Emily Ratajkowski Is a Dress Designer Now

Emily Ratajkowski and Christy Dawn  - H 2015
Mike Windle/Getty Images for Christy Dawn

On Monday evening, the actress celebrated her new party-perfect dress collab with Christy Dawn at the designer's namesake boutique in Venice.

"In third grade, my teacher was getting married, and every week I would have a different wedding dress designed for her. There were ones with black roses on it. Everyone thought I was going to be fashion designer," says model and actress Emily Ratajkowski, who, alongside designer Christy Dawn, celebrated the debut of their dress collaboration in Venice, Calif., on Monday night. "I’ve reconnected with my third-grade self," she laughed.

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Guests mingled in the designer’s namesake boutique and perused the latest from her dress line while Ratajkowski and Dawn explained the genesis of The Emily — a thigh-grazing frock with a necktie, perfect for holiday parties ("or paired with Converse and a hat in the summertime," says the Gone Girl star).

The designer and actress became friends on a photo shoot in Los Angeles three years ago, but it wasn’t until this summer when the wheels were set in motion for a collaboration. After wearing one of Dawn’s eco-friendly dresses (the lacy Fitzgerald number) to a wedding, Ratajkowski and the designer began chatting about teaming up. Shortly afterwards, Ratajkowski sketched something up on the back of a script page while on-set, and sent Dawn the initial idea of what she envisioned. "She had the body perfect and we brought it together with seams, length and flounce, the neck tie," says Dawn, who brought the idea to life with dead-stock fabrics as part of her sustainable design process.

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"[Designing] is always something I’ve always been interested in," says the starlet. "I went to UCLA for art, I love [Christy Dawn’s] small store, I love her eco-friendly approach to making dresses. It was just the right moment."