As a self-taught fashion designer, there are plenty of insecurities many of us have when it comes to showcasing our talent to the "formal" fashion industry. A lot of times our talent is portrayed as too "raw" or "undefined" to be seen by the likes of those who were formally trained in fashion. So, when the first Fashion Anarchy competition was launched, at first glance I cringed. I wasn't sure if I was "good enough" to showcase my work to the masses at that level. However last year, I pushed my insecurities aside and went for it. It was an OVERWHELMING experience that I almost couldn't complete. I received constructive feedback from leading industry professionals, and it felt amazing to get positive feedback as a self-taught designer.
Fast forward to 2020, and it was teased that Fashion Anarchy: Relaunched was in the works! I was so excited but concerned of how this event would succeed with the current pandemic. I applied as a competing designer anyway, in hopes that maybe the pandemic would subside, or they would figure out a creative way to still have the competition. Shortly after, I was told I was chosen for the first round of competitors, and the competition would be showcased virtually! For those not familiar with the competition, here are the rules:
· You will have 48 hours to design a look based on the assigned theme
· The look must be designed in the provided work space
· The look must be designed with the chosen fabrics donated from KDR Showrooms
The designers were told that this round’s theme would be “2020 Time Capsule”. We had to create a look that represented a major event(s) of 2020. Examples given were COVID-19, Pride, #BLM, etc. Immediately I knew that I wanted to design a look that represented the Black Lives Matter movement. Due to COVID we were unable to choose our fabrics in person, so we received pictures of 15 different fabric swatches to choose from. The fabrics I chose were very reminiscent of Ankara print fabrics, that went along with my theme. We also were able to bring in supplemental materials, so I chose to purchase utility webbing straps and buckles, typically used for making backpacks/duffel bags. I went into the challenge having a very clear idea of how I wanted my finished look to come across. I wanted to garment to read both power and ultra-feminine. I wanted to show a classic silhouette and add the “battle” aspect by how I utilized the utility straps. The picture you see on this blog post is what I was able to produce in 48 hours. I am BEYOND proud of the finished look. It was the first time in a long time that my vision became a reality, it was a humbling experience. After showcasing my look to the judges and explaining it’s meaning, the judges deliberated and chose me as the winner of round 1. A am beyond excited that I won, and even more excited for what the next round will bring. For the first time ever I felt not only did I belong, but my voice, vision, and over aesthetic as a designer needs to be seen and heard. Thanks to all those that supported the event by purchasing a ticket. Make sure you stay tuned in at Brainchild Events to see the finale in November and who is announced the winner.