By night, she creates dream-like dresses that fit better in an alternate universe than on
"The way that I design is not simple at all," Billiter says. "Everything I make has more of a story behind it."
Inspired by artists like
"I knew what I wanted to do when I was three years old," Billiter says.
And Billiter, 22, has designed along this vein since she started creating as a child. She says she can see how joyful her designs make others, and that keeps her striving for excellence.
"They feel like they're a princess and they instantly have a smile on their face," Billiter says about models wearing her designs.
It wasn't just the vaguely medieval quality of Billiter's work that landed her in
When considering designers for a spot in the museum, Hoel was looking specifically for someone just out of college, someone who had an advanced level of training in fashion. At the recommendation of an acquaintance, Hoel decided Billiter was a perfect fit.
Billiter says she feels that her work has a very distinct "fairy feel" and that the creations are not meant to be worn day-to-day. Rather, she views the pieces as avant garde and more conceptual.
This particular collection, which Billiter titled "Follow Your Dreams," currently displayed at the
"I wanted to transform from semi formal daywear to a mermaid, a warrior, a princess," Billiter says.
Though following her own dream hasn't always been the easiest for Billiter.
Part of "Follow Your Dreams" was a project Billiter worked on for a class at
"Follow Your Dreams" is a continuation of that college project. With the freedom to design without the limits of a college rulebook, Billiter has been able to create designs that truly come from the heart.
"Part of the collection is dedicated to my niece, who is biracial," Billiter says. "My sister has blond hair and blue eyes, and she wants to have that, but she can't."
To combat her niece's insecurity, Billiter says she made a dress, following the princess theme that she so often enlists for her work, and chose a girl who was biracial to model it. She did this with the hope that her niece would see the garment on the model and realize that she, too, is beautiful.
"I want every girl to feel like a princess, no matter what shape or size," Billiters says.
Billiter says she keeps this mindset when she creates anything for anyone.
"I've always encouraged everyone around me to follow their dreams," she says.
As for the construction of Billiter's garments, she says she enjoys "playing with texture and fabric manipulation." The best example of this is an evening-wear piece in her collection.
Billiter says she began the process of making a wedding dress and decided she wanted it to be rainbow. Instead of simply finding a rainbow fabric at a craft store, she took a parachute from a WWII fighter jet and made the base of the dress from it. She then dyed lace to create an intricate overlay for the garment.
Billiter doesn't have a clear vision of what's to come next in her career. In five years time, she just hopes to be making money off her designs.
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