A dream of mine came true this week. I was able to meet a local St. Louis designer featured on the hit show Project Runway! If you have never seen the show, then you must be living under a rock (and obviously not a very fashionable rock). Haha!
In case you haven’t seen the show, it is a chance for up and coming designers to make clothing based on various themes, limitations, and time restrictions in order to keep things interesting. Famous designers, models and fashion icons like Michael Kors and Heidi Klum critique the clothing at the end of each challenge. It is a very fast paced and exciting show.
Remember AJ Thouvenot from Season 8? He was known for his outlandish garments usually equipped with lots of colors, patterns, and various embellishments. Believe it or not, he was a guest speaker in my FAS205.01 Apparel Production and Evaluation course at Fontbonne last week.
I could hardly contain my excitement when AJ flew through the door, carrying five shirts from his men’s collection and a short, gunmetal grey dress covered with intricate embellishments. It was AWESOME! I was eyeing something that was once only an idea and now a tangible piece of wearable art.
AJ spoke about his life, project runway, his inspirations (rock and roll is one of them, which I adore) and his current brand. He said one thing that stood out to me. I nervously raised my hand and asked what advice he would give someone wanting to pursue a career in the fashion industry. He paused for a second and told me to take every opportunity. He answered, “Even if you think you aren’t ready…just do it. Do it even if you have to fake it. Fake it until you make it! You never know when you’ll be able to get that opportunity again if ever.” His words were a definite sign to me. I try to take as many opportunities as I can, but I always question if I’m ready. AJ’s advice inspired me to take every opportunity and jump right in. You never know what you will miss if you only dip your toes in!
Check out AJ’s creative designs at http://www.andyjdesigns.com
Last week, I blogged about Fall 2014 St. Louis Fashion Week coming to a close. Even though that has ended, there have still been plenty of fashion news and events to focus on.
The only TV show that I watch is “Project Runway.” No matter how busy I become, I always take that one hour a week to catch up on my fashion reality TV. Because I am involved in the fashion industry, and because I have seen every episode, I feel like I have an ode to “Project Runway.” The finale of season 13 just aired, which I something that every fan looks forward to. I was extremely excited to find out that Sean Kelly was the winner. He has been my favorite all along. So I was a bit emotional when he was crowned his much-deserved title. I have quite an attachment to the contestants and will continue to follow their careers, especially Sean’s.
Speaking of fashion reality TV, there is also a show called “Under the Gunn.” Shan Keith, a fashion designer from St. Louis, was a contestant on there. He recently hosted a show at Plush, which is a neat entertainment venue in downtown St. Louis. All of the models in his show are from Centro, which is the agency that I intern at. Staff at Centro received complimentary tickets. It was a different perspective being able to see the show from the front, since I am typically working backstage. I was very impressed with his collection. Also, it was a great bonding experience with the my internship company.
They say “as one door closes, another one opens.” That is the case with St. Louis Fashion Week. I am excited to say that I have been asked to work for Spring 2015 St. Louis Fashion Week. I will be working with a lot of the same team members from the fall productions. They were a great group to work with, and I am looking forward to being with them again. Meetings already begin for that this week!
I’ll be sure to keep you all updated as my fashion world continues.
Sean Kelly and one of his winning looks
Myself with Sarah, the director of Centro Models
Once again, I was provided with an amazing opportunity, thanks to the fashion merchandising department here at Fontbonne. With my Advanced Apparel Production and Evaluation class, we visited a local fashion designers’ studio. His name is A.J. Thouvenot, and he was a competitor on Project Runway a few years ago (which is the only TV show I have seen every single second of). I was fortunate enough to meet him last year when he was a guest speaker for a different class. I also assisted with dressing his models during his show at St. Louis Fashion Week in Delmar Loop this past fall.
Despite the fact that I’ve encountered A.J. a couple times already, I still learned a lot from him. He lives in an apartment complex in downtown St. Louis that is housing solely for artists. So, we got to see some of the crafts and tools used by the various residents. Then, we toured the space where he designs and constructs garments. He showed us inspiration mood boards, how he makes clothing patterns, unique printing methods, etc. A.J. also discussed some of the marketing and number-crunching work involved in running your own business. I am impressed by his knowledge and the amount of work he invests into his business. After class was formally over, I stuck around for a little bit longer so I could ask him some questions. And, I got a better look at some of the garments he has made. I felt like some of the looks were created just for me. His aesthetic is very colorful, funky, and playful just like mine.
I am always so grateful of the places I get to go and the people I get to meet, thanks to the wonderful faculty at Fontbonne. From studying abroad to exploring NYC to working backstage at Fashion Week, I feel like I’m living the life. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to A.J. and being surrounded by his creative work and outgoing personality. He is definitely an inspiration, causing me to believe that fantasies can be turned into a reality.
This is the dress, designed and constructed by A.J. Thouvenot, that I tried on at his studio.
I was watching Project Runway last night and Tim Gunn told a contestant to “Stop thinking and start feeling.” Wow, that statement hit me like a ton of bricks. What would I do if I spent my days feeling more than I had to think? Would I be a better Christian, spouse, mom, friend or student?
I know that if I would “stop thinking and start feeling” when it came to my personal relationships it would probably be true as much as it would as it came to my role of being a student.
I recently took a midterm in a class that I have this semester. Before hand I took and re-wrote my notes, wrote out how to mathematically find out different assessments. On top of that I re-read the powerpoints the professor had given and then read through any papers I had submitted. All this took more time than was allotted for the online test but I wanted to make sure that I was properly prepared. When it came to taking the test all that mattered were the things that I already knew and could answer (thankfully a good portion of the test). But there were two questions that I held back on and kept thinking about because what I initially thought or felt just couldn’t be right. So, by the end of the test I had second guessed those initial feelings about what answer was correct and selected a different one. Well, one of the neat things about online quizzes and tests is that you can click OK and see what you scored with most of the test. By now you probably have guessed that if I had just went with my feeling about the questions, I would have answered correctly, but because I thought about them they were incorrect.
I think so many times we overthink and analyze things in school or our lives and become stressed. I know that I always seem to “make it work,” another Tim Gunn saying. I need to learn to “feel” the gratitude for the gift that God gave me for my continued education in the Pathways program, the brain that I have that retains knowledge from the classes, and the ability to organize my notes and thoughts .
Blessings on Your Week- Sherry