophy class and I got the phone call. I left class and answered the phone and was so happy."

The top 5 designs were made into dresses and showed on an E! segment. "I was with my friends screaming when I saw it as an actual dress," Palter said.

The week of final voting was in February.

"The day I found out I was the winner was a very ordinary day," said Palter. "I didn't have class all day so I got breakfast and went back to my room for a nap. At 4 p.m. I woke up to the phone call."

Palter is excited to see where this experi­ence will take her. "My name is now in the industry. I can't wait to see what my fu­ture holds in the fashion world," she said.

The gown Palter designed for the contest was sold in Lord & Taylor stores summer 2012.