Without warning or anticipation, things change.
I have weathered a good 10 years of change with this brand.
It's all in how you handle change that makes it life altering.
Sometimes it comes in the form of an experience...I never really shared with anyone what encouraged me or what has changed me throughout the years. This blog is to make everything come full circle, to be personal and creative, honest and ambitious.
So here we go...
When I was maybe 13 I spent the day in Manhattan with my mom; That was a somewhat common thing as we lived an hour and a half train ride away in Connecticut. Anywho, this particular time stood out to me. Take Subway 6 downtown from Grand Central to Astorplace. Step off the subway and past the underground grocery stores. Up the stairs. To the left you see a giant metal square, like a square inside a square inside another, maybe 16 on each side. Freakin huge. Walk that way. Few more blocks. And right behind Ray's famous pizza place (where I met Ashlee Simpson, long side story there...but I digress)
You happen upon Saint Mark's Place, East Village. Think serious 80's punk, this is where mohawks and black and white stripes live. This is where you can't percisely tell whether or not the "human" you're looking at is male or female...or human... This is where you can buy the most amazing socks on one side of the street and get burgers in a vending machine next to it. After a typical "I LOVE NEW YORK" store and a few others with a bit more personality, you practically walk into a gothic wonderland. The old Saint Mark's Hotel. You have two paths you can take...downstairs to Trash, upstairs to Vaudeville.
Welcome to the fifth dimension that changed my life, otherwise known as Trash & Vaudeville. Two separate stores forming into one entity. It's odd, I know, I say a store changed my life, but you wouldn't understand unless you've seen for yourself, for it's not so much a physical place, a simple structue - no. It is a culture, a personality that slaps you right in the face. Among the multi colored fur coats covered in belts and buckles, the dressing rooms curiously decorated to almost emanate drag queens and the glass cases of jewelry that screams for my mother's heart - titanium skulls and skeleton rings, tarantula necklaces (which were completely adorned in rhinestones - that itself screamed for my own heart)...and then there he is. I swear you would've thought he was Iggy Pop, same hair and style, and yet it is like he is ten times more famous. His name is Jimmy Webb. To this day, he's never known how much he impacted me.
Jimmy led me around pulling clothes from racks like he had a genetic predisposition view of my soul. I swear, fashion and beauty, your complete outward appearance is only a small indication of your soul (you starting to see why I design, eh?) I walk inside the drag queen dressing room and try on corset after corset, tutu skirts and the tightest most bad ass pink jeans only Cyndi Lauper could understand. After working Vaudeville like it was my runway, the sad truth set in for me. How can I dress to show who I am on the inside if I can barely afford the train ticket?
I'm only scratching the surface of this entity Trash & Vaudeville. Even though I am in Florida now, the East Village will always be my true home. It is the only physical place that matches the person I am. You will know where you physically belong when your soul feels at peace, that was it for me. My mom took me back home and the next day we journeyed out to a fabric store. I had no idea what I was doing, but then again somehow I knew. I'll never forget the fabric: black with pink polka dots. Black mesh, like the tutu I fell in love with, and soft black denim. Alone for the day, with no training, only the idea of how to hand sew I began to cut up these pieces to fit my body.
There it was. My very first creation, black across the hips, polka dot skirt with black mesh underneath. And so it begins...
This is the most insight I have given as to how it all began.
I will post when it feels right, whatever may be going on. From videos to fashion updates to what's on my mind.
Let's get personal my friends...