CCAD fashion show: Meet designer Nuonan Ruan

Jackie Mantey, Columbus Alive

The paths to the runway for both Nuonan Ruan and her garment were nontraditional ones.

Ruan didn't being working on her collection until January-she's a graduate foreign exchange student from Hangzhou, China. She came stateside to further her ongoing fashion design education.

"The creative power and great teaching methods at CCAD are what attracted me so much," Ruan said. "I also like the combination and innovation of the courses."

In spite of the reduced amount of time available to Ruan to create her collection, she said she wanted to challenge herself even more. Thus, she made some of her own fabric. That one-sleeved sweater pictured is made from a material crafted from boiled wool, soap and mesh that Ruan dyed and rolled out into the design and shape she desired.

"My arms grew very strong," she laughed.

The difference in what's fashionable between the 4 million-plus-populated Hangzhou and Ohio was also influential on Ruan's experience at CCAD.

"In China, fashion is very artistic, you push the limits. It is not very much about being sexy," she said. "But here I learned useful detail construction skills. The style here is much more wearable. I got a lot of inspiration in that way."

So where is her path taking her next?

"I am traveling before I go home," Ruan said. "Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. I'm very excited."

Nuonan Ruan

Age: 25

Hometown: Hangzhou, China

Collection inspiration: Chu Teh-Chun paintings

How can we see your artists in your designs? "Chu Teh-Chun is one of the most outstanding modern artists in China. He is best known for his abstract oil-on-canvas works. Chun paints a country whose existence is found only in his paintings, a country both imaginary and real at the same time… I wanted to make my designs to be very dreamlike, like a dreamy landscape."