First of all, (back pats are accepted) I discovered Project Runway. I think the first episode of the first season it was myself and Seal watching. That said; I wanna tell you guys a story from the mickeyitaliano vault.
I was 6 or so, when neighbors started moving into my block. My uncle built all the houses, so we got first dibs and we were solo on Barlow for a while. My older brother soon found friends but I had no one my age except for two girls (separate families) who were a year older. The three years separating me and my brother at that time were like decades, so to hang with him was not going to happen.
So, I hung with Elaine and Carol Ann (and soon to come Denise). We played jump rope, hopscotch and Barbie's. I did have a GI Joe but, frig, he never came with a change of clothes! I soon became enamored with Barbie's house and Camper and her wardrobe. She had so many looks, while GI Joe still had his stinky Camo's on.
We had a room downstairs which we called the 'little room.' It contained all our toys, some Samsonite luggage and my mothers' Singer sewing machine, which by the looks of it, was the original prototype. Instead of a rubber type belt, the belt was leather. It had this foot petal that was similar to a metal shoe and the needles were a crochet club's nitemare...thick and revolving at MPH.
I started to really want a Barbie. I wanted to change her clothes. I asked for one and after the beating from the 'donor', I came to find out that boys do not play with those kinds of dolls.
More crafty than hurt, I told Carol Ann, Elaine and now Denise that my Grandma, (who, God Bless her Soul was a phenomenal sewist) was going to make their Barbie's a whole new wardrobe. They each gave me a Barbie for measurements. The 'collection' would be forthcoming.
I had seen my mother with patterns on the dining room table (hence: the matching Easter Outfits of 1966) and while playing with my bald playschool people in the little room, her sewing voraciously.
I could do this.
From scraps of fabric and odds and ends around the house, I set forth to create a 'collection.'
I'm laughing my ass off, because I just remembered how I fucked up that strong ass needle when I decided to sew a skirt made from the netting of the "wedding gift stinky almonds."
It was downhill from there. The girls were getting impatient. They were besmirching my grandmother's talents. I told them she had taken to hospital, and returned their Barbie's, who were now, non virginal and bi.
Fast forward. I was a senior in High School and in Art Class we had a selection of finals. One, was to make a fashion collection. I went with my strengths and even though I was not thought to be 'swishy', at all, I did this.
The girls in my class, some of whom were on their way to F.I.T. were so excited by my work, telling me I should definitely go into fashion design. Theresa Minnucci actually took one of my sketches for a gown(?) and entered it into her book for her interviewA Parsons or F.I.T..
I hope Laura wins.