I chose a path a long time ago to follow my passion. At a party this past weekend, a woman asked me how this path unfolded. One major factor involved my art teacher, Mr. Proctor at T.C. Williams. He recognized something in me and suggested I consider applying to art schools to further develop my skills. It was the fall of 1984, my freshman year at VCU living in Johnson Hall with a roommate named Nikki and a boyfriend with a corvette…and yes it was red. I was in the Art Foundation Program learning all of the rules applicable to design so that one day I could break them. Nikki was also an art major and we spent many late nights working on projects listening to Purple Rain as it vibrated up and down the halls of our dorm. Music is the gift of a time machine where you’re instantly transported back to a previous existence. This was the soundtrack that defined a period of my life where I was formulating a skill set that serves me in all aspects of what I do today.
I have always considered myself an artist in that I am driven to create. With elements in front of me, I am always considering the relationships they have to one another. This is what I find so satisfying when working with clients — taking their elements and creating new ideas. I interpret their clothing in a new way. I believe we all have the ability to create but not all of us have the courage or desire to create. Part of the process of creation has a lot to do with becoming comfortable with failure. It’s a messy operation where things have to come apart before they come together. As with many disciplines, frequent practice brings about a natural ability. Full disclosure, this does not mean that I still don’t make mistakes. Rather, I’m not afraid to make them in order to push through to a solution that would have remained unattained otherwise.
What we see in fashion can sometimes feel awkward or even absurd. To some, these moments might feel like mistakes. Dressing is a form of expression for many. They have something to say and choose to say it through their attire. It’s also a way of connecting — saying you’re part of a group or tribe. Many people look at the absurd in fashion and dismiss it. My role is to interpret it or translate the seemingly absurd to something that is broken down and understood.
One of spring’s hot trends is the exaggerated sleeve. This trend can get awkward but it can also be dramatic.
I’ve purchased my own version of the exaggerated sleeve and find it a refreshing addition to my basics. Finding the correct proportion to your scale is the key.