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How much is the Edge?

October 27, 2010

What inspires us to greatness is thinking of the successes of others. Maybe it is a confidence we haven't defined yet, or it may be the person who we wish we were when we look into the mirror. When I walked into Bruggers Bagels to meet recent alum Crystal Noe ('09) I hardly had a clue about what inspiration meant to other people. She changed that for me.

Noe's muse is Lizee Tish; a pet name given to her by her grandmother as a child. "It's a persona thing, I design for who I want to be, and anyone can be Lizee Tish,"  said Noe, who studied fashion design at Lasell.

Since graduation, Noe has been freelance designing and her hard work hasn't gone unnoticed. Noe's work has been shown in Boston's Fashion Week for two consecutive years with a possible third on the way. "Being able to say I was selected for Fashion Week is something I can be proud of for the rest of my life," Noe said.

"So many designers compromise good design for sensationalism. It's a constant struggle to find a balance between edgy and wearable," she said.

"Follow the White Rabbit" was Noe's senior Lasell fashion line; she used Alice in Wonderland as her inspiration. The line is being shown for another designer in Natick and her newest "Smitten" project, shown in Fashion Week, is based on an idea she has yet to fully explore herself. Being on the edge has a place in the fashion world, but Noe admits the need for her designs to also reach a broader audience. "Mimosa [another line] definitely reaches a different type of girl. It's not that I didn't like designing it, I really like throwing in huge zippers and making things different." Noe said.

Besides looking forward to Fashion Week next year, Noe along with other designers, has been planning a cocktail style benefit for degenerative brain illness research. "This is a way to show our garments in a non-runway setting. More importantly we are supporting a good cause," she said.

Noe's designs help the wallflower step out; the designs help any woman stand out in a crowd, she says. "I'm designing for the girls who will wear an outfit to make others in the room question themselves and their own confidence," Noe said. If you are a Lizee Tish, you can do anything; and as it turns out inspiration could come from anywhere. Check out some of Crystal's designs at

Written by Brian Yepez '11, an intern with the Office of Alumni Relations


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