Thursday, November 03, 2005


violet silk dress   red-violet foldover turtleneck sweater

as some of you may know, i am currently in school, studying fashion design. fashion design has been a passion of mine for as long as i could remember. i can barely remember my childhood friends and most of my early adventures as i age, but i can clearly recall dresses i wore as a little girl: the white, lacy first communion dress, the little red puff-sleeved affair with the chambray blue pinafore over it that i wore in second grade, the corduroy knickers that were a hand-me-down from my maternal cousins, the grey size 5 heels i insisted on wearing at school at age nine. those memories of those objects of personal adornment are crystal clear in my (seemingly one-track) mind. :)

i began thrifting in high school, and i used thrifting as a way to extend my extremely limited clothes budget, and simultaneously expand my wardrobe exponentially. it was a way to be able to dress different than my peers, to have special pieces that no one else had, and it let me be able to dress differently every day.

over the years, i educated myself on designers, clothing construction, fabrics, costume history and the like. and thrifting became more than just buying what i liked, more than just a way to expand my wardrobe. it also became a little adventure where i found myself searching out items that had been discarded due to the whims and whiles of current fashion. i found myself attracted to items with interesting details, intriguing colors or patterns, and the like, no matter what era they originally hailed from. sometimes those items inspire me when making my own designs...and that's part of why i find them, and the act of thrifting so delightful.

i have come to have no shame about what i love and feel drawn's an inner voice, a decree from my own personal thrift gods. i try items on, follow my heart and heed my inherently sharp eye, and buy them. i throw them together with old and new pieces from my closet and go. i like getting feedback on my clothing decisions, on these old pieces i unearth, just like when i make a item myself.

i can't help a fashion person, someone fascinated by the whiles and whims and details of fashion, i feel compelled to experiment. to try, and to find out if i will succeed or fail. i feel that one has to take risks, or they'll never push things forward.

it's fun, and it's really research, this trying out old styles, and getting other's feedback. while i always try to follow my own muse, i still feel that it is really important. if other people don't believe in the possibilities, then how can i sell my vision later? it's up to me to root through the old, great stuff, pick out what i perceive to be the gems, and give them a go. i love it when i find something, try it out, and the trend for it emerges later. it's fascinating.

and i implore others to experiment similarly: i mean, really, most thrifts are almost giving clothes away at a pittance. therefore, it's worth giving something old a new life, another run. even if there's a question, just try it! you might find yourself on the cusp on a new trend! as i always say, it's all in how you mix it, really. sometimes the ugly can become beautiful if one styles them with panache. you must be able to see the possibilities, have no fear, and most of all, be bold.


jenny vorwaller said...

oh trish. if its weren't almost the middle of the night, i would go in search of my next ensemble right now.

i think there should be some thrist stores open 24 hours a day for just this purpose.

sue said...

trish, i think we share the same brain! no kidding, i feel the same way about fashion, especially creating my own style without paying attention to trends!!!

i wish we all lived closer - what fun would that be?!?!

jenny vorwaller said...

it would be great to have a tag sale tales meetup, getaway, hangout!