Dreams Come Alive
My best friend walked up to me while i was sitting in my chair and asked “did you see what Parsons posted on Instagram?” Suddenly waking up from my nap, I mumbled “what?” After checking Parsons School of Design’s Instagram post, I realized why she sounded so enthusiastic. Beyonce was giving out a scholarship to an art student, to promote women’s’ success. Parsons was one of the few schools able to apply for the scholarship. I searched on the internet desperately trying to find more information about Beyonce’s news. The application consisted of making a portfolio and writing an essay.
After a couple days of thinking about the requirements, I told myself I wanted to apply for the scholarship. Fully knowing I was already too busy with school, soccer, and activities, I was still not about to watch that once in a lifetime opportunity slip through my fingers.
Imagine being the only black swan amongst so many white swans. Being the black swan, I had a passion for fashion that no one else had in my small town. The white swans all studied business, had business degrees, and had a business job. I did not have the resources of a role model or teacher to learn how to sew, or do artwork from. Self taught, I learned how to sew and soon fell in love with seeing my creations come to life. It was a passion no one else around me understood. I had never made a complete garment by myself without guidelines or instructions, used patterns, or draped a dress form before. The biggest white swans in my life were my parents and they had me apply to a wide variety of colleges to major in fashion merchandising and possibly minor in fashion design. Attending a fashion school was never in the picture. I was set on a straight path to somewhere I did not want to go.
Slowly stepping off the path, I walked over to my mom who was sitting at the computer table. I stuttered “there is a scholarship from Beyonce I want to apply to.” Startled, she requested more information about the application and deadlines. I showed her the links leading to more information. Her eyes darted, skimming the requirements. She looked up and replied “Marie I do not think you have time for this, especially with varsity soccer playoffs and graduation.” After debating if I should apply or not for ten minutes, her decision was final. I would not be applying to the Beyonce scholarship.
Five days passed full of classes, soccer practices, extracurriculars, graduation dress shopping, and constantly thinking about the Beyonce scholarship. I realized if I made a garment for the application that would fit me, I could wear it to my graduation too. Then I would not have to buy a dress and my mom would be pleased not spending money. By the sixth day my urge to design for the scholarship shellacked my urge to follow my mom’s request. I decided to start sketching a garment that would fit both the application prompt and my graduation day. I felt adrenaline build up as I came up with my ideas, and my adoration for art spark up from being hidden for too long. Sketching my designs sent a wave of excitement throughout my body.
I took that love for fashion and took it home with me to my mom. I explained to her how I loved making art, and that I would find time to sew my garment. After scheduling time to sew, I was smiling for the rest of the day.
The following day after classes, my schedule consisted of soccer practice, speding to the local fabric store, and then a few homework assignments. By the time I finished my homework it was already 1:00AM, too late to start the making process.
Similar to the previous day, I attended school, drove home to eat an early dinner, do homework, and then I had a varsity playoff game at night. Following a physically enduring game of playing for 100 minutes, I flopped on the couch when I got home. Barely having enough energy to hold up my phone, I glanced to read the time of 11:00PM. Time to work on my application! One body part at a time, I slumped off the couch and walked down stairs to my art work corner in the basement. Playing music to stay awake, I cut my patterns and lay out my fabric.
Four days later, and I was still working on my garment every day after the playoff games until 3:00-4:00 in the morning. Classes started at 7:00AM so although I was running on three hours of sleep, I was too motivated to put a halt to my dream of designing and wearing my own dress.
On the sixth day of sewing, my mom came down to see my work. She was surprised and genuinely impressed with what I had constructed. She commented “that dress is something I could never have dreamed of making.” It was my dream to make a wearable dress, and i was making it come true.
One week later and my dress definitely displayed my style, and who I was as a designer. When the dress was finished, I was finally able to take a deep breath.
I attended my graduation in my dress that I designed and made, and I received countless compliments. Peers and families commented on the details and when they heard I made it they were in awe. My mouth did not stop smiling the whole day.
Being the first in my area to attend a fashion school, I was already set on a different path. I took a jump off the path set for me and landed on a new path of doing more of what I love. Now I am more confident in my abilities and know my strengths and weaknesses. I realized how supportive my best friend was for believing in me. I am grateful for all of the love from so many people in pushing me to pursue my dreams.