The Dormant Designer

I had to ask myself: Do I want to be a designer or do I just want to design my own custom wardrobe? The Answer was: BOTH!!

    As I think back to what sparked the fashion bug in me, I guess it’s always been there....patiently lying dormant in the cut, marinating, and brewing in my mind, choosing only to spontaneously manifest itself when some purchased garment didn’t compliment my “top heavy” figure. Yes, folks, there I was hunched over on my bed with needle and thread trying to alter my 8th grade prom dress to fit “the girls” (peace, to W.H. Atwell Middle School). That was before I even knew what a thimble was, but my poor punctured fingers understood the need to compliment our figure, so they soldiered on in true sweat shop form. Well, the dress was….ehhh…but it was never that great to begin with, but if I was going to rock it, it was going to have to fit.

    And thus, my friends, was the beginning of a very long love-hate relationship with sewing. It became something I was good at, but hated to do. That was around the time the movie Boomerang came out and I was so obsessed with Robin Givens’ corporate attire in the movie, that I began fantasizing about what I would wear to my office….when I grew up. But it didn’t stop there; with a corporate position comes cocktail hours, business dinners and special events that all require a killer wardrobe (I know, I’m such a dreamer).

    But even at that point, it never occurred to me that I should be a designer. Not once. I thought I’d get a degree in Advertising or Marketing and name lipsticks all day for some company…really, I did. (Actually, I still want to name lipsticks, but I digress…).

    So life went on, I graduated and went to college, as you’re “supposed” to do. And it was right about then that the fashion bug evolved into the design bug, but it was still just a bug; it wasn’t the full blown flu. What was the catalyst, you ask? Boredom. There I was the summer after freshman year at my telemarketing job and somehow this just did not feel like the road to the Lady Eloise/Chantrese lifestyle (you’ll catch that later) I had envisioned for myself. So when I wasn’t on the phone, I sketched outfits….lots of outfits. A good number of them never made it onto paper, but they sat like parasites in my brain consuming my mind, my time and my desire to do anything else. I was going to become a designer or BUST.

    Well that epiphany was all peaches, but the great abyss that lay between my current situation and my dream was full of crap: student loans, boring jobs and broke pockets. But I dabbled in design with what could only be described as a monstrosity that today I’m still ashamed to claim (sorry Curtis, lol).

    Then, I managed to get a great position at a great company that had nothing to do with fashion, but it paid the bills and I loved the group I worked with….oh yeah and I made it my business to rock every great look I had in my wardrobe everyday, even though the attire was “business casual”…..very casual. Yes, indeed folks, I made that employee parking lot my own personal runway every morning, feeling like a billion bucks. The only problem was: I’d exhausted my own wardrobe and was bored with it.

    See, most people only “dress up” for special occasions, so they never wear half the clothes in their closets. Not I. I never cared how over-the-top my attire was, because it was always appropriate. After all, this is Dallas, there’s no such thing as an overdressed woman! Plus I’ve never been the kind of person to wait on a special occasion to do anything: dress up, celebrate, eat on the good dishes…lol. Life itself is reason enough for me to celebrate; after all, we ain’t gon’ be here forever!

    So what do you do when you’ve exhausted all your current wardrobe options (ladies, help me out, here)? GO SHOPPING! Yes, so I took my new and improved corporate salary to every place I couldn’t afford when I was broke and guess what: NOTHING. Nothing appealed to me; nothing spoke to my sense of fashion. I couldn’t believe it!!!!!! But the problem was not that they didn’t anything nice. The problem was that I had shown up at the best stores with a preconceived collection in my head that I assumed some other designer had produced already, at least something similar. But I was wrong, not just once, but every single time. And this went on forever; until it finally dawned on me. Fell on me like a ton of 34 DDDs: I WAS BORN TO DO THIS.

    I slumped down in the dressing room chair and thought back over the years and as if a veil had been lifted, I connected all the dots and literally saw how every thing over the span of my entire life was building up to this exact moment. Every twist, every turn and detour was cultivating me to come to this realization. As I stared at my reflection in the mirror, I could hear bells going off in my head every time I made sense of a past occurrence or circumstance. It all made sense now. The only question was: Now what?

    Well, first I had to make a determination: Do I want to be a designer or do I just want to design my own custom wardrobe? The answer was: BOTH!

    Once I figured that out, everything fell into place. Literally. Finances, resources and people who saw my vision and wanted to help just fell out of the sky. It truly was as if the Universe was conspiring in my favor (The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho) once I tapped into my true purpose. Before that moment, it was as if I had been swimming upstream, going against the grain of the intent of my life, and it made me tired….totally drained.

    And so commenced the beginning of a beautiful struggle (peace, to Talib Kweli). It has been quite the rollercoaster: exciting, invigorating, and scary enough to make you mess yourself. And even though this first collection is "my baby", I’ve had a whole support team of family, friends and a Most High God to help nurture it. And it’s that notion that makes me teary-eyed right now.

    Not long ago me and my best friend Dawn pondered the question in awe: Who actually gets to live this life??? ME. That’s who. And for that, I’m forever thankful.

    And guess what? This was only the Preface to the Brianna Kavon story. For lack of better words: it’s been a trip. Stay tuned!!!

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Ayanna Williams-Motton wrote:
totally loved the blog Bri..quite inspiring!! You are on your way Chica!! Brace yourself for the ride!! Cheers to you as you unveil your first mark of a long Legacy..with Biggie playing in the background..the sky is the limit..and you know that you just keep on..just keep on pressing on..the sky is the limit and you know that you can have what you want..bee wht u want..have wht u want..beee wht u want!!!
2011 Its your year baby!!!

Thu, January 27, 2011 @ 8:40 PM

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