Art Vs. Craft

On the final day of my drawing class, a classmate eagerly pursued me and asked, “Can I draw you in class today?”  He seemed intrigued as his eyes looked over my features, not that I got the sense he was necessarily pursuing me romantically.  Instead he seemed to be taking me on like a challenge, but I wasn’t sure what the challenge was.  “Sure,” I responded, shrugging my shoulders and not thinking much about it.  I didn’t think more on it as I concentrated on drawing another classmate, until I saw the final result.  It hit me hard.  It wasn’t that it was terrible.  It was that the drawing was so accurate my heart jumped.  I couldn’t believe how I looked.  He perfectly captured my large dark brown Italian pupils perched in the narrow Epicanthic folds of my eyelids.  I always thought I looked Mediterranean, but never Asian.  “I look Japanese,” I replied in shock.  He took this as an offense, but that wasn’t the problem.  It surprised me that someone could capture me so well.  Other students tried, and some were close, but none had drawings like this final result.  Continue Reading ›

Sustainable and Ethical Fashion for Summer

Main PhotoIf you follow fashion bloggers, by now you’ve seen many posts featuring popular looks and styles as well as endorsements for products this summer. There’s a lot of different trends, fashions, and styles out there, eager for your purchase, but before you make your purchase, I’d urge you to consider a few principles I’ve adopted from sustainable and ethical fashion. Why should that matter? After completing Tortoise and Lady Grey’s 20-Day Sustainable Fashion Challenge and considering other challenges like The 30×30 Capsule Wardrobe Challenge discussed on Celeste Fohl’s blog Bookish & Belle, I’m beginning to see how little I need in my wardrobe to be stylish. As an advocate of sustainable and ethical fashion, I’ve found the importance of reducing waste and supporting companies and organizations that use natural dyes, recycled materials, and provide fair treatment for their workers. Hearing this description, you probably think sustainable and ethical fashion is for Hippies, or its support of eco-friendly practices means it’s ugly. This actually isn’t the case. To show you what I mean, I’ve created some outfits to show you how you can use certain principles from sustainable and ethical fashion to create fun, fashionable summer outfits.

For each outfit, these are the guidelines I’ve set for myself to incorporate sustainable and ethical fashion:

  • Using items already in my wardrobe instead of purchasing.
  • Purchase new only from sustainable and ethical companies.
  • Purchase from second-hand shops.
  • Make items for my wardrobe.
  • Mend and repair items, instead of throwing them out.
  • Repurpose wardrobe items into another piece of clothing or other item.

With each purchase I’ll also list prices and companies so you know where you can shop and how affordable it can be. If I make something, I’ll also indicate where I plan on using leftover scraps so you can see that each piece of fabric is used. Last but not least, if I have something already from my wardrobe, I’ll share how many years I’ve had it so you can see how timeless, classic pieces have longevity and can enhance your wardrobe. Even if I don’t all of these principles in my post, I’ll have them handy for future outfits so you can see how to do the same with your wardrobe. So, without further hesitation, let’s begin! Continue Reading ›

How Travel and Costumes Led to My Involvement in Sustainable and Ethical Fashion

As a costume technician buried in a garment while frantically hand-sewing or coordinating quick-changes to assist actors with costume changes backstage as a dresser, I had always chosen to work for specific companies for their location. Whether it was to be near family and friends or explore what the area had to offer, I was ready for a travel adventure. After working many places from the colorful deserts of Utah to the mountains of Boulder to the beautiful San Diego, I felt the need to keep wandering. While becoming a wandering nomad sounded amazing, I wanted more than travel from place to place—I wanted a purpose attached. My passion to discover and learn about traditional ethnic clothing combined with my pursuits of culture through local fashion magazines was a start, but I needed more direction. Then, my answer arrived. A colleague suggested an area I had seen, but never considered—fair trade crafts. But fair trade was only the beginning as I learned more about sustainable and ethical fashion. What made this industry so appealing? Here are a few connections to show you what made me a part of sustainable and ethical fashion. Continue Reading ›

10 Things To Do After Fashion Revolution Day

Now that millions have asked major fashion brands, “Who made my clothes?” and Fashion Revolution Day has passed, your next question might be, “Now what?” You’ve turned your clothes inside-out, you’ve tagged fashion companies in your Social Media posts, and you’re ready for what’s next. It may seem like a lot has been done for Fashion Revolution Day, but the work has only begun. So, what can you do to continue to advocate for change in the fashion industry? Consider a few of these steps to show your support for a more ethical and eco-conscious world: Continue Reading ›

Stylish Sustainable Fashion for Backstage

Wearing black for work doesn’t seem like the most stylish option or what Heidi Klum would refer to as “Fashion Forward.” Most of the time I opt for simple pieces, wearing a pair of earrings on occasion or throwing on a jogging jacket and wishing I had a scarf for extra warmth. Since technicians are not supposed to be seen or heard, we often don’t think to dress with style in mind, but after my involvement with Tortoise and Lady Grey’s 20-Day Sustainable Fashion Challenge and seeing a few fashionable ideas from Wig Assistants backstage, I’ve found there might be a way for self-expression to still flourish. But, before I go on a giant shopping spree, I’ve kept the ideas of Sustainable Fashion in mind including mending/repairing, reusing/purchasing second-hand, and purchasing locally or from sustainable brands. Eco-Warrior Princess sums up additional ideas in her post “The 5 Often Forgotten R’s of Eco-Friendly Fashion,” which can give a clear idea of how to use what you have instead of over-consuming. In the following outfits, I’ll show you how I kept sustainability and style in mind by indicating what I used and mended in my current wardrobe, what I purchased second-hand (including price), what I purchased from sustainable brands (also including price), and what I made myself to create fashionable outfits for work backstage: Continue Reading ›