Walking into the light-filled Nardos Imam couture atelier is something akin to waking in a dream; each fantasy gown has its own story to tell. At every turn, a flourish of tulle, taffeta, and organza mingles with delicate Chantilly and Alençon laces, intricate embellishments, and scintillating Swarovski crystals, all making for a heady experience. Nardos Imam (pictured above) can construct with her uncanny, near-magic touch. “Design is not just something I do, or a job, or even a career. For me, it is the grace of God taking the shape of a gown. It is finding what’s beautiful in each individual woman, and celebrating that beauty by creating a gown that is unmistakably hers,” says the 36-year-old designer, emerging now on the local scene. El Centro College. Nardos then honed her craft for seven years at Dallas’ own designer emporium, Stanley Korshak. She began in the alterations department, and eventually became the store’s in-house designer. Jan Strimple at The Ritz-Carlton Dallas. Select images from that show are featured herein. Known for her eye for new talent, Strimple explains of the project, “The production meant a great deal to me on a personal level, as Nardos was once one of my interns. Needless to say, there was a lot of love both backstage and in the audience.” Seventy-two stunning, hand-spun confections took to the runway that day, including wedding, evening, and cocktail looks, with no fewer than 30 of them completed in a span of two weeks before the show. Queried about this near superhuman feat of design, the modest Nardos merely shrugs it off. She recalls feeling no fatigue, but only pure inspiration, during those 14 intense days. “I am very lucky to do what I love everyday,” she says. NardosImam.com. Fashion show images, credit Vera Crosby Photography.