Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Finding My Forte

The Fashion Designer
So Near Yet Sew Far

From the time I was was old enough to hold a pencil, I have been designing clothes. Newspaper, old notebooks, scraps of paper, I would draw on anything I could get hold of.  I would design fairytale dresses for my dolls, couture for my future runway shows & outfits I'd like to wear myself. I knew that, without a doubt, I was going to become a fashion designer someday. I was enthralled by the imaginative world of fashion, sketching, colour, fabric & design. I love the way beautiful clothes can make an ordinary girl (like me) feel extraordinary. This was what I loved doing, it was my only ambition & I enjoyed every minute of it. So, fashion design must be my calling, right?

Well, at 10 years old, my dream was going to get a kickstart, as I took up sewing classes in school. I could barely contain my excitement, as once I had learnt how to sew, I could bring my designs to life. That is pretty much where the dream turned into a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. Sewing was not as glamourous & simple as I expected it to be. It took me over 20 minutes to thread a needle, my stitching was appalling & my fabric was massacred by the sewing machine. I couldn't even cut the material straight, let alone a ready-made pattern.

If Needlework was an examinable subject, I would get an 'F' on my report & be banned from returning to class; as I had put this textile art to shame. If zigzag hemlines, lopsided pockets, missing button-holes & asymmetrical pants were fashionable, then maybe I would have a chance. However, 'Raggedy' will never be a trend and sewing is definitely not my forte. I had a flair for design, but lacked the talent to tailor. Unfortunately for me, in order to be a fashion designer, you have to be able to sew.

Although my hopes were dashed, I continued designing. Hundreds of designs and ten years later, I decided to study Fashion Merchandising. It was the closest thing to fashion design, without having any pins and needles involved. I've realised that even though you may love doing something, in reality, you may not be very good at it. However, there are always alternate ways to make your passion a part of your life.

Some Fashionable Careers: Retail Merchandising, Fashion Photography, Textile design, Pattern drafting, Modelling, Catwalk Choreography, being a Stylist, Fashion Editor, Design Technician or Seamstress and of course, a Fashion Designer. (Just as long as you can sew.)

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