When I was in middle school, my English teacher, Mrs. Baringer gave us an awesome extra credit assignment for a class at St. Thomas More Middle School on Hillcroft Road in Houston, Texas. I loved Mrs. Baringer and I actually dated her son Daniel when we were in middle school and I hung with him in college when he went to West Point. Daniel Baringer is actually now an FBI special agent in Bend, Oregon. Anyway, Mrs. Baringer had us make over a witch. The witch needed a new outfit.
I was ecstatic about the assignment. I decided to create lots and lots of outfits for the witch. My inspiration was the movie, Clueless. I had just seen Clueless and I absolutely loved Cher’s clothes so of course my witch’s clothes was to be designed in the style that Cher, the star of Clueless would wear.
After that extra credit assignment I continued to design clothes and after that I decided to sew my own clothes. By the time I entered high school, fashion had taken over my free time and I decided I would not become a lawyer anymore. I designed clothes in study hall and made clothes after school. My Mom and my lovely Russian friend, Ella wore my clothes. Seeing my designs on them was thrilling.
In the fall of freshman year in high school, my Dad took me to see Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Pratt was a school that offered fashion design as a major and was located at the fashion hub, New York City.
I loved Pratt, but by senior year I decided to major in photography instead and attend Rochester Institute of Technology. I have to admit that part of the decision was because I did not want to leave my friends in Rochester, New York. When I started my photography courses at RIT I was a bit sad because fashion was my passion, but then at that point I was dreaming of becoming a fashion photographer perhaps.
When I was in high school though I wanted to be a famous, successful fashion designer like Coco Chanel. I had read her biography and had seen her designs. I loved how she freed women from restrictive clothing and instead had them wear comfortable yet stylish clothes. To this day I like to learn about Coco Chanel. She had a mysterious past. She was an orphan who later became one of the most successful fashion designers in history. I am currently reading another biography about Coco Chanel and have seen the French movie, Coco Before Chanel starring Audrey Tatou.
I liked and still like to look through the Chanel website to see their latest designs. I also like to watch fashion shows on Youtube. Fashion is one of those things that’s just in my blood. I do not shop at expensive clothing stores, but from time to time I like to pretend I am a personal shopper with an unlimited budget provided by my imaginary client. I go shopping for my pretend client on the Internet and take screen grabs of my favorite outfits and match them with shoes, bags, and sunglasses.
My favorite sites to go to for creating the perfect outfit for my imaginary clients are Chanel, Gucci, and Versace. I have been posting the “perfect outfits” I have styled on Facebook and Twitter and sometimes I create a post about them on WordPress. I hope to someday inspire others to love fashion and perhaps they may want to be a fashion designer.
In a way, fashion was my savior in my teen years. It kept me busy reading Vogue magazines, looking at fashion websites, and creating clothes for my friends and family. Many of my friends and family did not know until about a year ago that I was still in love with fashion design. They could not tell because I typically wear t-shirts and jeans and I never talked about the topic of fashion. I always felt like if I mention how beautiful the new Gucci collection was my family and friends would think less of me because I liked clothes that were extremely expensive. I thought they might think I was shallow and materialistic.
After reading many fashion blogs I decided to come out of the closet with my passion for fashion and take screen grabs of the “perfect outfits” and post them on Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress. I liked how I was sparking my flame for fashion even though I was just taking screen grabs of beautiful clothes and pairing them with the perfect accessories. I will be posting lots more “perfect outfits” on my social networking sites. I hope ya’ll enjoy them and become inspired to follow your burning flame for fashion. I want to be that person to ignite the creativity in others.
Check out audio of me talking about my blog post above on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/m-therese-alanzado-lawlor/fashion-designing-by-therese-lawlor