An Eyewitness account on the world of fashion:
Good evening, to whoever may be reading. We do not know each other yet, but I TEW, am the creator/writer/editor for this new blog. My goal is to share the latest fashion news, my opinions, thoughts, ideas, favorites, reviews, criticisms, designs, and all things fashion, with you. But why should you listen to me, a fourteen year old with a laptop and an opinion? As a “kid”, it is obviously not going to be easy to become a respected voice in the fashion community, but I feel that I belong here, and if given a chance as an adult, I can bring something new and exciting to the stand. Maybe I have only lived fourteen years, but they have been years full of experience and passion. Creating this blog is something I have always wanted to do and finally feel I am ready for. I want to be taken seriously and get closer to my dreams by contributing to the fashion world as much as I can. First, I want to tell you my story of how I got here. Let us start at the beginning with the first signs that lead me to knowing that this is where I should be.
Don’t be so quick to judge, but the number one thing that comes to mind as the start of my journey is dolls. I know what you must be thinking, between the title and now dolls? How could this blog be anything but juvenile? But allow me to explain. When I was little and I would have friends over for “playdates”, a popular activity was always, of course, playing dolls. Barbie dolls, baby dolls, Cabbage Patch, Polly Pockets, Groovy Girls, and of course, possibly rising above all others, American Girl Dolls. We would play games with plots, that to little girls, were exciting, dramatic, suspenseful, and full of action. For all of my friends, the most important part of our games were what the dolls were doing, but for me, it was always what they were wearing. Right at the start of the game, I would make sure to claim the best doll clothes, to create the perfect wardrobe for my character. While the other girls waited anxiously to move on with the story, I would constantly be changing the doll’s outfits for every possible occasion. I even had a book of paper dolls with all kinds of punch-out clothes, that I would spend hours rearranging and trying out different combinations.
This pattern occurred in games where us kids were the characters as well. Whether I was playing a pirate, princess, servant, student, athlete, or artist, I always had a strong personality, and I needed clothes to match. The game simply was not honest, realistic, or nearly as fun without costumes to get into character. I would practically tear apart my closet, in order to find just the right items to match my character’s look, and would have outfit changes often. If didn’t have what my character needed, I would get more creative. A hair tie and a bed spread could instantly become an evening gown. I did not understand why my friends got irritated with me, and just wanted to “get on with the game,” I was different from them.
Next hint at my future passion, was my drawings. I loved arts and crafts and almost always had marker all over my hands and face. When asked what I wanted to do, my answer was almost always, “color”. And, to me, this did not just mean filling in coloring books, though I did love the princess ones. My favorite thing to draw was dresses, princess dresses to be exact. While other kids drew triangles with arms and legs, I would draw gowns with puffy, round, sleeves, and full skirts. I still have many of my old sketchbooks, and enjoy laughing about my pictures and comparing them to more recent sketches. When watching TV, I always questioned why the cartoons wore the same exact thing every day. It just did not make sense to me why whoever created the show did not take advantage of the opportunity, and enjoy creating new outfits for each character every episode. I loved drawing clothes, why didn’t they?
Of course dress up also played a big role. I was, and still am, a dancer, so I had many costumes from recitals. I kept every one and refused to get rid of any of them, for sentimental values, and, of course, for dress up purposes. The same went for Halloween costumes, and all other costumes I had. When purchasing a princess costume, I always struggled with finding the right one. Disney princess costumes always looked like the ones from the movies, except, they had that little plastic circle, on the front, with the picture of the princess on it. This infuriated me. I wanted to look like the princess, not look like I was wearing a dress with a picture of the princess on it! So, I would take it upon myself to cut a little circle out of construction paper, and tape it on over, or find some other creative way to cover that tacky detail. Sometimes I would just remove it entirely, in order to feel satisfied, and feel like real royalty.
As I got older, I became more interested in shopping and what I wore, myself. I also became more aware of the media, and the things celebrities wore on the red carpet. My drawings of dresses improved, and started becoming actual designs. I even pulled the green, vintage, Singer sewing machine out of the basement and tried to make things, using tiny mannequins and my old dolls as models. My aunt is very talented at sewing and embroidery, so she helped me to make little projects using patterns and her fancy sewing machine. I loved doing this, and knew that one day I wanted to see my designs in real life among all of the designers i idolized.
Christmas of 2010, I got a new Singer sewing machine from my parents. It had all kinds of buttons for different types of stitches that I didn’t even know existed. I also got a full-sized adjustable mannequin and sewing materials. I was so grateful and could not wait to set it all up and start creating. The first real dress I made was a gown made out of a canvas, practice fabric. I adjusted the mannequin to the proper measurements and began working and didn’t stop for hours. When I was finished I stuck an antique broach on the bodice so it would cinch, and told my older sister that the completed dress was made to fit her. It was pretty simple and obviously not very wearable, but to us it might as well have been designer, and I was proud of it.
I started watching project runway, and that helped me improve a lot as a designer and as a critic. I had sort of given up on sewing because I did not have enough patience or time to better my skills, and I focussed more on design instead. I drew things that came to me in dreams, and ideas that I thought of in all different places at the most random of times, or I would just start drawing and the ideas would come to me as I drew. Now I had multiple full sketch books, and many more to be filled. While watching Project Runway, I got the idea to “participate” In the challenges. After hearing the assignment, while the designers on the show would go and sketch, I would sketch also, as if I was competing, and then I would compare mine to what they came up with. I enjoyed this a lot and still often draw and “participate” while watching the show.
I was always, flipping through magazines and cutting things out, gathering inspiration from TV shows and movies, and everything around me. Designing my own fashion has always been what I love most in this industry, but through the media I have gathered many amazing favorite designers, and have become extremely interested in runway fashion. Since I was very young it has been my dream to go to Milan for Fashion Week, and eventually be in one of the shows and I still hold on to those dreams.
I started to notice that people around me did not seem to understand runway fashion. They only understood simple fashion and were not fans of new that things they hadn’t seen a million times before. When showing my own designs, or other designs that I liked, to kids my age, they always favorited the most wearable, young-looking pieces, but I did not let this stop me from loving this fashion world that I was too young to really take part in. I felt that I had a tasteful, unique eye, and wanted to show the world what I knew I was made of.
I considered making this blog anonymous, so I could be taken seriously as an adult and not be seen as just a kid trying to play dress up where I “don’t belong”, but I realized that I want to change something, I want to prove that I DO belong, that some kids are talented and capable of participating in the fashion world, and should be given more credit. If creative young people have some influence, the world of fashion can expand, and reach extreme heights, go to places it has never been before. Above all else, this is just what I love to do and I want to share it. And so now, after that long history of my fashion obsession, here I am, with a new perspective. I will try not to disappoint, and I hope the fashion world does not disappoint me. Read again soon if you are interested in fashion and ready for a new, young, view. I will mostly be sharing the latest news, my opinions on new lines, discussing my favorite designers, and sharing some of my own work, plus there might be a few surprises here and there. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or ideas, hope you enjoy!
See you on the runway.