Pride Patches & Joy: Learning to Live in Color

Vibrant color stories are not part of my everyday life. My design aesthetic, my personal wardrobe, and even my favorite colors are devoid of bold color choices. This preference dates back to hyper-masculine brainwashing of the 90’s. Back when television, magazines, and newspapers ruled the social zeitgeist, it was fairly taboo to stray from the status quo. As an obviously queer kid, I already faced many critiques on my walk, voice, interests, or favorite colors (generally of a brighter spectrum) which were rewritten to suit the gender binary’s rigid rules. To survive, I learned to compartmentalize my personality for those who’d mind and only revealed my true self to those who I’d trusted fully.

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A JEAN-IUS COLLABORATION

There’s something incredible about the creative process. A spark of inspiration takes an idea from your brain to a sketch on paper and with proper tools you can materialize it into something tangible. It’s not until I find a sketch of a finished project that I realize how mind blowing it is to birth an object from my brain into reality. The only thing I love more than being an artist, is collaborating with other artists. Today I’m highlighting a collaboration with friends (Jenna James, an incredibly talented photographer, and AJ, who made her modeling debut) to bring my denim patchwork trench dress to life.

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Upcycled Denim Trench Dress: Conquering a Rough Patch(work)

I was eager to pursue fashion after sewing my first upcycled project. I researched Seattle’s fashion scene and found Chance Fashion, a non-profit which organized monthly runways for new or up-and-coming fashion designers. I saw an Alternative Fashion & Clubwear runway on their calendar and paid to reserve my spot immediately. I sketched out a mini collection featuring upcycled, recycled, and non-conventional looks but miscommunications and misleading e-mails led to forfeiting my spot. I was devastated and avoided my sewing machine for months. When I found my sketches again, something clicked – why wait for an opportunity when I could make my own?

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