Its 3:01am in the morning as I write this entry to the world. Today is the very beginning of September 20th, in less then 48 hours I will be on a plane on my way to New Zealand. Time has literally flown by since I last wrote. The execration of which has quite frankly scared me a bit. It seems I have reached an age where time slips though your fingers like sand, and the more you try to hold it, the faster it moves.
Tonight, as I attempted to go to bed I found myself restlessly thinking about my progression in fashion. How four years ago, I didn’t know who Alexander MQueen was. Four years ago I set out on a journey in the fashion program at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. I thought I knew about clothing and fashion...as it turns out I knew nothing. Not the construction, the fabrics, or the designers, nothing. That first year the biggest lesson I learned was that if I wanted to be in fashion, I would have to give myself to that art. I would have to take everything I thought I knew about life, work, and time, and serve it on a silver platter as an offering to the fashion gods. If I was lucky, perhaps one day, with enough sacrifice, I might just be able grasp what fashion and clothing construction was all about.
The hours were hard, the work slow going and the whole thing was a brutal learning curve for me. I found myself daydreaming of giving it up, going to another major and changing my path in life. But if there is one defining characteristic I have in my personality, its that I don’t back down from a challenge. Through trial and error I have discovered the hardest things hold the most valuable lessons.
This was no different, I wanted to learn everything about fashion even if it destroyed me. Right before my second semester I vowed to put every bit of energy I possessed into my work, if it was still horrible at the end of the year I could quit and would take that as a sign it was not for me.
Around this same time I had heard about a scholarship program that would later end up changing everything. Every year all the fashion students have an opportunity to apply for the Champs Scholarship to study at the Paris Fashion Institute (PFI) in Paris France. PFI is a one month accelerated fashion program where you get to work side by side with some of the top professionals in fashion. When I discovered this opportunity I decided that I would apply. If I got the scholarship I would take it as a sign that fashion was the right path to be on, if not, I would switch into a different art major.
I ended up getting the scholarship a few short months later, going to Paris by myself for 1 month, and finding out through my teachers that indeed, I was right where I needed to be. I learned for every sewing skill that didn’t come naturally, I have 5 hidden talents that would make me perfect for working in the field of fashion. Paris Fashion Institute showed me how I could take these skills, and go conquer that fashion world.
That month changed my life and I came back to the states with a new found knowledge and confidence of who I was becoming as an artist. In school I still struggled, working 12-20 consecutive hours on garments for school. There were times I cried, hated, even loathed fashion. But among all of the negative was a drive to keep going, no matter how bad it got, because fashion designers don’t feel pain or misery. A true fashion designer does what they need to do to make “fabulous” happen.
Soon after I came back to Boston and started year 2 of fashion,I met Zandra Rhodes who was visiting MassArt. I had the opportunity to talk with her, get to know her a bit, and although I didn’t talk with her long, something clicked for me. I felt instantly that Zandra was the kind of person I would like to be friends with no matter what her profession was. Sometimes people ask me what it is I love about Zandra Rhodes, and tell them all the same thing: “Zandra is the most honest, unique individual. She is not afraid of who she is, and she is not afraid of who you are either, so if your bold enough to handle her, she is one of the most genuinely fun people I have ever met.”
After meeting Zandra I knew I wanted to go to London and intern with her. My school wasn’t abel to formally set up such an internship so I took to emailing and calling her London studio until a “yes” emerged from the unknown list of possibilities the futures always seems to hold. The rest is history. Right before I went I started this blog, and well, you all know the rest.
But as I sit here, thinking about my fashion evolution, I can’t help remember the fear I felt right before I went to Paris. I had never gone overseas alone, I didn’t know what the world in France held for a girl on her own. The same feeling occurred right before London, except I was even more alone as there were no teachers or fellow students to hold my hand. When I went to London I felt, for the first time, truly on my own in a foreign country. Both times my life changed in the blink of an eye.
And now, as I gear up to go to New Zealand, I find my sleepless nights are not willed with fear, but anxiousness. In less then 48 hours I am leaving the country to go see my work on stage...a real stage, a real show! That people are paying a lot to see! I am going to see my competitors work for the first time, and tonight I realized that I have no inkling what it is I’m up against. I fight to be the best, at everything I can possibly achieve perfection with in my lift, and in a few days I will find out how if I hit the mark in this competition, and if not, what I need to do to win next year.
Further more, I know that as soon as I get on that plane my life will never be the same. Even if I win nothing, I know that this trip is going to majorly change everything. Its funny, I felt the exact same way before I left for Paris. The feeling is the same, and yet everything is different.
There are these odd moments in life, where you step back from being inside your own life mentally, and its almost like you can see your own transformation, extrapolating into the futures potential. Tonight is one of these moments. Its nice to be abel to write to the world in this current moment and deliver a living, breathing record of myself right now. I have this very strange feeling that everything is about to take off in my life regarding my career. Its kind of like when your standing outside and you know its about to start raining really hard, and you stand there looking up, opening up your arms to feel the intense energy that is the calm before the storm. This feeling is defined as lots of small separate forces of energy coming together, and right before they all react to each other, the air becomes almost electric.
Thats how I feel right now, sitting in bed as the clock ticks to 4 am. Surrounding me is energy, nerves, memories and thoughts that make the hairs on my arms stand on end. Some day I will look back on this moment and think of Alice looking down the rabbit hole, right before she fell in. Except the difference between me and Alice is that I’m hoping to never wake up from this beautiful dream!