The Little Shorts that Could

Thinking back on the inspiration for the wool garments in the Tough Love Collection, it stretched from just about every tangent one could imagine. Though all of the looks have common roots, they have very specific inspirations.



    So there I was sitting in my apartment bored out of my mind. It was Dallas, summer 2007 and too hot to breathe (what’s new?). I had a few days off and I was bored out of my wits. At the time I was working for an airline and had free flight benefits, so there was never any real reason to be bored.

    I needed a change of scenery and normally that called for a “New York state of mind”, but not this time. That could only mean one thing: MIAMI!! I had the power to hop a flight with zero planning, and that’s what I did. I was on South Beach in a two-piece with a book getting my “bronze on” in no time!

    So after the beach, some seafood paella and Lord knows how many mojitos, I’m at the nightclub called BED, sitting on a…well, bed and digging the scene. I was wearing a hot pink skirt set that tied around my neck with my back out. I loved this outfit and was in the perfect place for it, but somehow I felt too conservative…like I could actually be wearing less. That ocean air just blows away allllll inhibitions!

    I love the challenge of dressing for a different city. You can’t wear the colors you would wear in Dallas while you’re in New York but you can’t wear the outfit from Miami anywhere else! I find comfort in being able to flip my style accordingly from city to city. You get to explore other parts of your personality that way. That being said, there I was at the club, but drifting away to my other favorite place: Etherria, the Land of Perfect Outfits (yes, I named it.). There, I control the temperature, the ambiance, the crowd and yes, the wardrobe; after all, this place only exists so I can design a wardrobe.

    Picture it: I needed some kind of swimsuit/dress hybrid…something way short and ruffled with matching bottoms, reminiscent of the 80’s swimsuits or a cheerleader uniform. I thought the bottoms would be a nice “peak-a-boo” if your dress accidentally flew up on the dance-floor (that could definitely inspire a ‘crush’). Too hot?? No way, my momma always talks about the dresses they wore in the 70’s appropriately called “sizzlers” and it was basically a mini-dress with matching panties.

    Uh-oh, reality check—“no thanks, sweetie, I don’t wanna dance”—I’m busy, baby.

    Ok, but this was the millennium, not the 70s and the panty-dress may be even too risqué for Miami, perfect for Rio during Carnivale, but you’d get gawked at all day in The States with that one…..but the thought of that was sounding better and better to me. It was time to break out of “the norm” and do something else. Right about then, it hit me: this look would be too easy for summer, let’s try it for fall!

    I thought a great wool and a really structured look would balance the ruffles and frilliness. This was really a party dress, but the perfect marriage of sass and class. The only problem was convincing the pattern-maker that this would work. She just couldn’t envision it—not even with a great picture. She said the dress was nice but something about the matching panties would be in bad taste, just—and I quote—“too coochie”…lol. There I was thinking that the dress without panties would be “too coochie”. Y’all, this lady is from Trinidad, and had designed Carnivale costumes before so surely she could dig it, right?? Not. At. All.

    As an artist, there will be many times you’ll have to defend your vision. No one else is in your head but you and sometimes you have to stand firm. So there I was doing just that, when I realized: she might have a point. So I did something I rarely do during the creative process: COMPROMISE. That’s almost a bad word to me, but you have to at least process a suggestion before you can reject it and wool panties was sounding less appealing by the minute, so we opted for hot pants! At least they leave a little something to the imagination…very little.

    Needless to say, I’m really pleased with the outcome and can’t wait to see how every chick will work it according to her own individual style. With the detail on the back and shortness of the dress, it will even look great with a pair of jeans, there’s a compromise for ya! I named it ’Crush’ because it’s short, sweet, and despite your initial reaction to it, totally innocent!

    Thinking back, that night in Miami was perfect. As my heels were now dangling from my hand, my balance was slightly off and I walked barefoot to my hotel two streets over, I was thinking at that point I probably looked a lot like the dress I had just mentally created: good girl gone bad!

No comments (Add your own)

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.