In my last post, I mentioned my plans to begin a new series about Fashion, but before I jump into all the things I’d like to share, I thought I’d talk a little about what this series is all about and how I got here to begin with.
All through high school I was interested in exploring different looks to find my own personal style. I especially loved thrift shopping since I was lacking funds and it kept me wearing unique pieces I truly loved without being overly influenced by trends. I was quite the chameleon and if you see photos it looks like one long identity crisis! Through my childhood, I’d also taken an interest in art and spent a lot of time drawing, making collages and sewing. In 1999, attending fashion school seemed like an obvious next step, so off I went with dreams of becoming a fashion designer. I idolized Vivienne Westwood and Betsey Johnson and imagined myself with crazy hair sewing unique clothing for a living in a cool little loft studio. I was a bit naive and upon graduating, my 21 year old self didn’t really have what it took to “make it” in the industry as it existed at the time. The jobs available for entry level designers were less than glamorous and often hardly creative and my vision of a small scale handmade label seemed a little ridiculous in a world without marketplaces like ETSY where most clothing was mass produced overseas.
So for the next 15 years, I worked at corporate jobs, kept sewing as a hobby and branched out into things like dollmaking and art quilting where I could freely explore textiles and surface design. I also continued to shop, A LOT, thrifting and bargain hunting. I occasionally made clothing for myself, but only a small percentage of my closet was actually handmade. My focus was more on quantity than quality with very little wardrobe planning…I was a slave to fast fashion without realizing that was even a thing. Later in my early 30’s, I had a little more money to work with and was able see the value in investment pieces. I started to plan more, buy a little less and focus on quality over quantity but I wasn’t considering where, how and by whom my clothing was made and I was still consuming a lot of clothing, often shopping once or twice a week! Then I discovered Alabama Channin and the term ‘Slow Fashion’ and down the rabbit hole I went, obsessively seeking information and designers leading the movement. This all got me thinking about my college dreams and how now might be the right time to try making them a reality, but first I’ll need to refresh my skills in patternmaking and clothing construction. So, on my birthday in September last year, I made the decision to commit fully to slow style and start developing my skills by making things for my own wardrobe.
So what does this commitment mean for me?
- Buying second hand.
- Only supporting socially and environmentally ethical companies when I must buy new.
- Designing and sewing for myself.
- Carefully considering any addition to my wardrobe or fabric stash, limiting purchases to things I truly need, absolutely love and that work with what I have and my lifestyle.
When I first got inspired to join this movement I searched for blogs about slow fashion, developing personal style, sewing and curating wardrobes. I tapped into the whole minimalist trend, and while I see how it goes hand in hand, I have a more eclectic colorful approach to fashion and can’t relate to a minimalist aesthetic. I wanted to read a blog about someones slow style journey from beginning to end. See what they owned, what they bought and where they bought it, how they put it together, what they were sewing…and I wanted them to have a style I could relate to with more than black and white with a pop of a trending color. I discovered lots of great sites, some of which I’m still reading, but none that truly blended all of these things together into one story. I decided to write the blog I’ve been wanting to read with my own unique voice and style. My hope is that in time others seeking this information will find me and be inspired like I was by those who paved the way before me.
Since the key word here is slow, I won’t be pumping out content like a typical style blog. Instead, the series will unfold over time with posts about once a month in between writing about my other creative sewing projects. Hope you enjoy reading!