Fashion ~ Smashion
Façion, the way, chalan, the road... fashion opportunities presented themselves to me even at a very young age, growing up on Guam as a little blonde girl. I began modeling for Diana's and Town House since i was 2, and by the time i was 15, entering international competitions representing Guam.
By 1994 i had a full modeling career established, which then extended to Japan and New York City. Winning International Awards in NYC was a surprise, and i followed it with a second return trip to Japan on contract. I was never into pageantry, but loved photography, creativity and working in a studio setting. My interest in modeling waned though, as i had always aspired to return to the east coast and go to art school, and get my hands dirty with paint and charcoal. Soon after that, my agents were not too happy with my constantly paint covered fingernails, and wayward interests as all artists begin their explorations. Graduating with a sculpture degree from the Corcoran College of Art & Design in 1998, i returned home to join the Guam arts community, and many art shows followed.
Fashion- literally meaning "the way" or the road most taken- to follow the fashion of a trend, an era, or lifestyle is one way to present oneself. as an artist i never intend on being "fashionable" by any standards, but hope to be creative, comfortable, and well put together on a daily.
Add on a yoga teacher certification in 2003, i followed a path toward self-authenticity, and stopped wearing most of my "model" wardrobe when i started being true to myself. I decided that i wanted to work from home, be comfortable and private while i work. In the fashion industry, lots of pieces are handed to you, and i had built quite a closet full of designer custom-fit-for-me pieces. As my life progressed though, i shed the sequins and crepe for cotton bahakke (house-clothes), choosing fabrics that breathe in the tropical heat, and are more suited for real adventures. Now i enjoy mixing a fancy piece with my mainstays- yoga top and work bottom, usually jeans- the classic workman's fashion-follows-function style.
An article for another day will talk about my personal experiences in the pathology of the modeling industry, and what it instills in our youth. Suffice to say just as you won't find a TV in my living room, you won't find a fashion magazine in my home. These magazines breed desires, influence our youth, and appeal to our insecurities for sales of products. I don't want other's standards of beauty to influence my well-being, or my creative tangents. I don't follow fashion, but i hope to inspire it. I rest knowing I'm not the first in my family to go their own way, as a 1940s article published for my grandmother's wedding states matter-of-factly "the bride wore a brown suit."