Me at 10 and 15, the time I started to want to be cool and the time when I considered it done.
If last year’s special birthday posts were more gossipy, today I have a fashion-related special edition.
As you might have heard from me or read in that last year’s post, between the ages of about 7 and 15, I was going to be a fashion designer. My classical drawing teacher (I went to her studio between 11 and 13) at some point lamented that I hadn’t used my ‘fashion sketching’ to also practice general figure sketching… because I went for patterns and ready-made figures. When I was younger, my mom drew me paper dolls and I had developed a ‘typical dress’ drawing on squared notebook paper that I could then beautify. Until I was 14 or so, I used to have a stash of copies with just an outline of a body that I could then draw on. Those black lines were visible through my design masterpiece and the posture was always the same, but I was OK with that.
Circa 1999 with the stuff I was drawing.
Classical drawing itself didn’t become a beloved activity, I found it tedious and could never perform well enough. But that drawing studio was an amazing place for an aesthetic education. It was full of people older than me, people planning to enter the art schools or the faculty of architecture, and I was very busy taking notes on how to look artsy, of what you *could* wear. There were times I would literally sketch what other people were wearing instead of the white setup of cubes and shit.
It was also very understandably a time of transition between childhood and adolescence, and my parents hadn’t yet made it to the economic status they achieved years later, hence I was reading teen magazines obsessively and looking at the shop windows but not really getting those garments. So welcome to the fantasies of *cool* of the child below. Every other millennial will recognize the butterfly clips and the frosty eye shadow, I guess:
December 2000, so I’m about to turn 13.
Unbothered with the proportions of the figures – and, looking from now, not with the quality of my sketches in general – I produced a lot of them and had a thick stash of my design masterpieces to be shown to anybody who would express any interest. At some point much later I got rid of most of them, scanning just a small sample. Here, this is what I was dreaming about 2000 and 2002:
These are just a copy of what BikBok was selling then, the essence of teen cool in 2000. Yes, gray jersey and uncomfy shoes… I know, random shit.
The rest is a bit more creative, but I know very well where most of the inspiration has came from: platform boots (that is exactly what Vagabond was up to at that time), transparent plastic details down to that bright pink yo-yo, faux fur, camouflage prints, skirts on trousers and other ideas came from… those chunky silhouettes, those waistlines that were always at the hips and never at the waist. Oh, 1999s, oh, teen fashion magazines, you had brainwashed my little head very well!
Did you act upon your future profession fantasies in any way when you were a child/adolescent? Have you actually fulfilled them as an adult? I didn’t pursue an education in arts or fashion, but I keep dragging it with me, through dressing myself up, and now mostly via swaps and sewing. There was something authentic in that childhood dream that is still alive!
…would you wear any of my ‘designs’? 😉