Cue the sweatpants and oversized grey hoodie. I can already hear Rich Lux and Nick Snider cringing from their respective corners of the internet.
But as Nick Snider will be the first to point out, if you are in fact in a dark place, there is nothing wrong with talking about it, especially with all of you. As many of you know, September was NYFW, and I was surprisingly silent. I have also been noticeably silent since my February showcase. Not many photos, if any, of the show have been released. And aside from allowing the models and photographers to share photos from the show, my Instagram is void of any acknowledgment of my shows.
The New York Fashion Week premiere I had hoped for didn’t go as planned. It was sloppy, the shows were unorganized, and the organizers didn’t care about the designers–much less the models. To them, the shows were a cash grab and a means to line their pockets with the hopes and dreams of everyone involved. I left Fashion Week feeling defeated and swearing off the industry altogether.
Something I don’t publicly discuss is my own mental health, and how I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and mild depression. Since the show, I haven’t sewn, and all of the beautiful gowns I made have laid in their garment bags shut away from the world. The only thing that really kept me going was the kind words from a few members of the audience who were touched by my message of raising awareness for mental health–some of whom I keep in contact with from time to time. To them, the show went off without a hitch–despite my music not being played since it was “too soft” or “too classical” and not “modern enough”, and my model order being mixed up and shuffled around without my knowledge or consent. To those of you who were touched by my show, I thank you. Your words helped uplift me in ways you can never know.
I spent a good few days crying about the ordeal, and after a month went by, I realized that something was wrong beyond being disappointed about my show not going the way I had envisioned it would. I talked to my therapist and decided to see a psychiatrist in order to get some relief from my anxiety. It really wasn’t until a few days ago, after switching to a new medicine that seems to be doing well for me, that I had picked up a needle and thread and began to sew again.
Over the summer, I forced myself to work on a cosplay costume for a dear friend… and although I told them it was a fun experience, the whole thing was laced with anxiety and grief. It was a struggle for me to complete the project and I found myself hating the hobby I once loved. It was at that point that I switched psychologists (since I felt my previous one wasn’t listening to my concerns), and sought out a new one that my primary care doctor recommended. Thankfully things seem to be going smoother, and day by day, I am reclaiming my will to allow myself to explore fashion again.
I am not sure when and if I will return to ready-wear fashion, as the creation of a collection was more taxing on my mental health than I anticipated, however, I have been working on developing a new accessories line.
From now on, I vow to be more open about my struggles. I think I missed out on an opportunity to help others who may have been going through something similar to me. But I want you all to know, that even if it doesn’t seem that things will get better within the next day, week, or month, the further you move away from day one, the better. In time, I will open up more about my Fashion Week experiences in order to serve as a cautionary tale for those of you looking to branch into the fashion industry. I hope no one has to endure the same hardships I have, but if you do, I hope this entry serves as proof that things really do get better. And that there truly is always hope, even when you think you want to give up.