Going into the new year, we are all adding another slash to our count of years on this planet. I am always upset when I hear older people refer to their old age negatively because I feel like when I am older I intend on looking good and feeling good. I look forward to living in Honduras when I'm wise and old, thinking back on the book of life I created about myself having been daring enough to design myself. This past July, HBO showed a new documentary entitled, About Face: Supermodels Then and Now. In the documentary, prominent super models of fashion's past share their stories and perspectives of their run in the fashion industry. Listening to their perspectives of the how the fashion industry used to be was much more than a history lesson to me. "About Face", in my fashion, revealed something about societies perceptions of what it means to be young. It got me to thinking, if we are always getting older, why do we look at old age as such a danger zone? If anything, "About Face" made me think about "Growing Younger". In my fashion, growing younger means knowing how to grow older and still incorporate our youthful spirit that is in all of us. Pablo Picasso said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Think about it: I always think to myself when I am in my old age, do I really want to look at myself and feel as though I am out of touch with the kid in me? This month, I am going to look at what I think it means to "grow younger", exploring the differing mindsets of generations of today and what it means to be an adult in our world of so many possibilities. While the prospect of getting older may seem daunting remember to make the most of your time every second of everyday.
Looking back on the lives of models such as Pat Cleveland, Carmen Dell'Orefice, Beverly Johnson, Jerry Hall, and China Mochado was a great look into the past, for, "Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it." History has always been a favorite subject for myself, and as one can imagine, fashion history absolutely fascinates me! This month I wanted to take a deeper look into the history of fashion by sharing a survey of historic costume. I wanted to share how I got the inspiration for the sketches I have drawn on the #IMFblog banner. These drawings are based off sketches I drew for a class I took in a Fashion History class I took at my Alma mater, Norfolk State University. Beginning with ancient civilizations in Egypt and the Mediterranean, we learned about a survey of historic costume through time to our modern era. It was our duty to sketch multiple looks in pairs from an assigned period: one look being a look authentic to the time period being studied, and another original look of our own creation that is inspired by the fashions worn at that time to be worn today. Although I absolutely loved learning about fashion history, and how clothes have evolved through time, this class is where I learned that being a designer is hard work! The brain power that goes into creating unique, fresh, and innovative fashions that people actually want to purchase requires an intelligent, disciplined, and hardworking mindset. We were given assignments maybe a week or two before the due date, and were asked to create from six to twelve looks depending on the length of the period. While taking the time to create eight drawings in two weeks may seem like a perfect homework assignment, creating fashion looks that are beautiful, wearable, and culturally relevant is a lot more work than one might think, especially when you consider that you will have competition who has the same goal as you, and you need to create something that stands apart.
Now think: We had to create on average eight to ten looks every two weeks all semester. I like to draw, but on top of additional course workloads and working, using the creative juices to develop multiple innovative, quality looks takes a lot out of someone. It really helped to put into perspective the amount of work that goes behind a major fashion brand. For me, on top of other new year's resolutions, this year is going to be more business professional. I intend on exploring more of RVA fashion, culturally and professionally, by highlighting some interesting local designers and businesses I come across, especially with Richmond Fashion Week approaching this April 15 to the 21st. I want to explore how these business have come about, how much work it was to create their business, and how they find Richmond to be a lucrative location for business. I'm interested in how they view the shifts in the business of fashion today in a new buying landscape, a landscape that is constantly changing like our crazy weather as of late.
|"Upward Momentum", and full speed ahead into 2013!|
I am very excited about this new year! As Vogue declared in its January 2013 issue, this year is about "Upward Momentum". Next month will be the Fall 2013 collections. Looking into the past will help us better prepare our wardrobes for the future so we can push forward into a generation marked by utter unpredictability. Although we may not know what the future holds, I think the best thing to remember going into this year is that we are not a product of our circumstances, we are a product of our choices. Happy New Year!