Creating her own style
Writer / Janelle Morrison
Bignal grew up in Carmel with her parents, Dr. Victoria and Steven Bignal, and her sisters, Kristen and Laurie. During her freshman year at Carmel High School, Bignal signed up for a fashion and textiles elective course. She took this course every year until graduation. Upon graduation, she wanted to apply to design school, but her parents encouraged her to stay in state, and so she applied and was accepted at Indiana University.
Her mother is a doctor and Bignal knew that it was a dream of her mother to have at least one of her daughters follow in her field; so Bignal decided to study pre-med. “I had all intentions of being pre-med and be like my mom,” Bignal said. “Though I knew in my heart that it wasn’t where I really wanted to or was supposed to be. It was a difficult decision to step away from that, but I switched my major to fashion design and never looked back. It was the best decision that I have made so far.
Bignal focused on evening wear during her studies. “My senior year, we had to create a collection that consisted of three to five pieces. I absolutely love gowns and the beauty and glamour of that side of fashion. I made four gowns and selected four girls to be my models. I measured each of them and made the patterns to fit precisely to their measurements. Each gown was 100 percent custom-made. It was an amazing experience and an opportunity for me to fully release my creative vision that I had.
She describes her collection as “very whimsical and a little eccentric.” She added, “I got to explore and play with the fabric and be adventurous. My final gown was a huge ball gown draped in tiers down the skirt. The skirt was incredibly complex and made up of 56 pattern pieces for just that piece alone. In total, the gown was made from 71 individual pieces.”
At the end of the year, just under twenty fashion students presented their collections at a sold out fashion show held in Alumni Hall at the Student Union. Bignal recalled the “oohs and ahs” from the audience as her models walked the runway.
“I was working on my pieces up until the very last second that they walked out onto the runway,” she recalled. “I strive to do the very best that I can and to always challenge myself. When they walked out on to the runway, it felt very surreal. I had worked so hard and put everything I had into these gowns, and it was just the most incredible feeling in the world.”
After graduation, she went to New York. She originally applied to Parsons School of Design but was not accepted. So Bignal accepted a position working for the creative director for Jill Stuart, famed women’s fashion designer. She said she gained invaluable experience working on evening wear and learned many lessons during her time there.
“I loved being in New York and working for Jill Stuart, but I had this feeling that there was something more that I could do, and this was my opportunity to try,” Bignal said. “I had nothing to lose. Why not go for it?”
With encouragement from her family and colleagues, Bignal moved to Indiana and decided to launch For Alles, her own collection. Inspired by Bignal’s German heritage, she said Alles means “all” in German.
“For Alles is a clothing brand that encourages women to celebrate themselves and build their confidence and body positivity,” Bignal emphasized. “For Alles plans to combat body dysmorphia and common misrepresentation of the female body that is so prevalent in our society. We all know most women are not built like a model and we believe their clothes should be designed for them. For Alles plans to use women who are various shapes and sizes in our campaigns and on our website. For Alles is a brand that wants to tell women that they are perfect just the way they are and we support them. We are building a community that embraces women and their natural bodies.”
For Alles will launch its online collection this November and will include dresses, skirts and coordinating tops. Bignal used the trending colors for this season such as cranberry, copper, taupe and teal. The collection will be available in small, medium, and large sizes. She plans to expand the line to include petite and plus sizes after a few seasons. Her ultimate goal is to open a factory, produce her clothing, and employ people here in Indiana.
“Coming back and starting my business in Indiana has allowed me to do what I really am passionate about,” Bignal said. “I am very excited about our first full production run and am already working on improvements and new items for spring collection. We will have just under 10 pieces available for our fall collection and plan to have our online store fully operational this November. Customers can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler and on our website.”
Bignal has lived in the area for most of her 23 years and is now enjoying living in Zionsville. “My plans are to stay around here,” she said. “I love it here, and Zionsville has quickly become my home.”
For more information on For Alles and the upcoming launch of their new collection visit ForAlles.com.