Designing her dream: a cure for multiple sclerosis
Twenty-four year old, Laurie Elyse’s creative spirit emerged at a young age. Always interested in the arts and mixed media, Laurie graduated from The School of Visual Arts in New York City after also attending the Corcoran College of Art in Washington, DC, majoring in 3D design and construction. It was during this time that she developed a reputation for creating functional furniture from used, broken and new musical instrument parts. Such pieces, including a chandelier made from drumsticks, were designed and then sold to benefit The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF). (Composer for the film Mr. Holland’s Opus founded MHOF to further his commitment to the future of music education.)
Laurie also found early success designing charms and bracelets made from guitar picks, worn by many in the music business. Finding fashion design fulfilling, Laurie then decided to branch into clothing design, centering on rock & roll inspired swim wear. Her first collection premiered at New York Fashion Week Spring 2009, held in September 2008, receiving positive reviews, including one reviewer who noted, “[Elyse’s designs] will no doubt make a splash with the rock fashion circle.”
In the midst of all her creative endeavors and expansions, however, Laurie began to experience tingling and a loss of sensation in her right hand and arm starting in October 2007.
“At first I thought I had slept funny and if that was the case I was never going to sleep again! When the feelings persisted, I knew something more serious was wrong and my dad drove me to the hospital,” relates Laurie.
Several days later, Laurie’s symptoms progressed. She had tingling up and down the right side of her body. In addition, she felt sensations in her mouth, gums, nose and face. Her vision was affected. Just four days after her symptoms began, Laurie was diagnosed in the hospital with multiple sclerosis.
“Initially, I felt that my life was ruined. It was so easy to feel truly depressed. Then, I realized it wasn't as grim as I thought. Things happen for a reason and there has to be a reason I got this.”
Despite the life changing MS diagnosis, Laurie has not slowed down. She’s close with her family, particularly her father, is an animal lover and spends her free time learning languages, collecting classic Barbie outfits (circa 1959) and watching old movies. She also continues to design her swimwear line.
Laurie recognizes the importance of MS education and research so to further the MS movement and help move us closer to a world free of multiple sclerosis, Laurie has designated four swimsuits from her 2010 line whose sale will support the work of the National MS Society. Laurie explains that her MS-inspired collection is full of bright and shimmery colors, which radiate her positive attitude.
“As a MS patient myself I created these looks as a reflection of hope while carrying the image of a brighter tomorrow, a world without MS.”
For more information about Laurie Elyse , her youthful and sometimes edgy fashion designs, and the MS swim suit line visit www.laurieelysecollection.com. Click on any picture and this will take you to the order page which features the MS bikini line. Laurie will be donating 20% of each purchase to support the work of the Society.
Since some of the models featured in Laurie’s line worked for Vidal Sasson, Laurie’s collection including the MS line will be featured in a calendar that will be displayed at their salons in both Los Angeles and New York.