After finding inspiration from the design work and textiles inside the Taj Mahal, emerging designer grant recipient R’Bonney Nola searched far and wide for fabrics to replicate these intricate patterns for The Pin Show, a Dallas, Texas based event that provides a platform for both emerging and established designers. As her search for this particular fabric left her empty handed, she quickly took matters into her own hands and put her semester of learning Adobe Illustrator to work by designing her own fabric. R’Bonney is visiting the blog today to share her experience as an emerging designer and what inspires her most.

2 models pose while wearing R'Bonney Gabriel dresses
Designer R’bonney Nola finds inspiration for her collection from the interior of the Taj Mahal 

A design inspired by the Taj Mahal
After just one semester of Adobe Illustrator, R’bonney created her own design for an upcoming fashion show

What is your background in sewing/designing?

I began sewing around the age of 15 and made my sophomore year homecoming dress. In high school, I attended classes at a local sewing store, at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Glassell School of Art and watched a lot of YouTube videos. I am now expanding my knowledge in the Fashion Design Program at the University of North Texas.

How did you incorporate custom printing into your collection?

The Taj Mahal interior is filled with intricate shapes, organic designs, and various tiles and stone. I had a hard time finding any fabrics that I think could work for this collection and wanted to just make my own patterns, shapes, and colors so I created designs in Adobe Illustrator and used Spoonflower to print them onto the Silky Faille fabric. The digital printing process helped me bring my images to life!  

R'bonney models one of her own pieces from her collection showcased at The Pin Show
R’bonney models one of her own pieces from her collection showcased at The Pin Show

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find a lot of inspiration from my travels, paintings, and color schemes that really catch my eye.

What advice would you give to someone who is creating their first collection or designing for a runway show?

When creating your first collection it’s very exciting! It’s important to first plan out what season you will design for, who will be your customer, what market you are aiming for, and stay consistent with that. Cohesiveness is also important too! When designing for a runway show give yourself plenty of time and stay on top of schedule. There’s a lot that goes into a runway show and things always take longer than you think.

A floor length dress from R'bonney Gabriel's collection

A Taj Mahal inspired pattern printed on Silky Faille
R’bonney models one of her own pieces inspired by the Taj Mahal and printed on silky faille
Credits :
Designer: R’Bonney Nola @RNolaClothing
Photographer: Stephen Hardy @stphnhvrdy
Models: Andrea Grant @andreachenice & R’Bonney Gabriel @rbonneyg

Are you a student looking to use Spoonflower for your next design project? If so, you’re eligible for 15% off Spoonflower products thanks to!