I know I'm studying fashion because:
1. The person next to me is wearing an outfit with a net worth of $3,000. The Italian leather handbag costs about $2,000 and all the other pieces add up. "Affordable" has a whole new meaning; $200 is a cheap price for a white t-shirt, and nobody ever seems to brags about their latest thrifty purchases. Of course this isn't true for all of us, but more than a few students are seen wearing designer brands and beautiful custom clothing. Luxury is appreciated because we know how things are made.
2. I spent way too much time drawing flats last weekend. As a designer we draw flats. This allows us to clearly communicate our ideas to the patternmakers and move forward to the sampling and production stage. It helps us analyze clothing and assess the practicality of a design. They are hand-drawn detailed illustrations; perfect flats will always be time consuming no matter how experienced you are. They are a necessary evil.
3. Many people will viscously gossip because the industry is competitive. We are taught that only the best, most hardworking, talented designers make it; that mentality fosters competition and encourages battle. Designers will forever and always, (even if it's unintentional) put everybody else down to make themselves feel secure in their ideas. What nobody seems to realize is that we all need each other because no designer does it alone; other designers are the most inspiring human beings to us.
4. Images seen on advertisements, scenes in movies, antiques, and other miscellaneous objects evoke emotion and become thematic. As one begins creating collection after collection, concepts can stem from any source. I could be in a restaurant, look at the presentation of my food and know exactly what my next collection is going to be centered around. It can't be explained and the eye for it cannot be taught, it can only be pushed and developed.
5. I started consistently drawing on diner napkins to get an idea out of my head. My brain is constantly looking at my surroundings, observing my environment, and listening to what others are saying, The most random comments and quotes can inspire a complete a look or give you design direction and you have to right it down so you don't forget. There's always a pen and notebook in my purse for quick notes and sketches.
6. It's an expectation that I know every designer and their latest show front to back. How can I talk about achieving greatness if I'm not looking at the masters of the trade? We learn by observation and progress by having intellectual conversations about these shows.
7. My muslin will get ripped up at least once, and the seam ripper has become my best friend. This has not personally happened to me yet but I've heard plenty of stories about ripped up garments. I've ripped out my own stitches plenty of times due to the fact that I'm striving for a higher standard. The professors and mentors aren't telling you to redo it for no reason, they want and know we can do better.
8. My dream changes on a daily basis because I can't ever decide where exactly I fit in this industry. I change my mind everyday about what I want to do after I graduate; until I'm actually in the industry I won't know where I fit in. We don't all want to be the next Dior, and we don't all want to be gown designers. Only experience will show what environments I like and dislike. Finding a niche in the industry that allows me to freely express my creative voice is where I belong.
9. I have realized that I don't have enough money to do what you want to do in life, so I've started thinking about how I'm going to get that money. Fashion.is.expensive. If you don't have a family member who is significantly affluent or an investor backing your startup there's no way you'll ever make it. So many fashion designers fail because they don't know anything about how to run a business. They spend their funds within a year and file for bankruptcy. So the question is how can us young designers avoid that? It's my goal to discover a way to still make this dream happen while being an average middle-class girl from the midwest.
10. I've been broken down and built back up to be a strong, humble, and fierce designer. There are many sleepless nights to look forward to. There are negative critiques that send you into the, "why do I even do this" mentality. There are mean people who will steal ideas and hate you for doing well. There are nice people that will cheer you on; they keep you going when I think you can't. There are mentors who show us that the childhood dream is attainable and they teach us how to get there. And there is passion. There is passion unlike any other. Upon graduation we will be strong, creative, and fierce designers who are ready to make a mark on the world. We are beaten down to be recreated; we are forced to find ourselves.
That's why I do fashion.