I love you, I hate you… fashion!
December 28, 2006
I have a love/hate relationship with style and fashion. okay, maybe it’s not so much that I ever hated fashion. although, can someone explain this to me?
I think my dislike lies with some of the individuals who follow fashion (fashion snobs/the people endorse being anorexic or bulimic for fashion’s sake) and some of the fashion designers themselves. also, fashion have what I think are unrealistic size models and have a less than spotless track record with fair labor. In my opinion, even slender girls aren’t generally mega giant waifs and therefore most clothes are designed with the wrong figure in mind (even larger sizes are based on the same skinny model so fit is a problem even in larger sizes). And can we get some fair labor up in this house, please? How hard is it to be pay workers and their work fairly? Seems very logical to me.
I start my fashion design degree this spring after a WHOLE LOT of debate (try 3 years worth). It took me a long time to get here because I didn’t feel like I was the right type.
How many times have you read a conversation with a fashion designer (or any creative type for that matter) that went a little something like this…
Magazine: How did you get started creating clothes?
Douchebag fashion designer: Ohhh, I’ve been sewing clothes since I was three-and-a-half. My great grandmother taught me how to sew Barbie clothes. I created my first line of clothes when I was 5. I was always the trendiest kid at school. In fact, follow me to my studio. I have a framed portrait of my mother’s uterus. If you look closely, you can see where I used my fingernails to sketch out of my first design… a skirt with an adorable little rabbit print.
Though i created a bit of an exxageration up there, that story is not completely crazy. Just pick up this month’s domino (December/January 2007) and flip to page 177. See?!
It may sound silly, but talk like that had always made me rethink pursuing a fashion design degree before. Why?
Because my story isn’t even in the same hemisphere as the ones fashion designers tell. I taught myself how to sew when i was in a dorm at 19. a dormmate asked me to make her a skirt. the skirt was a miserable failure. I didn’t get enough fabric and the skirt was too tight. It was like the Cosby Show episode where Denise sews a Gordon Gartrell shirt for Theo. And I think Theo’s shirt is actually better than the skirt I attempted to make.
A couple of years later, with the initial sewing tragedy behind me, i tried sewing again. This time I had a simpler, newer sewing machine with user-friendly instructions to boot. I craft and once in a while I’d whip up a skirt or something.
So no, it wasn’t my grandma who passed down her sewing knowledge to me, nor was it my mom. Who both, by the way, do sew. I just picked up the sewing machine manual and figured it out myself. And for a long time I thought that should stop me from wanting to be a fashion designer.
Well, my story certainly doesn’t sound like any of the other fashion design stories that I’ve heard. And probably not like many of the ones you’ve heard, either.
And that was just the part about sewing.
In sixth grade, i had only 3 outfits to wear and they were all hideous. We were broke that year and not once did I have the urge to rip down the shower curtain and sew something to wear out of it. We needed that shower curtain… for showers.
Later in eighth grade, I was made fun of regularly for not “matching”. And now as an adult, I’m constantly pissed when I shop because my figure is never accounted for when designers make cute clothes. Therefore, I don’t get to wear
half any of the stuff i adore. Clothes that would actually be really cute for a larger frame, but just doesn’t come in that size. It’s seriously like i don’t even exist. and there is nothing that pisses me off more than being forgotten or ignored!
I look at art, I read on occasion, I am a “filmophile” and I love to craft up things. To borrow a phrase from ‘All About Eve’, nothing in my breeding or up-bringing should have brought me any closer to “a catwalk” than row 5 section e.
My only redemption is my frustration for gorgeous clothes not fitting, my love of House of Style at age 14, watching CNN’s Headline News on Fridays to catch the style report when I was 17 and some of my favorite things about fashion can now be found in a blog.
It’s only been in the last 5 years that i have taught myself to sew, started documenting clothing ideas, used the internet to inspire my creativity and learn that personal style means more to me than any other fashion rule.
Now, I get it. The reasons that have caused me to put off becoming a fashion designer for years are the very same reasons I should indeed be a fashion designer.
Not to toot my horn, but how cool would it be to have ME as a fashion designer? Clothes will be undoubtedly fun and irresistibly clever! Yes, clothes, clever! It’s clear to me that I will never be the student at school who knows the names of all the key fashion designers and i don’t give a shit. Sure, I need a clue (that’s why I’m going to school), but I am in this game to build a fashion house on the foundation of my own rules: fit me, flatter me, and make me cute, and if I go down in fah-lames. So be it. At least my company will have died trying!
But personally, I think a company like the one i want to create is long overdue. You’ll just have to stay tuned to see how it goes.