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Project Runway

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.


Alumni Posts

Making It Work

by Alumni Posts on October 10, 2011

in Academics

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


Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.