I got excited about runway shows because I was thinking about all the ideas, design, story-crafting, and preparation that has gone into the show that will be later today. Carmen is a family friend and he generously invited me to New York for an informal internship with his evening wear design house. I interned with him for a month in August 2001 and then again in February 2002; I was 16! (I have awesome photos from this time, but sadly due to space issues they are all in storage right now. I'll dig them out someday and share; they are hilarious!)
(side note...I missed the September 2001 runway show because high school was starting and I didn't want to miss too many days and get behind. It's interesting because if I would have stayed, I would have been in the middle of Times Square NYC when the planes crashed into the WTC towers. Carmen's show was like the 12th or 13th of September and he said he was driving to work, looked up at a digital billboard in Times Square and saw a real-time video of the unexpected second plane crashing into the second tower. Pretty amazing. It would have been an interesting part of history to experience. I'm glad I was safe and my heart goes out to all those who lost friends and family in September 2001).
It's funny to look back 9 years and remember what it was like to be a 16 year old Tess. I was completely consumed by fashion. I obsessively visually devoured fashion magazines like Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, etc. I knew all the good designers and I knew all the good models' names! I created an extensive filing system - which I still have - to store my favorite ideas from magazines. I wasn't a big shopper, though. I wore vintage clothes and loved the 1960's. What I loved about fashion was the drama and imagination evident in couture and runway shows. I also loved the craft of garment construction and the skill of working with different fabrics.
Hahah, I just got sidetracked thinking of what a closet drama queen I am! If I wasn't so shy, I would love to be a performer. I guess my interest in frivolous high fashion is similar to my love of David Bowie and Prince Poppycock...
It's funny because people who knew me in high school are shocked that I now love and study fungi...and people who know me now are usually shocked to learn that as a teen ager I was on my way to being a fashion designer.
I just had a fun time looking through the current Fall 2010 Carmen Marc Valvo runway show.
Here are a few of my favorite looks:
I'm excited to see photos of the Spring 2011 show from today. I think I'll write Carmen a letter getting him caught up on what I have been up to (graduating college, being a mycologist, getting married...) and thanking him for his generosity and kindness in letting 16-year-old me into his home and work place to experience and learn more about the fashion industry.