Sunday, October 24, 2010
My buying class took a field trip to the San Pedro Mart in the Downtown LA Fashion District to buy merchandise to sell in our school bookstore. It was definitely an interesting experience. Tips for anyone trying to shop there: know how to speak spanish, know how to speak korean, and know exactly what you are looking for!
Megan and I being Mart gangstasss!
Metallic mannequins in the mannequin store!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
1. Alabama Football (milkintheclock.com)
2. Wearing 76589645 layers to stay warm some days
3. Tailgate Food (southernliving.com)
4. Leaves falling in my backyard
5. Editorial spreads with faux fur (whowhatweardaily.com)
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Although high school cheer might be over, I enjoyed the feeling I got from cheerleading so much that I now coach a Pop Warner Cheer team. I have traded in my fitted uniform for a professional looking athletic polo declaring my position as “Head Coach” and member of the “RPPW Cheer Coaching Staff”. Now I am not just a distant girl that little girls look up to, but I am their ultimate role model. Everything I do and say is mimicked by five adorable six-year-old girls and instantaneously picked apart by their watchful mothers.
I am no longer a part of a team of girls trying to be uniform, but a team of adults volunteering their time and hard work to enrich the lives of our community’s children. I am proud to be recognized by parents and players at games and practices as a coach. Even though I am the youngest staff member in the entire league aside from the high school aides, I am respected as an adult because of a simple t-shirt. Other coaches, parents, field officials, and coaches of the opposing teams, often decades older than me, speak to me with respect and value my opinion as their equal. Without my coach shirt, I would probably be mistaken for a high school aide and be spoken down to like a child, but with it, it is automatically assumed that I am knowledgeable and can be trusted.
It is a wonderful feeling to have people associate you with positive connotations, and although we hardly think about it, the clothing we wear makes a huge difference in the way others perceive us. Most people base their feelings off of what they see rather than what they hear, and the messages we send with our clothing can be interpreted by others and used to judge our entire character.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
My high school cheerleading uniform was one of the outfits I felt most confident in, and yet at the same time, most self-conscious. As a cheerleader I was also a leader around my school. While in my uniform I was seen at football games, basketball games, wrestling matches, pep rallies, and around school. Parents recognized me and little girls looked up to me while I was wearing my uniform. With this confidence and responsibility also came a lot of pressure self-doubt. People were constantly watching me and judging me. While in uniform I was expected to behave at a higher standard and perform at a specific level. Everything I did was constantly scrutinized by those around me. Some even based their impression of me off of how they felt about other girls who wore the same uniform.
When I was alone, my cheer uniform always got me noticed, but when I was with my team, I learned to work harder to stand out beyond what I was wearing. I was happy with my uniform’s image because I enjoyed being a part of a team I was proud of as well as the sport of cheerleading itself. I also liked the image I presented while in my uniform because I was more conscious of how I acted while wearing it, helping me to be a better person and role model.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
This photo is from my Homecoming Dance senior year of high school. Although I had altered many of my formal dresses for other dances, this was the first dress I had made completely on my own. I was nervous that it wouldn’t turn out the way I wanted and that it wouldn’t be accepted by my friends who spent lots of money on store-bought dresses. Because of my uncommon proportions, fashion-forward taste, and low budget, I found it easier to design and create my own formalwear rather than spend hours shopping and still not find anything I truly loved.
The reactions I got for my dress were better than I expected. My simple sewing skills got me noticed, as they were interpreted by everyone else, who had no sewing knowledge, as advanced skills. I sent the message that I was not afraid to be a little bit different and people saw me as talented for having created something that they liked. I wouldn’t say this image was consistent with my identity so much as it helped me, as an insecure high school student, to develop my identity.
Monday, October 4, 2010
This outfit is from a visit to the Middle East in July and August of 2001. We went to Iran to visit my Dad’s family and we visited many places around the country. In this picture my mom and I are standing in front of a mosque in the holy city of Ghom. There are very strict rules in Iran about women practicing modesty and “guarding their virtue”. In Iran’s Holy City, and especially in the mosques there, the dress codes are even more strict. Not only would it have been disrespectful for a woman to be dressed like a “Westerner”, but it was against the law and we would have been in a lot of trouble.
For me, this was quite an unpleasant experience. Although the mosque was beautiful and the experience of being there was unlike any other, I was very uncomfortable in the strange clothing and burning up hot in the summer sun. I was twelve years old at the time, and very close-minded. I was self-conscious in the long black shawl. When I saw myself I thought it looked strange, although I fit in to my surroundings much better with it on than I would have without it. By donning the uniform of those around me, I was sending a message of respect for their laws and culture. This style of dress identifies ethnicity, gender roles, and religious ideas which, in Iran, also tie into political beliefs. It also identifies a rite of passage, as girls do not start wearing “hijab”, or the scarves covering their head and neck, until they are about eight or nine years old.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
When asked to write about myself and my interest in fashion, I don’t know exactly where to begin. As a person, I am still searching. When it comes to fashion, I pull inspiration from many places, and then use that inspiration to motivate myself to accomplish my goals.
Who am I? I am the type of person that is impossible to describe in a few words. I am originally from Alabama, and so much about the culture of the South is what makes me who I am. Big hair, sweet tea, college football, and chatting with strangers in line at the grocery store are some of my favorite things that I could never do without. But as much as I love my roots, I have been a California girl for quite a while now as well, and lazy beach days, heart shaped sunglasses, and carne asada burritos are just as much a part of me as the charms of Dixie. I lead a full and busy life. I go to school full time, work two part time jobs, and also volunteer as a Pop Warner cheer coach. I thrive under stress and love the adrenaline rush of seeing hard work pay off. I work hard and I play hard, but the trick is making it all look easy.
My fashion inspiration comes from an infinite number of sources. I read fashion blogs and magazines, watch television, and follow twitter, but most of my inspiration comes from other cultures, history, or what is around me. I love taking the fashions from other places or the past and bringing them back in a more modern or relatable way. History truly does repeat itself, especially when it comes to fashion. I also always have my eyes open to the people around me. If I like something that I see on someone else, I will find a way to work it into one of my own outfits in my own way. I believe fashion is about adaptation and evolution. It is something that is constantly changing, just like myself.
I decided to take fashion classes because I want to learn as much as I can about the industry before I dive into it. I also want to learn about all of the different jobs within the industry so that I can decide what exactly that it is I want to do. I have always been a visual person and fashion has always come so naturally to me as a way to express myself. What one puts on in the morning can alter their mood to make or break their entire day. Fashion is something that involves the entire world, because everyone wears clothes. There are so many opportunities for those who are willing to work hard. I dream of a job that I am excited to get up and go to every day, and working in something you are passionate about is the best way to find that.
Overall, there are so many aspects of my life that connect me to fashion. My visually driven thought process and penchant for hard work and hectic days make me perfect for the fashion industry. I draw inspiration from everything around me and everything I wish was around me. As for who I am, I believe that we never really know. Just like the fashion industry, we are each constantly changing. There is a season for everything.
From the time I was very young, I already knew how to express myself through my clothing. Even as a three-year-old I knew what I liked, and when I found something I liked, I wore it to death. Two examples, shown above, are a pair of white cowboy boots, and a dress infamously known in my family as “the bubble dress”. Both of these were not always appropriate for the occasions on which I wore them. The bubble dress is seen here over a pair of footy pajamas because I loved this dress so incredibly much that I would not even take it off to go to bed. It was also a little bit too fancy for preschool and a little bit too skimpy for winters in upstate New York, where we lived at the time. I also have memories of countless temper tantrums thrown over the cowboy boots, which I always insisted on putting on myself, even if that meant they were being worn on the wrong feet, like in the above picture (bless my poor mother’s heart!). I wore holes into the soles of those boots and my mother and I searched high and low until we found a pair to replace them.
As a child, I would say if I had been conscious of my image, I probably would have been happy with it. I have always loved being in the spotlight and the way I dressed as a little kid definitely got me lots of attention. I probably sent the message that I was very eclectic, energetic, and happy, which were all true. Because I was so little, the reactions I got were mostly people thinking it was cute that I was dressing myself so boldly. I probably used these pieces of clothing as protection. Because they were pieces that I felt confident in, I felt more secure, which is an important feeling for kids and probably what caused me to always want to be wearing the things that made me comfortable.