Back to Life - A Style Redux Chronicle

Chapter 1 – Blah, blah, blah

“Oh, no thank you.  I don’t drink coffee”.  To think I uttered those words, that they came out of my very own mouth less than 3 months ago!  Had I known the miraculous, mind expanding, brain awakening powers of caffeine, I would have started drinking the stuff ages ago!  Well, here I am now.  A fiend for caffeine.  Yes, I’m one of those “Don’t talk to me, don’t ask me any anything, don’t even open your mouth until I’ve had my sugar free mocha latte first!” people. No talky before coffee! It happened by accident, sort of.  My best work friend, Zowo Cordova, had one of the new interns make a run for coffee for the big boss, Simone Turnbull, the “Bull in Louboutins” or Loubulltins.  Anyway, the Bull is super specific when it comes to her daily cup.  She takes a skinny latte, sub the espresso with cappuccino, made with oatmilk, hold the foam, unsweetened.  Well the poor intern, only there for 3 days, got the order completely wrong and had to make another run, down the city streets in a fabulous vintage wrap dress with the kimono sleeves flapping all about.  Poor little rich girl.  Bless her heart.  She’s got a lot to learn, but at least she’s trying.  That’s a lot more than I can say about the 2 horrible senior designers that work here.

I used to be very much like Prudence though, of course, without the rich parents and entitlements.  But she’s earnest and wants to learn everything she can from anyone and willing to work hard for it.  I was like that as well.  Still am.  When I first started out in the fashion world it wasn’t long before that when I used to dream about being a world famous, sexy, sophisticated fashion designer who had runway shows every season with fabulous celebrities coming to see my collections and mingle with each other during the after parties and being seen in the trendiest nightclubs and blah, blah, blah.  Well once I finished school and landed my first real job as an assistant designer at small company owned by a brother/sister team, I woke the hell up with a jolt from that unrealistic dream.  The siblings took over the family business after their parents retired and passed the company on to them.  They had absolutely no idea how to keep the business afloat.  The brother handled the finances and the sister ineptly attempted to be the fashion designer au flair!  She knew nothing about researching and identifying fashion trends.  She knew nothing about putting together a great color palette for the seasons.  And she didn’t even sketch!  I soon learned that behind the scenes of all the glamour and glitz and sparkle was some serious hard work by the people behind the scenes and some serious fakeness by the wannabe designers.  Oh, the fakeness!  I’ve never been able to relate to it.   You know what they say, “Money talks, bullshit walks”.  You’ll see what I mean soon enough.

A little about me: I’m the youngest of 4 in my family, 2 brothers, 1 sister.  I grew up in a middle class-ish home where both my parents worked.  My father had a career and my mother had jobs.  I was the ‘oops’ baby.  My parents thought they were finished when they had my brother, Mitchell, 6 years before me.  I surprised them, but I almost didn’t make it, according to them.  But I made it and I’m still here.  A little cynical, a lot shy, but always learning and growing.  My mom used to make most of my clothes.  She really enjoyed sewing and my older siblings had since lost interest in anything she would make for them.  But I loved everything she ever made for me.  She’s always been resourceful and creative.  She even made her own patterns with newspapers and brown paper bags taped together.  She would also update some of her own old dresses and renew them by “Pretty in Pink-ing” them.  And, oh, they would always turn out fabulous!  I firmly believe she missed her calling to become a great fashion influencer.  My mom has always been mine.  Of course, my dad loved it because his pocketbook was safe. 

I remember the first time I tried my hand at making a garment on the sewing machine.  I must have been around 10 years old.  I just got some paper, created a pattern, cut the fabric that I found in the remnants bin at a local fabric store and sewed myself a top.  I did it all without the help or training of my mom.  Even though it was this simple, basic top with no sleeves, my mother was so impressed when I showed it to her.   I could see the pride in her smile and even hear it in her voice when she called over to my dad to exclaim how talented their little Anaya is.  I felt so good and my chest was just about bursting with pride.  I became better at it and started sewing clothes for my mom’s friends and neighbors.  It was great summer money.  Then, came adolescence.  Boo to teen angst!

I must have been the most awkward pre-teen and teenager in my whole town!  I’ve never been considered, nor even considered myself a looker or even pretty.  I was plain and neat, never the beautiful princess.  I could always appreciate the beauty of other girls.  Sure, I’d be a bit envious, you could tell me don’t be jealous, but the feeling was there.  Later in life I learned that it’s not that big of a deal. Yes, I had some friends and a best friend growing up.  I also had bullies and immature assholes to contend with from time to time.  Anyway, my middle and high school years were dodgy at best, but I also had some great times.  But I think being an introvert and lacking self confidence contributed to the steady decline of me caring about the latest and greatest for my wardrobe.  The basic ensembles I wore did me no favors, but I didn’t care – a hoodie and jeans were my go tos.  My best friend, Oliver, didn’t really care either way too.  But then again, he was clueless when it comes to coordinating an outfit. Anyway, we had other things like school and tennis team to keep our interest.  I still had the love and talent for creating clothes and I came to find that I could really draw well too.

By the time I hit 16 years old and entering my senior year in high school, I had already formed the decision that I was going to become that world famous fashion designer and work with the top super models and be in every fashion magazine from Vogue to Seventeen.  Even though I wasn’t so interested in dressing myself in the latest trends I still had the love for designing. Seeing the ideas that I would visualize in my mind come to life and match those of what I would see in all the fashion magazines was so fulfilling.  I guess, I cared more about making others look and feel beautiful or creating something in which other women would find happiness.  So, I went to college with the intent on learning everything I needed to know about becoming a fashion designer and leapt into the field full throttle and eventually ended up where I am today.

“I TOLD YOU TO GET THESE LINE SHEETS ORGANIZED AND DONE BY FRIDAY! WHY ARE THEY NOT READY?  AND WHY ARE THE SAMPLES ALL OUT OF ORDER?  IT’S ALL SUCH A MESS!  WHAT DID I HIRE YOU FOR?”

Ugh!  What a bitch!

Chapter 2 next week.