Fantasy Costume Illustration by Dana Onel.
Dana Onel
Dana Onel

About Dana Onel

My fashion design journey begun in 1991 when I was accepted as a student at College Preparatory School of the Arts, Dressmaking class (Bucharest, Romania).

The following four years, I studied fashion design, art history and costume history. At the same time I perfected my oil painting and charcoal drawing skills. Upon graduation, I got a dressmaking certificate, and together with my classmates, we held a fashion show featuring our own designs.

During my years at College Preparatory School of the Arts I was trained to see the dressmaking in a whole new light. The fashion design teacher tought me that costume design is a form of art, just like painting and sculpture.

Dress is not only meant to cover the body; it is meant to adorn it. The way we adorn our houses with paintings and furniture, we can make our own body a living canvas.

But wait: we must be able to wear those clothes comfortably. Designing clothes for everyday life can be very limiting. It is not the same with costume design for film. A designer for film has more freedom of choice and more inspiration provided by a good script.

After I graduated College Preparatory School of the Arts, I switched careers and I applied to Bucharest University, Social Work Major and Psychology Minor. At the time, I thought psychology will be a more rewarding career in terms of financial stability. Film industry was not developed in Romania and the odds to make a living out of costume design were very low.

I took classes of social psychology, human behaviour development, psychotherapy and other shrink stuff. I got to know myself better and I realized once again that costume designing was my chosen career. I also got a Bachelor in Psychology.

After graduation I moved to Los Angeles and I decided it was time to go back to my first love: costume design.

I had the privilege to become a member of Women In Film organization and Costume Designers Guild.