Taking a Leap

Oh, the Leap of Faith! So highly spoken of, yet so rarely achieved. The intimidation of challenging oneself can so easily overpower one’s hunger for greatness – or at least, something ‘more’. It doesn’t even have to be a daredevil stunt or something life changing; something as simple as facing your fear of heights by rock climbing would suffice. For me, it was finally gathering enough courage to create and showcase my fashion designs on a runway.

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Towards the beginning of the first semester, I decided I wanted to get more involved in school activities. I attended several orientation club meetings – one of them being a meeting about the university’s biannual fashion show. I dragged my friend Agnes along thinking the meeting was about planning, designing and organizing the fashion show (a.k.a. behind the scenes stuff). To my surprise, the meeting was actually targeted at students interested in designing for the fashion show. I found out midway through the meeting and zoned out for the rest of the meeting. When the meeting ended and I was getting ready to leave, Agnes looked over at me and said, “let’s do it!” For the second time that day, I was shocked. Agnes had never sewn anything in her life, not even a button.

Dumbfounded I naturally asked her if she was serious. She responded with an enthusiastic series of nods and asked “why not?” I clearly had nothing left to do in the situation but comply with her enthusiasm. We put down our names on a spreadsheet titled “Designers” and left the room buzzed with newfound excitement and little knowledge of the commitment we just consigned ourselves to.

The semester came and went and before we knew it, it was Thanksgiving weekend. Ask any college student and they’ll tell you that your academic position is virtually decided pre-Thanksgiving – after that, redemption on pre-Thanksgiving procrastinated work is hard to achieve. That weekend, we discovered the club’s sewing machine we had loaned out with damaged. After much frustration, Agnes and I decided it wasn’t worth dragging out the procrastination. Instead, we committed to the torture (and secret reward) of hand-sewing our garments. Talk about commitment, huh?

Agnes and I slaved away, days on end, running on sleep deprivation and a significant amount of adrenaline. 4am bed times and 12am model fittings became our lives for a straight week prior to the fashion show. But we pushed through the hardship and needle pricks because we knew, with every blistering stitch, that we were creating something we would be proud to showcase come December 2nd, 2015.

And how right we were.
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The night rolled around and with a lot of boob tape, repeated last minute fittings, and stressful sweating, our garments went down the runway just as we had envisioned. We were proud of ourselves and our models, to say the least. Even thinking back on the moment to this day gives me chills. It was surreal seeing our first piece go down the runway – the very first dress I had designed sitting in bed at boarding school one morning in 2013. But like a dance recital, the four-minute duration of the show was all we had to show for ourselves. The hours and hours of stitching and stencilling happened behind the scenes, efforts hidden and disguised between the semi-opaque chiffon and jersey fabrics. Or was it? All we hoped for when we began our creative process was for appreciation of the final product, and we truly hope we achieved this. We know we did for ourselves at least. In fact, we felt so rewarded that we already have potential designs for the next fashion show. Let’s see what 2016 has to bring.

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